Violet Richardson Award 2022 First Place Recipient – Catherine Diyakonov

Catherine Diyakonov
Lord Byng Secondary School
Violet Richardson Award (2022) Recipient

Thank you so much, Soroptimist International of Vancouver, for the Violet Richardson Award! I am incredibly honoured to be recognized by an organization that enables women to reach their full potential.

In grade 9, I founded the Girls Will Stay Initiative as a club in my school with the mission to help girls stay educated, healthy, and sheltered on both local and international levels through fundraisers and community outreach events. We hoped to encourage women to stay in underrepresented careers and to fight back against any gender stereotypes they may face. When the Girls Will Stay Initiative launched, no more than ten students attended our weekly meetings, but we steadily grew over the years. Today, we are an international organization with four chapters and over 130 members involved. The creation of the Girls Will Stay Initiative has directly impacted girls by bringing light and visible action to the dismantling of gender stereotypes and gender barriers countless girls around the globe are affected by each day.

I am immensely thankful for the support of my community in growing this organization. I would like to thank Soroptimist International of Vancouver once again for allowing me to share my community service!