Monday, February 29th, 2016 was an inspiring day for ILAC students who got the opportunity to attend the ILAC Seminar with the Former Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable John N. Turner along with opening speakers Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, and Miss Universe Canada 2015, Paola Nunez.
Miss Universe 2015, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach:
Taking a stand against bullying and cyber-bullying, Pia spoke about her experience being on the receiving end of bullying when growing up in the Philippines, and in her life. As a public figure and Miss Universe 2015, she is committed to raise awareness and stop this issue that affects millions of people everyday across the world.
“If there’s a kid who is still bullied in school, if there’s a young girl who is called names, if there’s a woman who can’t take public transportation because there are bullies around her, any kind of bullying, then I will speak up about it and I will not stop, because that is how we raise awareness.”
Pia reminded ILAC students that the key to turning BIG DREAMS into reality is focusing on your own goals and not getting side-tracked. “If you put your mind to it, there’s NOTHING you can’t do.”
Miss Universe Canada 2015, Paola Nunez:
Miss Universe Canada 2015, Paola Nunez, reinforced the importance of bullying awareness and told students about her journey of being an immigrant to Canada. When Paola first moved to Canada from Dominican Republic she was only 10 years old, and didn’t speak a word of English. “I had to learn from “hello”,” she said with a smile on her face. When classmates started making fun of her because of her lack of English skills, she made it her mission to learn the language, and after a year she was disguised as a native speaker.
Paola is proud of her Dominican roots, but is happy to call Canada home. “Canada embraces people from all over the world, and doesn’t judge anybody. I love being Canadian.”
The Right Honourable John N. Turner, P.C., C.C., Q.C.:
During his years as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Turner had a big impact on democracy in Canada and Ukraine. He shared stories of the greatest moments of his career, highlighting the speech he gave at Independence Square in Kiev, after the presidential elections in 2004.
“I went out that night and spoke to 500,000 people, the greatest moment I’ve ever had in democracy. It was the largest show for democracy the world has ever seen. And let me tell you, it was emotional.”
The Right Honourable John. N Turner has always fought to defend people’s rights. While commenting on the new Parliament of Canada, he stated that “it’s a fresh start in this government, our population as a whole across the country has never been as fully represented in the government of Canada as under Prime Minister Trudeau. They want things better for Canada.”
As a closing remark, the Right Honourable told students “my lesson to younger people here is if you are going to do something, stay involved and you can make it happen. Participate, get to know your community, get involved, reach out, and just make it happen.”
ILAC was recognized by the Mayor John Tory and Councillor Anthony Perruzza of the City of Toronto in appreciation of bringing awareness to ILAC students regarding the serious issues of bullying and cyber-bullying, and the importance of democracy and diversity.
Thank you to everyone that attended the seminar. Let’s stand up together against bullying and raise awareness about issues facing our society! Focus on spreading positivity and remember, DREAMING BIG is the first step to accomplishing your goals!
If you are or know of someone experiencing bullying, call to speak to your Student Ambassador +1-416-961-5151, email [email protected] or join the conversation on Twitter @iloveilac #AgainstBullying
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