"As a child, I grew up in a home with family violence. When my mom made the incredibly courageous and dangerous decision to leave an abusive relationship, it forever changed my life path. My mom struggled to afford housing, food, healthcare, and transportation while raising three young children alone in a foreign country. Early on, I understood that I was different from my peers who didn’t have to worry about being evicted from their homes or if they could afford to buy lunch from the school cafeteria.
My lived experience as a woman of colour in poverty opened my world to the power of community and how we can work together to create a support system. My mom and I received support from our community. And I volunteered as an English and Math tutor for low-income immigrant and refugee families in my neighbourhood so that I could support others too. As I entered high school, I met incredible teachers and a librarian who believed in me and shaped the trajectory of my life. They encouraged me to apply for university and wrote letters of recommendation for my scholarship applications. My education empowered me to meaningfully engage in community advocacy on campus. My time at the University of Calgary and the relationships I built during this time, opened doors that empowered me to advocate for queer and trans liberation, anti-racism, decolonization, and intersectional feminism.
I was (and still am) surrounded by a community of people who believed in me and wanted me to succeed. But not everyone living in poverty has access to the resources and privileges that I do. I believe we have the power to change that. We have the power to create systemic change and action in our city to create a world where everyone can thrive. I believe that we are stronger together, where no one is left behind and that’s why I am driven to create a Calgary with enough for all!"