ABOUT MARY HAWK
Mary was awarded York University’s Glendon award of recognition for outstanding leadership. She provosts the Duke of Edinburgh award, community service award, top academic award, excellence in physics award, and won third place during a FIRST robotics competition. Mary has won third place in women’s kata and first place in team kata with Shitoryu Karate-Doh Itosu-Kai Canada.
Mary partnered with Seneca College to provide placements to Gerontology and Social Work students. She supervises and mentors students with a focus on women’s issues, self-care, mental health, and leaderships skills, to improve their employability prospects. Currently, Mary leads a team of over fifty members, crafts and creates the HERSELF and RAW PRINT series, leads all the organization’s programs, and continues her work as an activist.
Mary was raised in Toronto and completed most of her education here. She is a full-time student, completing a Bachelor of Science in software engineering at Arizona State University, and another Bachelor of Science, double majoring in psychology and political science at Glendon College. Mary’s mother has always told her to never stop learning, even if it is just on the side in the future. On her own, she has thoroughly researched diverse international and domestic women’s issues. On the life map Mary have created for her educational pathways, she is overwhelmed with delight when to think about all the subjects, she will be learning in the years ahead, but if there is one thing Mary could study for the rest of her life, it is Egyptology.
Karate is Mary’s favorite sport, and she has practiced it for over three years. She is a first degree kyu, brown belt with Shitoryu Karate-Doh Itosu-Kai in Toronto. What she loves most about karate is the strength that exists in the grace and flow of movement with all fight patterns and katas. Mary is learning how to play the piano, currently working on The River Flows in You by Yiruma. Mary journals and programs every day to grow her skills and wind down. She also spends at least forty-five minutes a day reading. Mary is a speaker and women’s advocate at Plan International’s Because I’m a Girl speaker’s bureau. She has spoken at events featuring Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
Mary started her community involvement when she was in elementary school. As she began to witness the damaging effects of widespread bullying, thorough her research she discovered that bullying escalates due to the lack of awareness about its causes, consequences, and solutions. To bring change to her school, Mary specialized her actions to efficiently spread awareness. Mary started her monthly school newsletter, named “The Voicess”. The second ‘s’ was intentional and insinuated the longevity and significance of our voices. To promote the cause, Mary created large anti-bullying posters and put them up around the school. She met resistance when the posters disappeared or were taken down. With the help of some teachers, new posters were laminated and placed in visible and secure locations. Mary is proud to say that her newsletter had become a healthy and safe communication platform for the student body, which was a positive step forward in the fight to end bullying.
The status of women across the world has undeniable similarities. Women’s issues that are prevalent half-way across the world from Canada are problems here too. There is no such thing as an all-rounder solution that solves all scenario, but Mary believes that her theory is close. Mary believes that self-care must be applied as the new-world approach to all women’s issues because it has the power to enrich a woman with physical, mental, and inner strength.
Personal hygiene and grooming, eating habits, and physical activity are vital to every human’s survival, but their abandonment is a symptom of the woman’s deteriorating well being and quality of life. Consequences can range from weakened immune systems, increased vulnerability to diseases and infections, destructive self-image, poor confidence and self esteem, and motivation to utilize unhealthy coping strategies. Concisely, this is the groundwork of self-care. Alarmingly, the lack of self care practices in the lives of at-risk women is an ignored public health matter. It is imperative for a flourishing and successful life, and yet, self-care is constantly ignored by our policy makers, communities, workplaces, and families. Self care is an exceptionally specific human requirement for life that prospers beyond meager existence. It gives meaning, respect, and independence to all women whose rights, powers, and potentials have been constantly exploited and questioned.
Mary’s years of research and learning lead up to an important moment in May 2018, when she founded the Sheen for She Foundation, a charitable organization. As the only women’s organization of its kind in all of Canada, the Sheen for She Foundation offers medical esthetics, self-defense training, self-care training and healing circles, free of cost to women who are at-risk due to sex trafficking, domestic violence, drug additions, homelessness, and more, and these women are called Queens.
PERSEVERANCE AID KITS PROJECT
During COVID-19, Sheen for She lost their space and indefinitely paused all in-person programming, which left Mary searching for innovative ways to reach out to the women they served. It was also the reason for the creation of the Perseverance Aid Kits (formerly known as The Love Box Project). Believing in Mary’s cause from the start, MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith helped her acquire funding from RYC. She organized two successful phases of this project, starting in May 2019, and with the help of her small team and funding from RCC, distributed over 3000 self-care packages to at-risk women across the GTA, while simultaneously working with 50 women’s organizations, and with supporters, such as Deputy Mayor Thompson. Their customized self-care packages addressed every aspect of women’s health care ranging from, but not limited to, hygiene, body care, hair care, nail care, skin care, physical health care and more.
Sheen for She delivered items in large sizes to cover women for 3 or more months with ample supply. Mary also created the Love Bags Project, with mental health and hygiene kits for at-risk children and distributed over 500. While working outdoors from a storage unit during the frosty winter months with a small team due to COVID-19 restrictions, Sheen for She’s output and energy were exceptional and vastly impactful. Now, they are preparing for the third phase of the Perseverance Aid Kits with a goal of distributing 5000 of them. Sheen for She is aiming to go mobile and reach rural areas as well.
Contact Mary Hawk
(437) 997 – 4336