Young YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction: Where are they now?

Tracey Ferguson at the 2014 Women's World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. Mattamy Athletic Centre, Toronto, Canada

Tracey Ferguson at the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship

When you come to the 35th  YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards on Thursday, you are going to meet some of the top feminist leaders of today. But even more exciting than that is the chance to meet the top feminist leaders of tomorrow.  On Thursday, May 21st, at the Carlu, YWCA Toronto and 1,700 guests will celebrate seven bold women who are creating change in business, education, health, law and justice, and the arts. One of those women is our Young Woman of Distinction.

Since 1994, YWCA Toronto has given a Young Woman of Distinction award to women who, while at the start of their careers, have demonstrated the qualities of determination and commitment to women and girls that make her a YWCA Toronto Woman of Distinction.

Let’s check in with some of the past YWCA Toronto Young Women of Distinction and see where they are now!

Tracey Ferguson
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 1994
Six Paralympics and five world championships later, Tracey is still ripping up the courts with her skills as a wheelchair basketball player. She has won several gold medals at Paralympics Games and continues to encourage all women to take their place in sports.

Dr. Justine Blainey-Broker
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 1995
Before the age of 15, Justine was instrumental in removing sexual discrimination in sports from the Ontario Human Rights Code. Today Dr. Justine is a Chiropractor, a wife, a mother of two and a warrior for health and wellness.

Chi Nguyen
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 1999
Chi has her MA from the London School of Economics on “Finding a home in the Public Sphere: Young Women, Social Representations and their Encounters with the Political”. In recent years, her work has focused on public engagement, women and politics, women’s health, civic education and political literacy.

Michelle Dagnino
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 2004
Gen-Y innovator, speaker, writer, lawyer and social entrepreneur, Michelle has spoken to thousands of people around the world from students to educators, from workers to bosses about the issues affecting Gen Y, also known as Millennials.

 Tonika Morgan
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 2005
Tonika dropped out of school when she was 17 while living in a homeless shelter. In 2008, she went back to school and finished her Bachelor of Arts at Ryerson University at the age of 25. Recently, Tonika was accepted at Harvard University.

Saron Ghebressellassie
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 2007
Saron arrived in Canada as a refugee with her family, fleeing the Eritrean-Ethiopian war. She is now an award-winning linguist, published author, musician, artist, teacher, academic and soon-to-be lawyer. She is an advocate for justice domestically and abroad.

Claudine Labelle
YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction 2010
Claudine is creating strong community networks to put sports back into the lives of teenage girls. She is increasing their self-esteem, and thereby improving their health, nutrition, and wellness as a whole through the use of sport and physical activity.

These are just a handful of the women who have received a YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction Award.

Don’t you want to be in the room with this year’s winners? Get your tickets today!