Growing up Phil’s always knew he wasn’t a heterosexual male and in the 80’s “coming out” wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Phil Gourlay was born on the 18th of April 1978 in the small town of Acton, Ontario. He studied human resources at Sheridan college in 2000 and afterwards worked in banking for a decade. Homosexuality is something that’s still somewhat frowned upon. A person’s sexuality has a direct impact on their health, the problem doesn’t lie with them but lies with the attitude and behaviors of the society around them. This can be challenging especially in a small region like Niagara.
A few years ago, Phil developed Pride Niagara, an event created for the LGBT community. Previously, this event used to be held in the woods with only its attendees being aware of it. Seeing such a region as Niagara with 12 municipalities and nothing which catered to the needs of the LGBT community Phil took it upon himself, using his event planning skills to turn this hidden event to a public highly anticipated annual event with over 80 vendors, numerous sponsors, contests and lighting the falls with rainbow colors. Phil said he did this because growing up gay in Niagara is hard, he knows what it’s like to not be accepted. The event was created as a platform of acceptance and a medium for people to show themselves to the world. Since then this event has given people the boldness to be more open about their sexuality. Now people don’t need the Pride anymore to show who they really are.
He says the first pride in the park was one project he considers the most significant in his entire career. Because of this people are no longer ashamed of their truths.
Pride is about empowerment, Because of Phil Niagara is a more welcoming place.
To learn more about Pride Niagara, Please go here.
“Courage is being yourself everyday in a world that tells you to be someone else”
Today’s post is about 24-year old Dr. Adedunmola Oluwo.
Dedun moved to Debrecen, Hungary at the age of 17 to pursue a medical degree, one year after school she started her first business, Hair by Dedun which catered to every hair texture there is, that same year she also started DedunCooks, a Nigerian food catering business as she quickly realized the opportunity which stood before her. The university had quite a few students from her home country with nowhere around that catered to their food needs. Two years after, while still running both businesses successfully, Dedun started up another outfit called Dedun’s Cakes, a cake and pastry company also solely run by her. And in 2016, she started Belle Artistry by Dedun, a makeup and beauty business. All four businesses run with no help whatsoever while still managing to go through medical school without any failure. These helped her gain utmost financial independence from her retired single mother back home in Nigeria.
Her determination finally paid off when she successfully sponsored herself to Rome Business School to study M.Sc. Health Management. She says she shares her story to inspire others, it doesn’t matter what your situation is, you can always challenge yourself to achieve great things whether you are a 17-year-old like she was or older. She is also a motivational speaker and writer; she aims to use her voice to develop the drive in the millennial generation as well as the younger ones to achieving the unachievable by harnessing your immediate environment. Dedun runs an inspirational blog called “Dr. Dedun – The Doctorpreneur” and a YouTube Channel.
Dedun’s story is one that should encourage people to challenge themselves, more.
“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will” – Vince Lombardi
Back home in Nigeria at about nine years old, Shalom’s mother owned a grocery store on a university campus, where she used to fry fast food for students. One night Shalom got very sleepy and was told to go into the store to sleep, on getting there she got scared and ran back outside to where her mother was, got a sleeping mat and laid under a table close by. Shalom was suddenly woken up by scorching pain, the scathing hot oil her mother fried with had poured all over her head, face, shoulder and hands. Shalom says she tried to rip off the pain, unknowing what she was ripping off was her skin. After four months in the hospital she was finally sent back home…to a new life.
She says people began to look at her like she was a monster. “One of my neighbors, we used to play together, came in my house and when he saw me he ran away crying”.
An aunt who lived in the United states helped Shalom get a visa to fly back with her and get reconstructive surgery. Even after the surgery she was left with noticeable scars. She said she started considering suicide.
She grew up and discovered makeup which helped her regain her confidence. Today Shalom is a fast rising influential beauty blogger. She says despite the terrible ordeal, seeing other people in worse situations made her thankful. Shalom shares full details of that horrific day on her YouTube channel. She hopes her videos can inspire not only burn victims but also people in general to love who they see when they look in the mirror.
Shalom is indeed an inspiring woman.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful” – Sophia Loren