A Del Alum's Fight for Life and her Pursuit of Passion

A Del Alum's Fight for Life and her Pursuit of Passion

(Click here to see Dina’s appearance on the ‘Today Show’.)

Meet Dina Pestonji. At 29 years of age, she had a massive stroke requiring emergency brain surgery. When she woke up, she had no voice and couldn’t move the right side of her body. She had become an infant trapped in a woman’s body.

Having a stroke was not her first life-altering set-back. As a young girl, she battled eating disorders for over 10 years and in her late 20’s, was the victim of a near-fatal car crash.

After graduating from De La Salle College in 2002, Dina went on to graduate from the University of Toronto with a BSc Degree in Psychology, and went on to pursue certificate training in business studies at the Rotman School of Management. She earned a Masters Degree in business studies abroad in London and Paris at the European School of Business.

Before becoming a Speaker, she worked in the financial, education and e-commerce sectors as a consultant, manager and sales professional in cities across the globe including New York, London UK, Paris and San Francisco. She is now based in Toronto, Canada.

In 2016, Dina decided to leave corporate life to pursue her passion of motivating girls and women to believe in themselves so that they can reach their full potential in every facet of life. She is now an Author and International Motivational Speaker. “It is my mission to give girls and women the tools they need to feel empowered, confident and believe in themselves so that they can reach their full potential in life.”  

Dina is a four-time TEDx speaker and has been invited to speak worldwide at places such as Google in Switzerland, BNP Paribas in France and Belgium, and numerous educational institutions. (To watch her latest talk, click  here )

She writes for the Huffington Post Blog and is on the board of Women’s Brain Health Initiative and represents Sheena’s Place as an Ambassador.

In her book, ‘Surviving Myself’, Dina vividly describes the losing battle that engulfed her mind and body—one with a hateful, self-loathing and cruel inner critic. 

Consumed by a misguided obsession with fitting in, being exceptional and “perfect,” she unknowingly allowed a deep self-hatred to set in over the years—a hatred that not even her acceptance at the swankiest schools nor a dream job in California could change.

Only after surviving a horrific car crash and a paralyzing stroke while still in her 20s, did she begin to see herself for who she really was: strong, independent, a fighter…blessed.

When we asked Dina about the role De La Salle played in her life, she spoke to the culture that brings the best out of students. "Del is a school that prepares students both for academic excellence and life. Del challenges students to be the leaders of tomorrow and well-rounded individuals. I am grateful to the teachers at Del for their support and guidance."  

'Surviving Myself' is the captivating, emotionally charged story of the author’s journey to self-acceptance and inner peace, narrated with the refreshing candour of a close friend. Alternately humourous, shocking and heartbreaking, it is also the story of a family’s overflowing love.

(Click Amazon to view opportunities to purchase the book online.)


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