Jamaican Paulet Biedermann was awarded Canada's Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal recently in Ontario for more than 20 years of humanitarian service in that country.
The Hanover-born Biedermann has worked as a motivational speaker and social worker, particularly in Ontario where she has lived for more than 30 years.
She told Outlook that she is humbled by the recognition.
"My mandate is to help people in various capacities without pay or formal recognition. It gives me satisfaction to know that I make a difference in someone's life," she said. "Racism, child abuse and bullying are the three things that I fight most aggressively."
Biedermann moved to Toronto in the late 1970s, a time of steady migration by Jamaicans to Canada. She has seen the Jamaican and Caribbean community grow, especially in the Greater Toronto Area.
"As a Jamaican, it makes me feel good that I am able to help and, most importantly, the young people and especially blacks see me as a role model," she said.
Biedermann is also an author. Her last book, Your Best You: Your Ultimate Guide to Personal Growth and Self-Empowerment, was released last year.
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal is a national award that honours outstanding Canadians who contributed to Canada on a national level for more than 20 years.