“It’s not about you” – This Ontario high school student is taking a stand
Members in Action

“It’s not about you” – This Ontario high school student is taking a stand


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Boluwatife is a high school student from Barrie, Ontario who attended Forum for Young Canadians in Ottawa and later, became a ONE member.

When I saw an opportunity, through the ONE Campaign, to take a stand for global equality and education for women, I immediately jumped at the chance. And it’s all due to something I heard two years ago.

Around then, I came across a speech by athlete Inky Johnson and his life story. The one thing that stuck with me from his speech was his idea that “it’s not about you.” Realizing that life isn’t about you is a key to success because sooner or later everyone meets obstacles that are bigger than themselves.

This idea made me rethink my own personal definition of success. For me, success is the moment when I can say that I changed at least one person’s life for the better. It’s the moment when I can say that I have left my mark on this Earth. The big question is how to leave that mark.

Where does ONE fit in? Well, thanks to info on ONE.org, I knew that the G7 Summit was fast approaching and Canada was hosting this year. ONE was calling on members across Canada to sign petitions and deliver them to their MP. As a member of my school’s Equity and Diversity Council, this petition seemed like an easy enough task. There were a few bumps along the way but things worked out! Here’s how:

To collect signatures for the petition, the Equity and Diversity Council and I set up a booth in the front foyer of our school where people could come to sign the petition. We also went to as many classes as we could to give a little presentation on the importance of the petition to our fellow students.

In the end, we collected 549 signatures for the petition and not long after, I delivered the petition to my MP’s office. I wasn’t alone either. Petitions were delivered by ONE members in Canada from Charlotte, PEI to Victoria, BC.

ONE staff in Canada were very responsive and helpful in helping us each step of the way. They sent me a package which included a ONE shirt, info cards, stickers and more.

As a high school student, participating in ONE’s G7 campaign gave me a huge opportunity to learn more about the value of using my voice as an individual, especially when we live in a world where so many voices are undermined. It all comes back to that line: “it’s not about you.” ONE’s G7 campaign gave me the chance to meaningfully stand up for something that I believe in and educate the students and staff at my school about the inequality in our societies.

I can only hope that one day we, as individuals and as a society, can fully comprehend the amount of power each one and every voice has to truly change the world for the better.

If you agree with Boluwatife that #PovertyisSexist, add your voice to the movement. It’s the Canadian thing to do!

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