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Women's History Month 2024

Mar. 08 2024

Last year, we celebrated Women’s History Month by honouring the women who contributed to United for Literacy’s vision of empowerment through literacy for over 20 years. This year, United for Literacy (formerly Frontier College) is celebrating 125 years of empowerment through literacy.  We asked the women who have been staff of United for Literacy for over 10 years to talk about an early memory or memorable moment. Their answers reflect the varied experiences that come with working for such a vibrant organization.

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Joëlle, Program Manager, Southern Québec 
The Organizational Team's volunteers met in a cottage towards the end of the summer for a two-day training and planning session. As an intern, I was responsible for organizing the meeting and co-facilitating it. We were there to learn and work, but that didn't stop us from having fun and enjoying the surrounding nature! We were putting into practice the organization's philosophy: any place is a good place to learn.

A woman sits on a lawn with books in front of her.

Stacy, Community Coordinator, Sudbury
My favourite memory each year is always the Organizational Team Retreat that we run. It is a great time for our team to get to know each other and form bonds (and often inside jokes that last years to come). Our volunteers are an integral part of the work that I do, and seeing the excitement of the team each year motivates me to help them develop their leadership skills and get the most out of their experience with us!

A group of people in a wooded area

Cathy, Regional Manager, Northern Ontario
I remain deeply grateful for the wonderful folks I have met over the years, who believe in our work every bit as much as we do. Stan Beardy, Ontario Regional Chief when this photo was taken in 2013 at our Summer Literacy Camp training, is one of those people. His guidance as we built the program model and his dreams for the children we serve are foundations I continue to hold dear.

A woman with long hair stands next to Chief Dan Beardy

Mimi, Senior Accountant, Toronto
One of the learners told me the reason he joined our program was he wanted to be able to read books to his daughters by himself. He said he usually sent his daughters to his wife when they wanted to listen stories. He felt bad and glad that we could help him. He was crying when he told me finally, he could be able to read books to his kids. Their stories made me realized how important our work is.

A woman with brown hair and brown eyes. She is smiling.

Meredith, Director, Communications and Annual Giving, Toronto
Every year, our signature fundraiser Scrabble for Literacy is the highlight of my job. What better way to raise funds for literacy than to play the classic word game? As Events Manager, I coordinated my first Scrabble event in 2008 while seven months pregnant. This was a great experience for me because of the people, the competitive atmosphere, and the chance to open the Toronto Stock Exchange with the winning team. Over the last 15 years, I have been able to build strong relationships with many volunteers, sponsors, and participants.

A woman in a red blouse raises her arm in celebration. She is surrounded by people.

Michelle, Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, Toronto
Over the past 10+ years, I've had countless opportunities to support others while also receiving invaluable support in return. I'm grateful for the chance to contribute to such a meaningful cause. Additionally, being the board liaison and befriending senior volunteers has enriched my experience, allowing me to glean wisdom from their insights and maintain lasting connections.

A woman is outside painting a wooden box green.

Krystyna, Program Manager, Northern Québec
My early years at UFL were chock full of learning and discovery— Notwithstanding the rich knowledge and contributions of volunteers, interns and learners, and our relentlessly dedicated partner organizations who never cease to inspire me… my best teachers to this day remain the strong and brilliant women with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. Thank you for continuing to guide, challenge and inspire me through the years. Happy women’s history month!

Three women stand in a row in front of an orange background.
Pictures of seven women on a green background
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