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top 40 under 40

Glori Meldrum, founder and chair of Little Warriors, in Edmonton.Ian Jackson for The Globe and Mail

Each year, Caldwell Partners International chooses 40 Canadians who were under 40 in the past year to honour for their outstanding achievements. Click here to learn more about the program, and find more winners in the list below.

Glori Meldrum knows firsthand the horrors that victims of child sexual abuse face. So she dedicates much of her time and energy to helping those who have suffered the same fate and to ensuring it doesn't happen to others.

Three years ago, Ms. Meldrum founded Little Warriors, an Edmonton-based non-profit agency that works to prevent child sexual abuse. "I was one of those kids," Ms. Meldrum says. "I'm a little warrior myself."

The organization offers a three-hour program to teach participants how to recognize the signs of child abuse, how to prevent it from occurring, and what to do if they know a child has been abused. Since its founding, the group has trained more than 4,000 adults across Canada. It also works to raise awareness about the prevalence of child sexual abuse and provides information about support services.

For Ms. Meldrum, the horror started when she was eight years old. For almost two years she was abused by a family member. The situation was made all the worse when she, with the help of her mother, reported the crime to the authorities, but they dismissed it in disbelief.

By age 12, she was having thoughts of suicide. "There's nothing easy about being a survivor," she says. "You have lots of shame and not a lot of self-love."

Later this year, Ms. Meldrum hopes to launch an integrated healing centre for victims of child sexual abuse on a ranch in Alberta. The centre, she says, will treat up to 300 children and 300 adults a year and will also offer support programs for spouses and families of victims. She says the facility will be the first of its kind in North America.

Ms. Meldrum was born and raised in Miramichi, N.B. She graduated from Dalhousie University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and then moved to Edmonton, where she founded g[squared] an advertising and marketing agency. She and her husband Gary also own a website design and development firm and a commercial-property management company.

It was her success in business that gave Ms. Meldrum the confidence to speak out about her past. She now spends much of her time on philanthropic work, mainly through Little Warriors. She is also writing a book about her experience to help others who have been abused. "The biggest thing that survivors want to know is that there's hope to get better and to understand how they can get there," she says. "Even though you may have had a traumatic life, which I did, you can still be happy."

Ms. Meldrum has two young daughters and an adopted son from Ethiopia. She and her husband travel to Ethiopia once a year to do volunteer work. "For me, it's about making a difference," she says. "I love being of service and I love helping people."

More winners:

  • Karen Bakker, 39
  • Keith Bilous, 39
  • Leonard Brody, 39
  • Naman Budhdeo, 38
  • Michael Burns, 39
  • Craig Campbell, 34
  • Norie Campbell, 39
  • Jody Campeau, 39
  • Cody Church, 39
  • Brian Coombes, 36
  • Matthew Corrin, 29
  • Frederick Dryden, 39
  • Dominic Giroux, 35
  • Deirdre Horgan, 38
  • Kyle Jeworski, 36
  • Nicholas Johnson, 38
  • Dr. Kirsten Johnson, 39
  • Kevin Li, 39
  • Stewart Lyons, 37
  • Muhammad Mamdani, 39
  • Andy McCreath, 35, and Christian Darbyshire, 35
  • Calvin McDonald, 39
  • Duke McKenzie, 35
  • Glori Meldrum, 37
  • Michele Mosca, 39
  • Suresh Narine, 39
  • Sean O'Reilly, 36
  • John Poulos, 36
  • Andrew Reid, 34
  • Gregory Roberts, 38
  • Angela Santiago, 39
  • Bradley Schwartz, 39
  • Leerom Segal, 31
  • Som Seif, 34
  • Natasha Sharpe, 39
  • Andrew Smith, 38
  • Steve Sousa, 39
  • Marie-Pier St-Hilaire, 33
  • David Vocadlo, 37
  • Nolan Watson, 31