Women we look up to, admire for their accomplishments and who provide us their everlasting support.

March 8 is International Women’s Day! It’s a time to celebrate significant social, cultural, and political achievements. It’s a reminder to reflect on progress and continue the call for equality.

Read up on the UN’s list of 12 small actions with a big impact on gender equality, or learn about how gender equality matters in the COVID-19 response.

At IGNITE, we’ve asked students to share the women who inspire them the most. Here are their answers:

Serena Allidina

UofGH | 2nd year | Justice Studies | @serena.allidina

Serena Allidina smiling.

Inspiration: Bell Hooks!!

Author, professor and feminist, Bell Hooks is known for her work exploring race, capitalism and gender.

“Bell Hooks was my introduction to intersectional feminism. She was an absolute powerhouse of a woman.”

Allidina’s favourite quote from Hooks is “I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”

Jupiter Dalai

Humber College | 1st year | Sports Management | @jupiter_dalai

Jupiter Dalai and his mother standing side by side and smiling.

Inspiration: My mother

“My mother is my world of happiness ❤️.”

Laura Delle Donne

Humber College | 3rd year | Paralegal Studies | @laurdelledonne

Laura Delle Donna smiling against a white background with a couch.

Inspiration: My friends! I started a club with them last year and could not imagine better teammates 💖

In January 2021, Delle Donne and her friends discussed how difficult it was to connect and build a support network. That’s why they got together to create the Humber Legal Association. Their goal was to build a community and allow students within various years of the program to connect.

Within a year the Humber Legal Association grew from a team of six to a community of over 150 students.

“Our community means a lot to me and I would not have been able to do any of it without my amazing friends [who] contributed to the growth and impact of our association,” Delle Donne states. “My executive team is an amazing group of women who are all incredibly intelligent, ambitious and tenacious. They inspire me every day to push myself and to aspire for a better life for myself.”

Regina Layunwira

Humber College | 4th year | Fashion Management | @reginalayunwira

Regina Layunwira smiling with a forest in the background.

Inspiration: Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and Michelle Obama

These women are each iconic in their own right. Nicki Minaj paved the way for other female rappers in the early 2010s. While Kim Kardashian balances being a mom of four, studying to be a lawyer and her billion-dollar brand SKIMS.

And, Michelle Obama—do we really have to explain? Attorney, author, and the first Black women to be the First Lady.

Teresa Mai

UofGH | 2nd Year | Early Childhood Studies

Teresa Mai in a pink sweater.

Inspiration: Kim Chungha

Kim Chungha, known as the South Korean pop singer, CHUNG HA, left her home in Texas to study in Korea. There, she auditioned for various companies before joining MHN Entertainment. CHUNG HA debuted in I.O.I and then as a solo artist. She gained international recognition with her songs “Gotta Go” and “Stay Tonight.”

Mai explains that CHUNG HA is inspiring because she is an example of someone who will continue running after their dream. As well as find happiness not in success, but in the process of making music, creating choreography and performing for fans.

“She taught me that even though we have an end goal, the journey there is the hardest but most meaningful,” Mai states.

Ruth Oudit

UofGH | 2nd year | Justice Studies | @ruthoudit

Sisters Ruth and Rachel Oudit smiling and sitting against each other.

Inspiration: My sister ❤️

Ruth Oudit’s sister Rachel is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph-Humber. Three years ago, Rachel followed her dreams and started a hand lettering and calligraphy business called Lettered by Rach. Her business specializes in beautiful custom hand lettering and calligraphy work for all occasions.

Oudit states, “I couldn’t be prouder! Through her hard work and dedication, she continues to inspire me every day.”

Christian Ann Ravina

Humber College | 1st year | Biotechnology | @ravinachanann

Christian Ann Ravina smiling in a car.

Inspiration: My mother! And Beyoncé 😉

Need we say more?

And that’s our list! From celebrities to our amazing friends and family, it’s great to recognize those that inspire us with their accomplishments. 

Looking for more ways to celebrate?

Cartoon side profiles of women with the text "International Women's Day March 8th" and confetti raining down.

On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, join IGNITE’s International Women’s Day virtual event via Pheedloop.

With guest speaker Ziwe and host Britta Badour, learn about breaking the bias and breaking through barriers without asking permission! Plus, there’ll be a virtual marketplace of local women-owned businesses and a student Q&A session.

So bring your questions!

Plus, we’ll also be running a contest to win $100 gift certificates to the local women-owned businesses at our event. Earn points to win by attending the speaker session, chatting with vendors and posting on the virtual photo wall.

Register now and we’ll see you there!

The people in our network can inspire us to work hard and dream big. We’re all on our own journey, so here’s how taking a gap year can help your future success.

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