The last two years of the pandemic caused everyone in the world to take a breath, and focus on health, family, friends, and support. At the Leacross Foundation we had to regroup in order to connect in a different manner.
We decided to do a monthly zoom call with interested Alumnae, and we engaged organizations like WITT and Misha Glouberman to offer programs and life skills seminars where women could connect and feel togetherness, although being technically apart.
Peoples’ lives continued, with job changes, marriages, births, relocations, and further education. The main regret at our Foundation is that we couldn’t get together in person as we started in Toronto at Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in October 2019.
We continued to monitor changes in the worlds’ perspective on the pandemic, and when it was appropriate, we jumped in again to support women and children in a way that enriched and still enriches their lives today.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OTTAWA
We were able to follow through and offer STEM workshops at the various clubhouses and 2 weeks of camp in collaboration with University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering and MakerLaunch. We are examining the best practices and hope to continue these enriching experiences in 2023. We are pleased to have provided funding for the Funding of the Leacross Foundation Technology & Study Space at the South-end Heatherington Clubhouse, designed for computer education and homework, and Camp Smitty.
Leacross was able to sponsor 8 Leacross alumnae to attend the 2022 CCWESTT Conference in Halifax. Being back in person is still tough getting used to. Here’s to more engagements.
I had the enjoyment of visiting with my Computer Science Women for a workshop on mentorship. It was the first time in 2 years back reengaging our alumnae.
ENGINEERS OF TOMORROW
One of our new partnerships is with Rebecca White of Engineers of Tomorrow. We are creating facilitation and outreach programs with professional engineers to work in schools to augment children’s experiences with what E in STEM means. We are very excited for this venture.
Leacross has been a part of the First Look, an opportunity to meet with producers and directors creating new documentaries covering crucial topics globally. We had selected Midwives which was shown at Sundance. Over the last two years, we were able to meet the key people virtually, and happily in 2023, we will be attending again in Toronto.
We have survived with online Young Authors and Illustrators Conference, and happily for 2023, the event will be in person. Although other years it has been a 3 day event, this coming year will only be one day with 6 different workshops.
METROPOLITIAN TORONTO UNIVERSITY
With a successful launch of the summer internship program, 4 more women are to be chosen for a 4 month work experience through iBEST.
OTTAWA HEART INSTITUTE
In 2021-2022, we started right in May with Randa Hassan, and Sophia Matricardi, and their completion marked another successful experience for women at the Heart Institute. Happily Sophia was able to choose a wonderful work placement after her internship. Randa has gone back to finish her degree and hopefully go to business school.
Sandra Perron was a captain in the Canadian Armed Forces, and has created a safe haven for women in the military to connect and deal with mental health issues experienced in their careers. Working through Quebec Veterans’ Affairs, Leacross was able to donate to the Pepper Pod, a retreat nestled in the hills of Chelsea, Quebec. Women come for a weekend to discuss tough subjects and become connected to each other. Sandra focuses on the military, the police forces, women who are veterans, and those who are still working. Kudos to Sandra.
WOMEN BUILDING FUTURES
They are doing such wonderful work with women in trades, and as such have ventured out of Edmonton, and are becoming a force to be reckoned with in all parts of Alberta.
As we come out of this pandemic, we pause to remember those we have lost, those who have suffered with economic challenges, and those who are reconnecting after such a long absence.
We value the hard work done by all the Not-for-Profit organizations across Canada who stepped up to house, and feed those who needed support. Every dollar donated is done with heart and intention, always being mindful of those we help.
To our Alumnae – we are always there to support you in all your endeavours. We have been gladdened by the new jobs you have followed, the new ventures you have attempted, and the new changes in lifestyle. Some of you have had your first, or second child, have married, have moved in with new partners, or helped others who were less fortunate.
I personally send a thank you to Dawn, my Executive Assistant, who has kept me sane over the last two years.
You will also be part of our hearts at the Leacross Foundation.
Roslyn Bern President