My Journey

Sometimes, life does not happen to us the way we desire it. Over a decade ago, I gained admission into a University in Nigeria with high expectations, but life happened, and I became a dropout with no clarity for the future by the second year. In my struggles, I developed an interest in reading inspirational books and attending seminars. I gradually began to envision a new version of me despite my academic and financial challenges.

I learned to count my blessings and be grateful for life, good health, and family. I derived joy from staying hopeful. I later developed an interest in helping people. I offered free beading lessons to young girls in my neighbourhood at Ibadan, Nigeria. They felt comfortable with me as we engaged in beading activities. We built meaningful connections and engaged in authentic conversations. It was an honour to hold space for them. 

Between 2006 and 2015 in Nigeria, I worked with many community-based organizations and schools in administrative, teaching, and trainer roles. Meeting people where they are at and offering meaningful support was life-changing. 

As a new immigrant in Canada, my daughter who was in Grade 2 experienced racism within the school system and she struggled with her mental health. She cried before school and came back looking sad. She took jump rope to school to play by herself at recess. On other days, she volunteered at Junior or Senior Kindergarten classes to avoid being bullied at recess. I had no other choice than to go to the school and advocate for her and taught her strategies to speak up and self-advocate. By the time she got to Grade 5, she won the Most Confident Child award and her journey inspired me to start the Afro Women and Youth Foundation in 2019 to help Black women and youth build confidence and advocacy skills. www.afrowyf.org.

I have since returned to school for my undergraduate and master's degrees and am now a PhD student and a part-time Early Childhood Education (ECE) Professor. I am a Keynote Speaker, Trainer who offers services to individuals, groups, and organizations. I work from an Anti-Oppressive & Strengths-Based Approach to help my service users THRIVE EFFORTLESSLY.

My work has been recognized by many organizations, and that inspires me to do more. I won the 2022 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the Social Justice category, the United Way Toronto Black Leadership Award, Seneca HELIX Female Entrepreneur, Walker Wood Early Childhood Educator, Stephen Quinlan Award, Canada's Top 150 Women of Inspiration at Universal Women Network, Adebola Adefioye Scholarship, Ontario Premier's Award, Canada's Top 100 Black Women, 2023 Rising Star Award, 2024 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women and 2024 Afro Heritage Community Builder Award.

You can book me as a speaker, panelist, or trainer for your next event for topics related to Personal Growth, Leadership Development, Self-Advocacy, Gender-Based Violence, Anti-Black Racism, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Qualitative Practices in Early Childhood Education and Child and Youth Care, Community Needs Assessment, Non-profit leadership, Grant writing.

Working with me means you must be ready to reflect, have respectful and sometimes difficult conversations, and explore moving out of your comfort zone into a place of self-awareness, significance, and sustainable success. If you would like me to work with you, please send me an email at adebola@afrowyf.org or consult@adebola.ca.

Sincerely,

Adebola Adefioye

 

 

 

 

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consult@adebolaadefioye.ca