Danika Weatherburn has been all in when it comes to martial arts for the last 27 years,.

As programs director of Masters Path Karate Leadership Academy, Weatherburn mentors more than 60 students to help them achieve athletic confidence and learn life skills such as stranger danger, first aid and respecting others.

“I came to Canada from England in 2021, because I was stuck in that cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat. So, I started teaching martial arts as a hobby after training for years,” says Weatherburn.

“It completely changed my mindset. You have to live with intention and always have that growth mindset. If you are not action-oriented or not developing yourself, you are going to be sitting in front of the TV. It is just something that has been built into me and now I want to share that with others.”

In 2023, Weatherburn introduced her Leadership Program, an educational course designed for youth to nurture success habits, personal development and mental excellence in all aspects of their life.

Nominator John St. James says initiatives like launching a charity in 2024 to provide victims of bullying with free martial arts tuition in order to help them develop their self-esteem and confidence make Weatherburn a leader.

“She is selfless, and, to be an immigrant in a foreign country who only focuses on other people, you will not find a better candidate for this category,” St. James says.