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Build a Dream purple hard hats from WFS Ltd.


Our Story

There are still many barriers holding young women back from career opportunities in skilled trades, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), emergency response, entrepreneurship, and advancing women in society. 

This gap in industry is depriving Canadian businesses of the innovation that diversity brings.

This is why we exist.

Build a Dream is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives to ensure equitable opportunities for EVERYONE to succeed.In short, we believe in the power of diversity and the edge of advancement it provides.

Since its inception in 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, Build a Dream has delivered programs to inspire young women; providing confidence, filling workforce skill gaps, and offering a new perspective for workforce problem-solving.

We collaborate with speakers, community leaders, and businesses to inspire female students, women and under-represented communities through virtual conferences, career discovery expos, workshops, and hands-on learning programs.

We connect industry directly to students, facilitating awareness and career exploration. By doing so, we help businesses attract, recruit and fill their talent pipeline, while also supporting them to advance their internal talent moving forward. Additionally, we focus our passion and expertise on providing resources, workshops and best practices to engage businesses, driving diversity and inclusion initiatives across all industries.

We are all in… to explore innovative paths in creating synergy and a winning workforce!

Working collaboratively, we can continue to close the workforce gender gap, and lead diversity and inclusion initiatives across Canada.



Nour Hachem Fawaz


President and Founder

Nour utilizes her 13 years of experience as a workforce advisor, mentor, and influencer to inspire youth to make informed career choices that challenge the status quo. Her experiences are not just limited to the workplace. Nour watched her mother struggle and persevere as she started and grew a successful auto parts company in a male-dominated field. Through her work with other non-profits, she dreamt of the idea of Build A Dream and decided to go full force with the organization to bring it to life. She is a passionate force of nature and a workforce disruptor, challenging ideas and companies views of women in the workforce and how we can improve them. 

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Masters in Business Administration


Patricia Simone

Director of Grants and Programs

Natalie Gagné

Director of Partnerships

Natalie is an OCT certified teacher and our Education & Curriculum Specialist. She earned her Bachelor’s in Science at the University of Windsor with a focus in Chemistry and Mathematics and then went on to do her Bachelor’s in Education in pursuit of a career in the world of education. She is fluent in French and English and although her qualifications steered her in the direction of teaching science and math, she has a passion for art.

In 2020, Natalie started her own small business where she sells prints of the artwork she illustrates on her iPad. Her artwork focuses on promoting Windsor pride and reminding the community of all the great sights that the city has to offer.

Natalie is passionate about educating young minds and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion both in the classroom and in the workplace. She is an advocate for young women pursuing STEM related education and careers at the post-secondary level. From playing hockey and working in the pro shop at a local sports store to pursuing her undergraduate degree in a male dominated environment, she has never been afraid to break gender norms and she looks forward to empowering young women to do the same.

Justine Geberdt

Director of Events

Justine is the Director of Events here at Build a Dream, and is a bit of a Jill of all trades. She has a birth doula certificate from CAPPA, a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph, and an End of Life Doula certificate from Douglas College. When she is not organizing amazing events, you can find her supporting new and growing families through her business, Love the Bump.

Justine is a spreadsheet enthusiast, a boy mom, an ice cream addict, and self-professed birth nerd. She loves spending her down-time watching bad television, hanging out with her sister, and failing pretty hardcore at pub trivia.

Olivia Filipov

Marketing Manager

Delaney Krieger

3rd Term Carpentry Apprentice

Delaney attended Build A Dream Expos in high school where she connected with The Carpenters Union Local 494. Upon completing her secondary school education, she signed in as a Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator. Now in her third term, her job consists of a variety of different tasks from steel stud framing to drywall boarding to installing ceiling systems. Her goal is to inspire change within the industry, making it better for future generations of women pursuing the skilled trades.


Rebecca Chenier

Red Seal General Machinist

Rebecca began her career in the skilled trades six years ago through a WEST (Women’s Enterprise Skills Training) and St. Clair College program for Industrial Millwright Mechanic. From there she acquired a job at Centerline as a machinist apprentice. She took on the apprenticeship as a single mom with three kids, working full time, and balancing school at night. She completed her 3 year apprenticeship, developing many skills along the way, and is now a Red Seal Machinist. Amid the pandemic she started working at the college at night as a teaching assistant for the apprenticeship programs. Although happy in her career with Centerline, when an opportunity arose to become a mechanic at Hiram Walkers, she couldn’t resist the exciting career change. She is currently transitioning into this new role, and is a master tackling big life changes. Her goal is to simply let women know these careers exist and are available to them. And to be a resource, as needed, to those just starting out or considering a career in the skilled trades.



Office Dog

Po is our lovable office dog. He spends his days at Build a Dream cuddling, playing with his favourite golf ball, and napping on the couch. Po is an essential part of the Dream Team due to his caring nature and bubbly personality. His favourite inspirational quote? “Woof!”


Board ChairNkechi Nwafor-Robinson
VP, Technology Operations & Services (TOS) and Cloud Transformation, Export Development Canada
TreasurerDesiree Norwegian, CPA, CMA
Owner & CEO, Atunda
Board MemberJon Azzopardi
President, Laval International
Board MemberFrank Abbruzzese, Past Chair
President, AlphaKOR
Board MemberJunior Sirivar
Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP Litigation Group
Board MemberJelissa De Torres
Apprentice Carpenter and Welder, Caisley Developments Ltd.
Board MemberColin Toop, RSE, ME, PMP
Project Manager, Plan Group Inc.
Board MemberDr. Edwin Tam
Associate Professor, Acting Associate VP, Academic, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor
Board MemberWalter Garrison, ABD
Board MemberJennifer Ho


Dotted world map of Build A Dream's impact: Canada, USA, Haiti, India, Turkey, Brazil, UAE, Lebanon, Australia, New Zealand and UK.

Build a Dream President & Founder, Nour Hachem-Fawaz, has worked on projects around the globe, connecting youth to new opportunities. Participants in these programs often go on to continue the programs or work on initiatives where their impact also creates positive change. Build a Dream has sparked a positive feedback loop – one with the capacity to forever change the perceptions of women and youth in society.

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