She was initially inspired by World Vision’s #LiveLikeAlex campaign to become an advocate for children and youth in poverty while she was still in high school. Alex Foto was a St. Paul’s International Development (INDEV) student who died as a result of a tragic accident between her first and second year of studies. Alex had devoted much of her young life to working for change through World Vision and Cherie decided to follow in her footsteps.
Cherie has been inspired to “live like Alex” ever since. She completed her degree in INDEV, and eventually became the President of the University of Waterloo’s World Vision Club, which Alex founded. Prior to departing for Bolivia to complete an 8-month overseas field placement, Cherie received the Alex Foto Memorial Award. This award recognizes students who care deeply about humanitarian work to participate in field placements in developing countries.
We recently caught up with Cherie, after hearing that she received the Ruth Roberts Award and we were glad to hear that she is still inspired to “Live like Alex”.
Cherie says “I owe this tremendous honour to all who've nurtured, inspired, and mentored me from World Vision to UW INDEV to STP and many more. And of course, Alex. I have no doubt she would be the one on stage if she were still with us today. I just passed by her memorial tree and remembered how my advocacy journey began with the inspiration I felt from her life-changing story. I live and achieve on her legacy.”
Cherie goes on to say that she feels priviliged to advocate for children who are inherently resilient and wishes to acknowledge the heroic sacrifices made by World Vision staff who inspire her and the INDEV program for equipping her to be a development ally who works in solidarity. For Cherie, receiving the Ruth Roberts Award is not a reflection of personal achievement but a reflection of those she has the privilege to work with, to learn from and be inspired by.
Currently, Cherie works with at-risk children in inner-city Toronto as an intern with the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Ontario where she manages marketing and promotional operations. Cherie continues to have a passion to drive global change and will continue to inspire others to fight for social justice issues.