Louise Russo Bio

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It was a very ordinary day in 2004. Louise Russo walked into a shop to get a sandwich for her daughter and it was the last time she would ever walk again. The mother of three was the innocent victim of a violent crime, when a single bullet shattered her spine and left her paralyzed forever.

Mrs. Russo was determined that this senseless act of violence would have a positive outcome and in 2006 created a grass roots not-for-profit organization, Louise Russo W.A.V.E. (Working Against Violence Everyday), that received its charitable status in 2009.

Mrs. Russo works diligently at inspiring youth and members of the community to take action, make positive choices and initiate projects that will make their schools and communities a safer place to live, learn and play.

Louise encourages community and business leaders, educators, students and organizations to come together and take a visible stand against violence in their communities by recognizing youth that exemplify the 3R’s – Respect, Responsibility and the Role of leadership through initiatives that promotes positive behaviour.

Her contributions were acknowledged as follows:

* Maggie Sanderson Community Ambassador Award 2017

* Toronto Catholic Principals’ and Vice Principals’ Association Award 2016

* Governor General of Canada Meritorious Service Decoration 2015

* Women of Courage Award 2015

* Certificate of Appreciation for Community Service from Hon. Mario Sergio MPP 2014 thru 2016

* Ontario Lt. Governor’s Community Volunteer Award 2014

* OTLA (Ontario Trial Lawyers Association) Safety Leadership Award 2013

* Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012

* House of Commons Hon. Judy Sgro – Certificate of Appreciation for Community Service 2012 thru to 2016

* YMCA Peace Medallion Award 2008

* Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction 2008

Furthermore, in 2010 she was appointed to be a board member for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), an independent agency that advises the Attorney General of Ontario on victim’s issues; became a Proud Olympic Flame Torch Bearer for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and was asked to represent the citizens of Ontario at the swearing in ceremony of Canada’s Lieutenant Governor, David Johnston, in Ottawa. Louise was chosen as a special guest placing Chain of Office for the Honorable John Tory, Mayor of Toronto at his inauguration in 2014
Although she was a victim of violent crime, Louise decided to make the best of life and to not be consumed by its obstacles. She wants to inspire others, especially young people, to make good choices early in life.