Hi, I’m Aiza! I am a passionate public speaker, activist and a recent Honours B.Sc. graduate from McMaster University. I am a strong proponent of children’s rights, striving to create platforms for individuals to share their stories, while simultaneously writing my own ☻
In 2013, I founded Aiza’s Teddybear Foundation as a way to connect my local community with the needs of vulnerable youth and low-income families around the globe. This idea was a result of my 7-year old self struggling to find youth-led organizations that did not require supporters to open their wallets to every cause. I quickly discovered that there were so many other important ways to give; your time, energy and skill sets are invaluable to service.
A year after founding, we received the Governor General’s Volunteer Award for our efforts. To date, our organization has repurposed and distributed thousands of items and devoted hundreds hours to giving back childhood to those deprived of their formative years.
Working with thousands of individuals from all walks of life over the past several years has allowed me to grow & learn in the most extraordinary ways. Sharing heartfelt conversations with parents who risk everything for their children, kids who have seen more trauma in their first few years than many do in a lifetime never fails to push me to do more. But despite my best efforts to reach out to and support others in any way that I can, the individuals we work with always teach me so much more: demonstrating how to be selfless despite financial circumstances, to have faith in others and to show empathy even when it’s hard.
As a YMCA Peace Maker, I have been invited to speak at annual peace week events. As a youth ambassador for Plan International Canada, I had the opportunity to share seats with RBC President & CEO Dave McKay to encourage young girls to envision themselves in positions of influence. Being a member of Plan’s Speaker’s Bureau and working with like-minded activists led me to find my voice through volunteerism.
A question I get asked quite often, especially in my final year of school is what do you want to do in the future? All I know for certain is that I am going to spend the time I have been given on this planet to serve those in need. Put simply, I want to help people. I aspire to combine my passions for activism, public speaking, health equity and storytelling by working alongside organizations providing aid to and supporting children victims of poverty, violence and trafficking.