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As an alumni with a passion for building community, Sarah Spry is now member of the WOD planning committee and helping us to build an outstanding 2019 event you won't want to miss. Hear from her on the importance of mentors, women in STEM, and more!

Sarah Spry WODWhat was your reaction/thoughts when you were approached for a Women of Distinction nomination?

When I was first approached by my work colleagues I was speechless. I was so very honored that they thought of me and of my accomplishments as something that should be recognized.

Also to be honest, I was a little shocked. I felt as though I was just doing things that I was passionate about and finding myself along the way, I never thought I would have been chosen for a WOD.

What have you been up to since your big win?
Since my win in 2018 I have joined the WOD committee, trying to give back as much as I felt I received from the event. Its so wonderful to hear about the 25 years this event has been around and stories of the past alumni. It makes me feel more connected to my community and honored to be a part of a group of such astounding women.

Name the biggest overall lesson you've learned about leadership.
I have learned a lot over the years about leadership. I’d say that my biggest overall lesson is to find yourself a mentor or even a couple of mentors. There is so much you can learn from someone that has been in your shoes, as women we tend to have a need for community and collaboration. Having someone that you can look up to and lean on for ideas and support is vital, especially if you are in a male dominated field. Why feel like you are climbing a mountain alone for the first time, when you can ask for guidance from someone that has walked the same path.

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up again?
I’m so very blessed to have a strong support system of friends and family. No matter how I’m feeling I know that I can always rely on them to listen and offer support. The saying “it takes a village” rings true. Without my village I would not be the person I am today.

What's an issue happening right now in your community that your passionate about?
I would say that I’m passionate about girls in STEM. The number of girls and young women perusing STEM careers is a staggering low average only 22%. For some reason young men with lower marks in high school are more likely to chose a STEM program then young women with higher marks.

I would love to see more STEM programs to help girls develop the confidence needed to peruse their strengths and passions. The motto “you cannot be what you cannot see” needs to be removed and more female leaders in STEM careers showcased as role models.

Thanks for being a vibrant example of women making waves in the STEM field, Sarah; and for your committment to the Y. We appreciate you!

We know... you want more stories from women like this. Good news! You can get tickets for the 2019 event now! Women of Distinction is YWCA Cambridge's premiere fundraiser, and allows us to facilitate programming for women and youth across the city. Thank you for your support in advance and see you on March 29!

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As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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