I’m supporting Trinity Earl in her participation in the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games. Why? Because inclusion should be the lesson we teach, and guide the opportunities we give, well before we enter the workforce. Women of Influence is on board — and now we need your help.
By Jan Frolic, Vice President, Women of Influence
What does diversity and inclusion mean?
It can be a deceptively simple question. For most of us who are familiar with the D&I acronym, it’s about understanding and valuing a diverse workforce. But as D&I continues to grow in priority, there’s an opportunity missed if we keep the definition only focused on the efforts being made in organizations today.
What if we thought of diversity and inclusion as a societal goal, that starts well before anyone enters the workforce? We could expand the minds of young girls to learn to be more confident in themselves. We could foster cooperation between diverse groups before unconscious bias puts up walls. We could change the workplace of tomorrow, by focusing on youth today.
At Women of Influence, we see the value of looking at diversity and inclusion from this broad perspective. We not only work to inspire young women, we also work to share their incredible accomplishments — and, like always, we aim to make the stories we tell as diverse as possible.
“It has given me the courage to get out there and have fun. It has also given me the confidence to be myself.”
This year, we’re excited to be partnering with the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games, which will bring together 2,000 student-athletes, aged 13-21, from around the world to Toronto, Canada. Our goal is to not only spread a broad message of inclusion — in Special Olympics terms, an #InclusionRevolution — but to help build concrete support for the young girls who hope to compete.
As an organization, we’re asking our WOI Community — our leaders, our friends, our champions of girls, and our changemakers — to step forward and Draft an Athlete, a program that funds an athlete’s journey to the Invitational Youth Games. As an individual, I’m supporting Trinity Earl, a grade 10 student at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate in Ajax.
The second of four children, Trinity is, according to her mom, a natural athlete who always showed interest in swimming, basketball and soccer. She’s relatively new to Special Olympics, first taking part last year. Since then, she’s participated in the Special Olympics Ontario School Championships as part of a soccer team, and she is joining the upcoming games as part of the track team. Trinity is excited to be meeting new people from all over the world. “This opportunity is about having fun and being able to play on teams I may not be on at school,” she adds.
And while she says making new friends and having fun are the things she enjoys most about participating, she also mentions another benefit that she will certainly carry with her throughout her life: “It has given me the courage to get out there and have fun. It has also given me the confidence to be myself,” says Trinity.
At Women of Influence, we believe everyone should be given the opportunity to shine — the world, and the workplace, will be better for it.
Help us send more athletes to the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games, taking place in Toronto from May 14 – 17. Join our WOI Community by donating here.