In January 2018, this blog was born. My first-ever blog post was about feminism and what that word means. A year later and I’m still more than proud to represent that title.

This year, on International Women’s Day, I would like to acknowledge and thank 10 phenomenal individuals and groups of women who I admire. These are women who I hail for their hard work, success, drive, intelligence, power, strength, ambition, and determination.

1. Mom – thank you for being the woman I look up to every single day. You encompass what it means to be a powerful woman. You’re the best mother, wife, sister, and friend. I admire everything you are.

2. Both of my Grandmas – I’m in awe of the life that you have lived. You left your home country to come to Canada so that I would be able to have a better life. I can’t begin to image the courage that must have taken. Thank you so much.

3. My older cousins – you have been my role models for my entire life. You’ve taught me more than you know. Thank you for being my sisters.

4. My aunts – you have raised powerful women and thank you so much for being my “second mom” for when I need it.

5. My girls – you know exactly who you are! Thank you for lifting me up when I’m down and being my biggest fans. You women are prime examples of the type of friends every woman should have in their life.

6. Angelina Jolie – thank you for being a famous woman that demonstrates what using her power for good actually means. You bring light to major issues in the world that some would rather not discuss.

7. Mala Yousafzai – after reading your biography, I’m astonished by your strength. You made a horrible life-changing circumstance into a story that would change the world.

8. Meghan Markle – thank you for showing young women around the world that it is possible to have it all. Not only did you have a successful acting career, but you made the decision about making major changes to your life on your own terms. You’re an ambassador for women everywhere.

9. BeyoncĂ© – you are an expert at your craft and your songs have become anthems for women all around the world. Who Run the World? GIRLS

10. Maya Angelou – Through your work, you have given me the strength to overcome gender and racial discrimination. Your words will remain empowering and timeless.

Take a minute to thank all of the phenomenal women in your life.