Children’s advocate

Glori Meldrum (BComm’95) has created a safe haven for victims of child sexual abuse at long-term treatment centre Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch.

Nestled on 120 acres just outside Edmonton is a ranch with a camp-like feel, with spaces dedicated to art, Indigenous heritage, music, play and yoga, along with cabins and communal areas for meals and celebrations. It’s the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch—a specialized long-term treatment centre that provides child sexual abuse survivors and their families with dedicated programming and therapy. And it’s a dream come true for Glori Meldrum (BComm’95), a survivor of child sexual abuse herself.

“Since university I wanted to create something that provided access to support and healing for children and their families who faced the same fate that I did,” says Meldrum, noting that she was not afforded these types of crucial resources as a victim of abuse at the hands of a family member.

Glori Meldrum’s book Warrior is an inspiring account of overcoming childhood abuse and building a world-class treatment centre for kids who have been sexually abused. All proceeds support Little Warriors.

In 2008, Meldrum founded Little Warriors, a non-profit organization that focuses on trauma-informed, science-backed treatment and prevention. Since then, the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch has forged new standards for child sexual abuse treatment, with children coming from all over Canada to participate in their intensive therapeutic programs. Staffed with leading academics and doctors, to date more than 400 families have received support from the Be Brave Ranch clinical team.

“From the outset of developing our programs, we have partnered with researchers at the University of Alberta for ongoing evaluation and quantitative data analysis,” says Meldrum. “Leading the way forward with science-backed clinical care ensures child sexual abuse survivors and their families can receive the best treatment available today.”

A clinical trial performed at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch showed that a four-week intervention program there reduced the psychological impacts of child sexual abuse. The results, which were published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Behaviour, measured reductions in symptoms like child post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

An accomplished philanthropist, businesswoman, author and mother of four, Meldrum is also the CEO of g[squared], an advertising and marketing agency in Edmonton that she co-founded with her husband Gary (who she met at Dal). Her work as a community leader and advocate has not gone unnoticed. Some of her honours include being a 2020 National Honoree for L’Oréal Paris’ Women of Worth, making Shaw Canada’s 50 Most Outstanding Canadians list in 2017, and being a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) recipient.

“I have done a lot of work to heal the broken pieces of myself and what I’ve learned is that when you do for others, your soul is happier,” says Meldrum.