Be The Change Award – Danielle Skogen

On International Women’s Day, Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) pledged to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of individuals in the community (Medicine Hat & surrounding area) who lead, inspire, and motivate women and work to break the bias towards advancing gender equity. Each month the MHPS, in partnership with the Medicine Hat Police Association, selects a local individual(s) to highlight and celebrate as a “Be The Change” award recipient. The “Be the Change” award recognizes and celebrates the achievements of individuals who are catalysts for change in our community and are working to advance women professionally and personally.

This month, Danielle Skogen was nominated and chosen as the recipient. Danielle has been a catalyst for women's empowerment not only in our community, but also internationally; facilitating and developing programs that focus on encouraging girl empowerment and supporting gender equity.

Danielle was raised in Medicine Hat and still calls it home. She obtained her Bachelor of Education degree specializing in French Immersion Education from the University of Alberta and became a grade one teacher shortly after. After a year of teaching, Danielle decided to make a drastic shift in her life and moved to Guatemala where she volunteered as a language teacher. A six-month trip was soon extended as Danielle fell in love with the culture and the people of Guatemala.


Danielle then spent the next three years with an education-focused Guatemalan non-profit as a Fundraising Manager. During her tenure, Danielle recognized the need for more overt and structured programs to support women and girls in that area. To address the rampant gender inequity she observed, in 2014 Danielle reached out to the US REALgirl foundation to bring their programs to Guatemala. In 2015, Danielle stepped down from her existing position to initiate a new girl empowerment program in Guatemala in collaboration with the REALgirls Foundation, which is now called SERniña (To Be A Girl). Seven years later, SERniña is a thriving organization that provides youth with year-long immersive empowerment and equality workshops. SERniña has already worked with over 2,000 children in 20 different communities and continues to grow each year.

In 2020, transitioning back to Medicine Hat, Danielle was hired by Canadian Humanitarian to replicate REALgirl’s work in their Ethiopian projects and alongside their team. In this role, Danielle is developing empowerment and gender equity programs for the 500 vulnerable children in their centers. With Danielle’s years of experience in the field of supporting women and girls, she has become a certified life and leadership coach. Danielle supports women locally and across the country in achieving their highest potential reaching goals and breaking free from limiting barriers. Danielle often runs free women’s workshops in Medicine Hat and as a coach has provided support to local charities, women’s groups, therapy centers and school board.

Danielle also volunteers her time with Saamis Immigration and is currently a community host to a family from the Congo. She is an active Rotarian and helps support their youth-focused projects such as literacy program in Medicine Hat and supports local after-school clubs, as well as investing in various initiatives to support Indigenous communities.

Thank you, Danielle, for not only enriching our community with your coaching and advocacy of women, but also being a champion for change internationally. We encourage you to continue your advocacy and enjoy the journey for years to come. Congratulations!

Media Contact:

Rita Sittler
Administrative Services Manager
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8416