“In the face of adversity, do not settle but rather speak up and create change.”

-Saige Godberson

Age: 23

Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta

Currently Residing In: Spruce Grove, Alberta

Affiliations: Youthnited Nations International, Stollery Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Sigma Nursing Honors Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Special Olympics Edmonton

Tell us about yourself!

I often say that “if everyone makes a small change, together we will make a big difference.” As a registered nurse in neonatal intensive care and co-founder of the international non-profit organization Youthnited Nations, I truly believe in engaging individuals worldwide to create global change. Being diagnosed with cancer in 2017 impacted my outlook on health and strengthened my passion to provide better health care access globally. As a youth that personally experienced significant adversity, it is important to me to inspire and support individuals undergoing similar situations. Working as a family services coordinator at Ronald McDonald House Charities provides me with the opportunity to give back, as well as a place to understand an alternative aspect of patient and family care, independent of the medical setting

How does your work promote gender equality in Canada and around the world?

Growing up with a single mother allowed me to learn at a very young age the importance of gender equality. Through advancing gender equality, we are able to have a positive impact on the lives of those that may not have otherwise had the opportunity to reach their potential. This is why much of my work in leading Youthnited Nations has been related to empowering the women and children in Uganda. In a remote community primarily composed of widowed women and children, we have established a project to construct a clinic and provide health care resources. As a registered nurse, I am privileged to be able to work closely with this population and play a role supporting them when facing uncertainty. Recognizing the strength and resilience of women and children has been inspiring, to say the least, and solidifies my passion to cultivate change early on.

What change would you like to see in the world by 2030?

I am so inspired by the work that youth are doing worldwide, every single day. I believe it is essential to create continued opportunity for youth to get involved in making change, while highlighting the active work they are currently doing. Youth and children together, including all those aged 24 years and younger, account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. This means we have a massive opportunity, and responsibility, to foster leadership within them to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030

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