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 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 in 2008 with the YMCA Peace Medallion Award and the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto Secondary Unit Award of Recognition.

Additionally in 2008, Louise also received the Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction for her courage, determination and commitment to encouraging youth to support their communities.

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 2012 Olympics, and was asked to represent the citizens of Ontario at the swearing in ceremony of Canada’s Lieutenant Governor, David Johnston, in Ottawa.

In 2013, Ms. Russo was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2014 was the recipient of Ontario Lt. Governor’s Community Volunteer Award.

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