Real Life Stories with Real Life Leaders


A podcast series by The Winnipeg Foundation and CanU

Real Life Stories with Real Life Leaders is a captivating new podcast series presented by CanU and The Winnipeg Foundation, aimed at showcasing the remarkable journeys of five extraordinary youth from Winnipeg.

The partnership between the two organizations created a platform for these young voices to be heard, celebrated, and shared with the world. The stories have the power to inspire hope and confidence in all of us, proving that the possibilities for our youth are limitless.

Since 2010, CanU, a partner-based out-of-school program held on the University of Manitoba campuses, has made significant impact in our community. With more than 800 CanU kids, 1,000 post-secondary student volunteers, and more than 20 corporate and community funding partners, CanU’s mission revolves around inspiring hope, confidence, and action in Winnipeg youth between grades five to 12.

Meet Abigael:

In this episode, we follow Abigael’s inspiring journey from Nigeria to Canada at the age of 11. Abigael candidly shares her challenges and adjustments to a new country, school, and culture. She emphasizes the importance of saying “yes” to new opportunities.

“Keep trying new things, keep moving forward, just keep exploring that’s all you can really do. There’s so much to do in this world, there’s so much to see, there’s so much to try.”

Meet Ama:

Originally from Ghana, Ama shares about her journey to Canada and her desire to make a difference through healthcare. Ama’s childhood experiences with frequent illnesses and hospital stays served as a driving force behind her aspiration to become a doctor, primarily focusing on children in need.

Since joining The Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy program, Ama discusses how her involvement with The Foundation and CanU provided her with the opportunity to research and donate to organizations that support new mothers and immigrants

Meet Salena:

Salena’s story of resilience and determination takes us from foster care to leadership. She started her life in foster care in Winnipeg but found her true self through CanU, where she discovered her passion for public speaking. At only 18-years-old Salena is the president of Community of Big Hearts.

Meet Tarun:

A young videographer and content creator, Tarun shares his journey to pursuing his passion for videography and photography. He emphasizes the importance of starting small, practicing, and not focusing on money as being the path to a fulfilling career.

“Anything can change your life as long as you put the time and effort into something you love.”

Meet Guneet:

A remarkable lacrosse player, Guneet’s journey showcases her leadership and determination. She encourages others to always say ‘yes’ to opportunities and believes in the power of self-belief, resilience, and embracing new experiences.

“Always say yes to opportunities because you never know where it will go. I said ‘yes’ to a speech at the CanU Gala, and now I’m here.”

These stories serve as a reminder that, with the right support and opportunities, and the power of mentorship, young leaders can thrive and make a lasting impact on their communities.

To learn more about CanU, visit

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