Boyce, MSW, is the Founder and Executive Director of EvenStart
for Children Foundation.
As Executive Director, Ms. Boyce has worked with government
and children's services in positions of increasing responsibility
for 15 years. She left government in 1995 to found the Heartland
Agency--a non-profit organization providing a variety of services
Ms. Boyce is a recognized expert in the field of early childhood
programs and is regularly asked to speak at conferences about
early intervention initiatives.
She has been awarded the Early Childhood Professional Association
of Alberta's Children's Service Award for her work; the
Women of Vision Award (July 2007); and most recently
the Queen's Jubilee Award.
Ms. Boyce is a member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary
Drop-in Centre Society, and is a member of the Advisory
Board for the Faculty of Social Work at Mount Royal College
and Heartland Agency Educational Services.
Boyce volunteers her time to the EvenStart Foundation as its
After working in social services, Ilona came to believe in
the importance of children's early learning and life experiences
as predictors of future success
She is dedicated to assisting children in reaching their potential,
and most importantly, helping them to learn that each of them
is valued. She found that children 'at risk' (i.e., those
who have experienced childhood trauma) require more. If they
were to be provided the opportunities for an 'even start'
in life, these children required additional support from their
Her vision includes a program that offers a wide variety of
educational, therapeutic, transportation, and nutritional
supports to children of trauma.
Today the EvenStartand the Heartland Agency work side-by-side
to collaboratively provide needed programs for 'at-risk',
traumatized, and economically-disadvantaged children.