Joy Smith received the Distinguished Christian Leadership Award from Providence Theological Seminary during their graduation on April 22. She hopes to inspire others to continue to fight for change in the world.

Holder of 5 Degrees, a mother of six, a teacher for 23 years, a parliamentarian, and founder of the Joy Smith Foundation which works to fight human trafficking, she is well deserving of the award. 

Over the years she has helped many victims escape human trafficking or begin their recovery thereafter.

Smith is the only Member of Parliament in Canadian history to have amended the Criminal Code twice as a Private Member, both times to better combat human trafficking, as the Providence University College news release states.

When thinking back to being in the same place as the Providence graduates, she could never have pictured what she would accomplish up to now.

"It would have probably been too overwhelming."

Smith often references her faith as what motivated her in politics, in her organisation, and each step along the way. 

"Basically everything I've ever done has been based on the faith I have in God... And I've always called upon God to give me direction on what to do. So really we just have to be willing. He's the one that does all the work. We just have to be willing and then we have to build character along the way to stick to things that have to be stuck to when He calls you to do it."

She continues today to not only fight human trafficking in Canada but to help other countries to move forward for the cause as well.

Among numerous, previous awards she has been honoured with both a Winnipeg Police Service Commendation and the Winnipeg YMCA/YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

"It takes a lot of hard work. To be called is one thing. But God calls us to do the tough stuff and so my advice would be to really stay focused like a laser, to write down your goals and achievements, and to make sure that you put the study and academic framework into what you're going to try to achieve because those are the very practical tools that God expects us to get to go out there, win people to Christ, and to achieve the goals that he sets us out to do. For me, it was to combat human trafficking here in Canada."

She has advice for anyone else who also wants to work toward making a difference in the world.

"Rely on God, rely on the Holy Spirit to lead you. Because you know, you get discouraged if you put it on your own shoulders because you cannot do this. It has to be a Spirit-led life. People don't have to be perfect because we are not perfect. Only God is perfect. and Christ who died for us took on our sins so we could move forward and be with him some day. And before we're there, along the road, we have a job to do. And our job is to lead people to Christ and to combat the kind of wrongs that are here in the world. And so I think that it's stick-to-itiveness, discipline, and above all, prayer every day."