samra.zafar01 samra.zafar01

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Samra Zafar  International Speaker | TEDx Presenter | Author | Scholar | Human Rights Activist Founder - Brave Beginnings Governor - University of Toronto

While researching for an upcoming speech, I Google "mentorship abuse survivors" and much to my surprise, my piece appears as the first result! Felt a nice little twinge of pride and gratitude that my voice is making an impact...

Honoured to receive the 2017 Mentor Of The Year Award by Ascend Canada. Thank you to RBC for nominating me and making this possible.
I look back on my life journey and often ask myself - what was the game changer in my success story?
It wasn’t how smart or hardworking I was - certainly those were factors - but most importantly, it was the support I had around me. My friends who watched my kids when I went to class or my lawyer appointments. My professors who nominated and supported me for my scholarship wins. My mentors whose unwavering belief in me taught me to believe in myself. All these people who shone a light in my darkness and taught me how to spread my wings and fly.
If a child bride and an abuse survivor who once had no hope can be recognized in such an amazing way, that speaks to the power of this country, the power of mentorship, and most of all, the power of humanity.
I can never repay all these people - but I can pay it forward. Because the most important lesson I’ve learned in life is that truly empowered people empower other people.
When we put our faith and support in each other, we succeed and win collectively.

Love this photo from TEDxUTSC ... video coming soon!

Honoured to have my interview published in MAG THE WEEKLY (top magazine in Pakistan) as an International Women's Day feature!
Click to read:

Wouldn’t trust anyone with my hair except Armineh - 10 years and counting. Thank you for making my photoshoot so special!

Always find a reason to smile - it’s the best accessory you can wear!

“There is no honour in silence”
Can’t wait to speak at @tedxutsc tomorrow about how shame, silence and misplaced honour keeps so many people trapped in the cycle of abuse and what we can do to help break that cycle.

Adiós Cuba - until next time!

Beach time in January... I can get used to this!

What a year of tremendous growth, opportunities and valuable lessons! Top 5 highlights:

1) My wonderful kids -my pride and joy - growing another year into beautiful, kind, smart young women
2) Becoming a published author with the #1 article on Toronto Life and signing my first major book deal!
3) Impacting tens of millions of people worldwide through my advocacy work, speaking at Yale, and delivering my first TED Talk!
4) Pushing through some very difficult times personally, discovering deeper strength, happiness and self-love through the process
5) Sharing my story with hundreds of girls on a life-changing trip to rural Kenya, and thousands of kids at WE Day, inspiring them to chase their own dreams!

Thank you to all of my friends and family as none of this would have been possible without you. Can't wait to soar new heights and make more memories in 2018!

What are some of your top 2017 highlights?

Lovely Christmas dinner with awesome friends!

Beautiful family Wigilia (Polish Christmas Eve dinner) at the home of my dear friend and mentor Halina. So grateful to have such incredible people and love in our lives.

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