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Tribute Award for Advocacy

Monika Myers

Headshot of Monika MyersThe next time you have a moment of self-doubt, Monika Myers can help you.

She wants everyone to believe in their worth. Not long ago, she started an initiative to empower us all to take a big step forward. She created “wishlets” that say “I AM BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL.” She has given away more than 700 of them. And with the wishlets Monika sells, she donates part of the proceeds to support local communities.

The maxim on her website expresses her belief perfectly:

Remind yourself often that YOU are BRAVE AND BEAUTIFUL. Believe in yourself. Pursue your own dreams.

The campaign spreads a message about inclusivity, being confident, and true to yourself. It is a message that resonates with everyone.

Monika has Down syndrome. That doesn’t define who she is. She lives life to the fullest. She loves skiing and cycling and is a proud gold medalist in synchronized swimming. She sings in a choir and is an active Girl Guide.

Monika is a confident young woman who has progressed impressively in both the academic and social sides at her Toronto school. She has a wide circle of friends and loves the arts. She’s played an important role in helping to organize social events with her fellow students. As her principal has noted, “Monika goes out of her way to greet everyone with a smile.”

Now the rest of the world is getting to know Monika.

She recently began modelling and was the first model with Down syndrome to walk many runway shows in Canada and internationally—including Toronto Kids Fashion Week, Fashion Art Toronto, and New York Fashion Week. She’s already captured the attention of famous designers who ask Monika to model their designs.

She’s been featured on TV and in newspapers and magazines around the world. This past year, she was awarded Youth Day Global Down Syndrome Ambassador and is honored to have been chosen as the guest speaker for the 2023 Down Syndrome Association conference in Trinidad & Tobago to encourage the inclusion of people with Down syndrome into the education system.

Monika has accomplished all of this as a teenager. It’s not hard to imagine the tremendous good she will do in the decades to come.

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EKO Spring Symposium is Back in 2025!

Every two years EKO hosts this pinnacle event for the child development sector and the largest gathering of professionals and stakeholders from Ontario and across Canada.

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