Karina Leblanc with child soccer players

Born to parents who sacrificed a lot to move from the Caribbean island of Dominica to Canada, as a child Karina felt lost and disconnected in her new home. Sports – soccer – helped her find her way.

Years of rigorous training, determination and countless hours on the pitch helped her gain confidence and a sense of belonging. She believed in her dreams and they helped her overcome endless obstacles.

Today, in addition to her role as UNICEF Canada Ambassador, Karina is a bronze medal Olympian from the 2012 London Olympic Games, a professional footballer and head of CONCACAF Women's Football.

In 2013, Karina teamed up with UNICEF Canada on a trip to Honduras to visit its Football for Life program. In 2015, Karina went back to Dominica, where she grew up to visit UNICEF projects and hosted a soccer clinic for kids. She continues to support UNICEF Canada’s efforts through her meaningful engagement with other donors.

“I have always known that UNICEF is the world’s leader in protecting children and ensuring children have access to basics like health care, education and clean water. Seeing this first-hand in Honduras strengthened my belief in UNICEF’s vital work.”