President & CEO – Community Grants Associates, Liberal Candidate in the next NB Elections
I grew up with a single mom who worked two jobs to put food on the table and keep us safe. Growing up, I had amazing teachers who knew I had a hard family situation but somehow saw something in me to encourage me to pursue university. Through student loans, I was able to graduate with a Combined Honours Degree in Political Science and History. My hard work led to getting a full scholarship for my Masters Degree in International Relationships and Political Theory. I loved learning, so I also did a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
I have had many bumps in the road through life, but I have never buried my head in the sand. Instead, I look at what the issue is head on and how to move forward. Having come from a difficult family situation, I learned resiliency at a young age. I also learned the value of giving back to the community and since I could not give back in a monetary way, I became an active volunteer.
I am very passionate about my community work and my involvement with organizations that provide essential services to low-income families. I have been an active community member with the Moncton West and Riverview Rotary Club since 2009 and past president of this club. I have been involved in many community boards and committees which include: board member of the Moncton Head Start Foundation, lay representative board member for the New Brunswick Medical Lab Technologies (NBMLT), board member of the Greater Moncton SPCA, Vice President board member of the Greater Moncton Big Brothers Big Sisters, fundraising committee member of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Campaign Cabinet member of the Moncton Youth Residences (now known as Impact Youth), NB Cancer Society Daffodil Ball committee member, and YMCA of Greater Moncton Volunteer instructor.
My passion for community work even connects to my professional work. For the past 17 years, I have worked with public and community-based organizations to find them funding through grant programs for the work that they do.
My passion for community work has also now led me to pursue a political life. As women, we bring a different voice and perspective into policy. I’m running as a Liberal Candidate not only to add my voice and a voice to the community I will represent, but for every woman who wishes to make her mark, and create lasting change. We always talk about a glass ceiling, but when there are no ceilings, the sky is the limit.
What are you most proud of professionally?
I am proud to have started my own business seven years ago. My passion for community work comes through in my professional life, which has led to a successful business. My story can help assert to other women - especially girls and women coming from low-income homes - that with hard work they can change their life circumstances.
What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
My vision for Atlantic Canada, and in particular New Brunswick, in 10 years is an area of the country that is thriving. For too long New Brunswick has been trying to catch up to provide the same level of services as other provinces, but with less resources. I believe that Atlantic Canada’s economic potential flows above all from its human capital, from what its people can do and want to do. However, we have many challenges that must be addressed and one of them is our aging population. This demographic change will limit economic growth. An aging population limits growth by reducing the number of workers contributing to the economy. Our biggest opportunity, therefore, comes from attracting and retaining immigrants to our area. It will bolster the workforce, add to Atlantic Canada’s overall economic activity and enrich our culture.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
My greatest stages of growth have been through challenging times. Each hurdle allowed me to learn a valuable lesson that has led me to growth.
What's your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
I don’t have a favourite book, but a favourite author. My favourite author is Ken Follett. Although all his books are fictional, they are written in a particular historical era. I consider myself a social historian always interested in the social impact of a particular historical time.
What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
I learned that people come into your life for a reason. You end up learning and growing from other people’s life experiences. As I pursue politics, I am extremely thankful for all the people that I have met over the past year that have not known me for long, but have thrown their support behind me.
Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
Claudette Bradshaw - she entered political life with everyone questioning and doubting she would win her riding only because she did not come from a typical affluent background and she wasn’t a lawyer. She has been an inspiration to me and other women - that you can make a difference not only in a particular organization but in the community at large. She has been a great mentor.
What would you have done differently?
Nothing – each step in my life brought a valuable lesson.
What were your priorities and how did they help you overcome some of the struggles you've faced? What motivated you to make the choices you've made? What are the principles you live by?
One of my biggest motivators has been to change my childhood circumstances, which led me to work hard to overcome some of the struggles I have faced. I’m a proud Rotarian and strive to live by the Rotary motto of “Service above Self”.
Animal lover, Loves to laugh, Community oriented, Honest, Passionate, True friend, Advocate, Professional grant writer