#LDUN Spotlight on Leo Katie Jo
Today’s post features an interview with Leo Katie Jo, president and charter member of the Sundre High Leo Club. Katie Jo will be attending this year’s Lions Day with the United Nations on March 12, 2016, and will participate in a round table discussion on the topic of Gender Equality and Peace.
What do you like about being a Leo?
Being a Leo has enabled me to voice my ideas and opinions, and make a positive change in my community and in my world. The Leo Club Program has helped me develop my public speaking, listening and organizational skills. I have always felt welcomed and valued in the Leo club, which has given me the confidence to make an impact. It has channeled me into a life of service, and played a huge part in helping me to realize my passion in helping others.
Why is gender equality important to you?
Gender equality is important to me because it’s important for the good of today’s society. Society will not reach its full potential as long as the potential of half of the population is not met. The issues we are facing today will need the benefits of the full population. Women have irreplaceable values that can make society and the world’s economy flourish.
How has your Leo club addressed gender equality issues?
My Leo club has done much to address gender equality issues, and I am so proud of our work. Last year, we created and delivered $4,000 worth of care packages to the Central Alberta Women’s Shelter to make the women and children who utilize the services more comfortable. We also hosted a Compassion Week at our school, raising awareness and showing support to those in our school that may feel marginalized, such as those who identify as LGBTQ. As well, we hosted a Youth Female Empowerment Seminar where young ladies where trained by a martial artist in self defense; a lawyer came in and discussed legal issues around domestic violence; and the Red Cross came in as well to speak about healthy relationships. We also put together a presentation to show to the Grade Nines in our school what domestic violence is, the impact it has, and how to help someone who is experiencing it.
How can young people take action and get involved?
I believe it is extremely important for young people to get involved and take action about issues that they care about. We are lucky in that there are many avenues for youth to take so that they can make a difference. Youth can start by joining service groups like the Leo club, where they feel respected and empowered. I cannot express enough how strongly I feel about how powerful youth can be in creating change. As youth, we are smart, creative, innovative, and full of endless amounts of energy and passion! If you are a young person who is passionate about creating change and helping others, it is important for you to realize your worth and your ability to be impactful. Collaborate with others, be inspired and don’t be discouraged by setbacks!
What are you most looking forward to for Lions Day with the United Nations?
I am beyond excited for my trip to New York to attend LDUN. I am really looking forward to be able to have a conversation with people who are passionate about making a positive change and helping young women and girls everywhere to see their potential. I can’t wait to be inspired by those who have done so much, and to come back to my home town with more ideas about how to help my community and my world. I can’t wait to showcase the amazing work my Leo club has done, as well.