Literature for Life is a testament to Josephine (Jo) Altilia’s dedication to marginalized women and youth.Jo draws from her previous career as primary school teacher and aligns this with a model for social change and female youth leadership.
Jo's background as an advocate for underprivileged youth and her understanding of the link between literacy, community and good mental health is extensive.
As the founder of Literature for Life, Jo has steered the evolution of programming that engages young mothers in social change and leadership through the power of the written word to build better futures for themselves, their children, and their communities. Since 2000, she’s expanded the program to eight ongoing groups at various agencies across the city and it now includes the production of two magazines developed by program participants.
For her visionary leadership, she has been awarded Canada Post’s Award for Leadership in Literacy and a YWCA Women of Distinction award.
Jo is applying her Vital People grant towards courses in strategic planning, fundraising, managing change in community organizations and towards coaching and materials for board development.