People - June 2020

Meet Karey – I’d like to do Stand-up Comedy....and Politics!

This married mom of a 15 year old son is a woman of many talents.  She is a successful local entrepreneur, coach and mentor to woman in business, perennial gardener, loves to rug hook, play piano and guitar, and loves riding her motorcycle!

Karey is one half of the dynamic duo who owns and operates HealthWalks - Podiatry Clinic and Shoe Store.  The other is her husband, Richard.  Their store in New Glasgow just passed its 20 year milestone, and their second location in Truro celebrated its first year anniversary in May. “Entrepreneurial blood runs through my veins.  I was brought up in a self-employed family,” she smiled.  “What’s it like working with your husband?” I asked. “It’s everything! He just gets it. We’re on the same page. It’s the ultimate trust and teamwork.” She laughed, “Having said that, there are days he drives me crazy.” 

Karey and Richard employ 6 staff, and 2 reflexology contractors between both stores.  Their son, Marcus, also lends a hand. “He helps out with cleaning, Sale Days, and back end marketing on social media,” she said.  “Do you think he also has the entrepreneurial blood in his veins?” I asked. She smiled proudly, “I am under no illusion he will take over our business. He takes after me in his stubbornness so I think he would want to build something himself.”

I wondered what this honest, driven, passionate woman would do if she could retire tomorrow. She replied, “Travel....see more of the world. I haven’t been around Europe other than Prague, and I would like to visit Greece.” I love Greek food!  “What is your favourite food?” I asked. She laughed, “All food is my favourite as long as I don’t have to make it!”

Everyone has a “secret dream” that they don’t always share with others; like being a rock star. I asked her to tell me something about herself that most people don't know about her. She quickly answered, “I’d like to do stand-up comedy!....and politics.” She laughed, “One in the same really!” Who would she love to see live? Chris Rock with Jim Carrey of course!  I think George Eliot said it best with his quote, “You are never too old to be what you might have been.”  Follow your dream Karey.  I promise to get a ticket to your show and cheer you on.  

Meet Courtney - High Functioning Autism Doesn’t Define Her

Courtney has been volunteering with the Cobequid Volunteer Fire Brigade since she was only 14 years old as a Junior Firefighter. She will be proudly starting her 12 th year with the Brigade this August. She has also been a part of the Special Hazards Response Unit in Bible Hill for the last 7 years. Wow! That is amazing. “Why did you choose to volunteer in Fire Services?” I asked. “I chose it because my dad was a volunteer Firefighter for many years, and I love helping people. I also teach autism training for first responders to better help people with autism,” she smiled. 

Courtney has high functioning autism but she does not let that define her. “I’m also an interior firefighter for my department which means I go into the fires,” she said. What? Into the fires! “How does that feel? What is that experience like?” I asked in awe. She replied, “It’s really hard to describe. It just feels good trying to help put the fire out, do search, overhaul or whatever needs to be done.” In addition to going to the beach, and the park with her two dogs Katie and Kimbo, Courtney also loves being a CrossFit athlete, and going to the gym. “What is your favourite part of being involved in Crossfit?” I asked. “I love doing the different workouts each day, doing weights, cardio, and gymnastics,” she replied. I wondered what her guilty pleasure foods are that she has to work off in the gym. She giggled, “My favourite food is hamburgers. I’m actually allergic to dairy but my favourite dairy free ice cream is coconut milk chocolate.”

It sure was a pleasure chatting with this lovely young woman. She is inspiring, determined, motivated, strong, kind,and much more. One thing she said really stuck with me, “Having high functioning autism doesn’t define me. I think I prove that quite well, and show people that anyone can do anything.” I agree completely Courtney. I also believe that there is nothing you cannot do. Thank you for reminding all of us to live life to the fullest.

Meet Sunshine – A Beautiful Spirit Who Shines Bright

Sunshine grew up in a small Mi’kmaq community in Cape Breton called Waycobah along the Bras d'or Lake. She moved to Millbrook in her late teens and now calls Millbrook her home with her husband, and their two fur baby cats named, Measha and Marley. I asked, “What does your Mi’kmaq heritage mean to you?” She smiled, “I am a proud Mi’kmaq woman. I love how our people are supportive in good times and in bad. I love our culture, our Mi’kmaq language, and I especially love hearing prayers in our language. They are so powerful.”

I quickly learned that Sunshine is a lover of the outdoors and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and running. “After my weight loss journey, I registered for my first race at age 40 which was the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax. I felt so accomplished running across the finishing and getting my medal.” She laughed, “I've been hooked on running and bling ever since.”

I wondered who inspires this amazing, strong, determined woman. “My mom,” she smiled, “Although my mom is no longer here with us, I know she is here in spirit, and is still cheering me on. I did the Princess Run in Disney in 2016, and I felt like I couldn't do it.” She continued, “While on the plane I was thinking to myself, ‘why the heck did I register for this race?’ Just then, I found a little card from my mom inside my jacket. I carry that card with me on all my races now.” Since then, Sunshine’s love of running motivated to start several learn to run 5km races within the community: Girls on the Run, Rez Chicks, and Kids on the Run.

I asked, “What other activities, hobbies or interests do you have?” She grinned, “I love playing pool.” “Wow, how did you get interested in pool?” I asked. “I used to work in a pool hall when I lived in Cape Breton, and after I locked up the pool hall, I would play for hours with my aunt. I now play on an all ladies team at Dooley’s called the Pink Panthers.”

I wondered how much she missed playing pool during Covid-19. She grinned, “I was missing pool so much that I thought about selling our dining room table, and buying a pool table!” She laughed, “I told my husband about my idea, and I thought he would think I lost my mind, but instead he thought it was a good idea! Now the pool hall is open, so in the end, no pool table in our dining room. I am very glad to be back with my pool family.”

Happy Father’s Day Todd!

“Todd literally puts his family before anything else. His kids and I mean the world to him. He gets up with the kids every morning, and puts them to bed every night. He does more than his fair share of house work and helps with anything he is able to do to lighten the load for the rest of the family. He won’t even eat a meal until after everyone else eats because he wants to make sure everyone else has enough to eat first.

He is an active member of his community and a strong advocate for the homeless population, affordable housing, mental health and the LGBT community. He is a volunteer board member for the Truro Homeless Outreach Society (THOS) and is their Treasurer. He is also the director in charge of fund raising, grant writing, social media and future planning for THOS. He ran the social media pages for the virtual vigil after the mass shooting that tragically took the lives of many valued members of our community. He genuinely wants to make the community a better place.”

Enjoy your special day – Happy Father’s Day! Love, from Kage and the kids 

Happy Father’s Day to my Step-Dad Dave!

“My Step Dad may not have given me life, but he’s definitely made my life better. My father passed away 11 years ago, and left a huge hole in my heart. Dave has filled it, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I believe that family isn’t always about blood, but it’s about committed and love.

Dad is such an amazing husband to my mother, and an incredible father to Julia, Tyler and I. I can always count on him to be here for me. I appreciate him so much, even if he’s a Toronto Maple Leafs fan…LOL.”

Love you Dave! Hope you have a great Father’s Day! Kayliegh Xoxox

Happy Father’s Day & Early Birthday on June 26th to Josh!

“Josh has been a stay at home dad for 3 years now looking after our special needs son Joshua. It wasn’t easy, but I was able to train him pretty the kids prefer his cooking over mine..LOL.

He stepped up to the plate to become an amazing role model and step-father to my daughter Madison when she was 4 years old. We recently welcomed a son, Beckett, in March amongst all the craziness that’s going on in the world.

Josh will do anything for anyone, a great neighbour, father, son, and boyfriend. He keeps us on our toes with his quick wit and sense of humour. He’s the glue that keeps our family together and we couldn’t imagine life without him.”

Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, and Happy upcoming 35th birthday! P.S. You are halfway to 40! LOL

We love you so much, Chelsea, Madison, Joshua and Beckett. And of course, your fur babies; Nahla, BB and Clem 

Happy 6th Birthday to Kaylynn!

"We are wishing you a very special day today. We hope that your day is filled with lots of fun!"

Love, Aunt Megan and Uncle Cameron

Happy Father’s Day Greg!

“We are so lucky to have him as our dad! No matter what the project is he always works hard to support us and keep us happy.

Through the week he can be found selling car parts at Blenkhorn's Auto Recyclers, a place he's loved to work at for sixteen years. Then during the evenings & weekends he will happily be found with our mom who he's been with for sixteen years too and they're typically at a cold hockey rink or a soccer field cheering the four of us on!

He's not afraid to tackle Mom’s ‘Honey Do List’ which has included a lot of home a huge playhouse for us & a plywood basketball & hockey pad for us too. When he's not working or doing renos bringing our old house up to date, he's playing baseball with us in the field, swimming with us in the pool or watching tv with us before bed.

He coaches us in soccer and hockey and has recently been our only errand do-er thanks to Covid-19. Trying to keep us safe! He happily volunteers on our hockey organization board and helps out at our school too. Over the years he agreed to bring four big ol doggies and a kitty into our family too and never complained. He puts on a shy quiet front but he's a crazy lovable husband, father & friend. He will do anything to keep everyone happy.”

Happy Father’s Day Big Daddy! Love Sebastian, Memphis, Delylah & Preston xoxo

Happy Father’s Day Eric!

We are continuing our week long Father & Father Figure Day celebrations with another special message...

Father to Steven, and Papa to Kaiden and Zoey, Eric is the strongest, most kind hearted and genuine man you’ll ever meet. He is the best role model any of us could have wished for. He is my partner in all things life. We all love you to the moon and back!

Enjoy your special day - Love, your wife Cheryl (Steven, Vanessa, Kaiden and Zoey) 

Meet Faith - CEC Grad with Honors with Distinction

"We are so very proud of all your hard work and the perseverance you have shown. We are beyond excited for you. Faith will begin the next part of her life’s journey by attending St. FX this fall in the Bachelor of Nursing Program."

Love Mom, Dad, Grace, Nana, Gaga, Linda, Luke, family and friends. You got this Faith!!!

Happy Birthday Joe!

We received this special message for you...

“I would like to send out a Big Happy 58th Birthday wish to my amazing hubby who absolutely loves being involved in his community. If you ever need someone in your corner, he’s your guy! He loves helping people; especially those with mobility issues in the communities of Truro and Bible Hill.

Joe has brought me more tears, love, and most of all LAUGHTER over the years. I am wishing you many more happy birthdays.”

Love, your wife Dana xo

Meet Alijah – Never Doubt Your Inner Ability To Do Better

This young man born and raised in Truro, not only has a beautiful bright smile, he also has a beautiful bright positive attitude. I could feel this energy shining through during our recent conversation.  He beamed when he shared his love of cars, his family, and friends. “I’ve always had a passion for cars. I’ve met countless friends through the car scene. I guess I’m not the only one that shares the love for them,” he laughed. In addition to his love of cars, he also enjoys hanging out with his friends, having a couple drinks on a Friday night alongside a fire, and loves going to the gym.

His enthusiasm led me to believe there was a story behind his love for the gym, and I was right! This determined, strong, fun-loving guy has lost 120lbs! “Wow! What led you to make the decision to lose 120lbs?” I asked.  He replied, “To be honest, I just wasn’t happy with myself so on April 13th, 2017, I woke up and made a change." He continued, “Never doubt your inner ability to do better. I actually have that tattooed on my arm, and I live by it every day.

Alijah has three brothers; one older and two younger. “I was raised by my Mom, “he said. “My dad is originally from Jamaica which makes me half African Nova Scotian,” he said. I asked, “What does your heritage mean to you?” With a warm smile he replied, “It means a lot to be honest.” He continued, “I recently started the application process to get my citizenship for Jamaica. I am very excited to learn more about my culture.”

Since January 2017, Alijah has also been a Big Brother volunteer “I was in the program when I was a young kid, and it’s my way of giving back. It’s a great thing to do. And we’re ALWAYS looking for volunteers!” Well Alijah, you are a wonderful role model, inspiration, and a fine young man. Keep up the great work!

Happy Father's Day Mark!

“This is Mark Miller! Hardworking mechanic at Hub Tune Up by day, but VERY early mornings, nights, and on weekends; he is greeted at the door by shouts of "BIG DAD!"

Mark is the beloved dad to 7 year old Madelyn, and 4 year old Edward! He is always ready to tell a funny "dad" joke, Saturday fishing trips, backyard gardening, cooking, and fixing cars in the yard. He is loving, attentive, full of hugs, a great storyteller, and the brain behind the fun stuff! Our family is pretty biased, but we think he is the greatest Big Dad in the world!”

Enjoy your special day - Love, your wife Charity ❤️

Pictured: Edward (L), Mark, (M), and Madelyn (R)

Happy Father's Day Fraser!

We are kicking off our week long Father & Father Figure Day celebrations with another special message...

“Fraser is a dad to Abbie and Georgia as well as a husband, super team member, and best friend to me. Our daughter Georgia is very special needs and Fraser is half of our super team. For the last 7 years, he has stayed home every weekend with Georgia while I traveled the province with Abbie for her sports. He never has complained and does it with a smile. He misses out on a lot because he always offers to stay home with Georgia.

He has worked every day over the pandemic even while Georgia was in the hospital 3 times. He would go straight from work to the hospital to give me a break, getting home at 10pm every night to get up and do it again. He can do feed pumps, hospital trips, g tube meds and just recently learned to catheterize Georgia.

Fraser is the service manager at MacKay’s Truck and Trailer. He went to school and became a Class A Golf Pro and he ran a golf course for years. He loves to golf, plays hockey a few times a week, volleyball and take Georgia to challenger baseball.

He would give the shirt off his back and give away his last dollar. He thinks about everyone else before himself.”

To us, he is a Number One Daddy and Husband. Enjoy your special day - Love, your wife Kristen

Meet Krista & Shelby – A Mother-Daughter Duo Who Love Life and Giving Back

According to Krista’s daughter Shelby, “we act like sisters most of the time” is the best way for her to describe their close knit relationship. “My mom has always put maximum effort into making my life as good as she possibly could even though she was a very young mother. I think we collectively inspire each other and push each other to do new things, which brings us even closer,” she smiled.  Her mom couldn’t agree more and added, “Shelby inspires me to speak up when there is injustice and be an ally for those who need someone by their side.” She continued proudly, “She also just finished her first year of a Health Sciences Degree at ST. FX and plans to go into medicine.”

Being an ally for those in need is something that Krista and Shelby enjoying doing by volunteering at the Truro Homeless Outreach Society – Hub House. Krista said, “Shelby was actually the one who suggested we volunteer together at Hub House. I loved volunteering with THOS so much that I decided to join the Board of Directors in September.” Shelby added, “I love the relationships you build, and the amazing stories and advice I gather from the guests.  At this point, it’s just like another extended family.”

I wondered what some of their hobbies were. “I am a Harley rider, obsessed with dogs, love hiking, exploring, travel and any outdoor adventures, yoga and music, “said Krista. “I love working out, hiking, socializing with friends and of course spending lots of time with my dog, Summer, “Shelby added.  “What is your favourite food Krista?” She laughed, “I really dislike cooking so I love anything I don’t have to cook myself!” Shelby laughed too, “Hmm, anything with melted cheese.” They are both music lovers; Krista’s all-time favourite band is Fleetwood Mac while Shelby prefers The Glorious Sons.

Before we ended our conversation, I asked each of them to share their favourite quote. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept,” said Krista. Shelby grinned, “Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.” I believe Caitlin Houston sums it up best, “Words are not enough to express the unconditional love that exists between a mother and a daughter.”

Happy Father's Day Greg!

“Dad I would like to thank you for helping to make me the person I am today, and for continuing to teach and support me.  Also, Kaylynn couldn’t ask for a better Grampie.”

Enjoy your special day - Love, your daughter, Ashley

Pictured: Ashley (L), Kaylynn, (M), and Greg (R)


Happy Father's Day Shaymas!

"I am so proud of my son Shaymas Isenor. He is a wonderful daddy to my beautiful granddaughter Piper!"

Enjoy your special day - Love, Mom 

PS. You got to just love that smile 

Meet Kristen - A Married Mom of Two with Inner and Outer Strength

I first met Kristen when she sent us a photo and story of her oldest daughter, Abbie, for our 2020 Grads feature.  We struck up a conversation that went beyond the details of participating in the Grad feature.  In addition to telling me more about Abbie, she shared more personal details of her life.  I quickly developed an admiration for this kind, strong, dedicated, married mother of two.

Kristen has been married to her amazing husband, Fraser, since 2010 and they have two beautiful daughters; Abbie and Georgia.  Before Georgia was born, Kristen worked as an Early Childhood Educator in Truro. “When she was 4 months old, we realized she was sick.  I left my job, and I’ve been home taking care of her since.” She continued, “Once we realized she was only one of 5 in the world with her condition, and how hard our lives were going to be, I experienced a lot of anxiety.” I could only imagine what she must have felt like in those first few months. I asked, “how did you overcome your anxiety?” She smiled, “My husband and I are an amazing team and without him there is no way I could do it. I also joined a local gym and started exercising.  I lost 60 plus pounds and I’ve never looked back!”

Kristen credits exercise for saving her mental health. In addition to working out 5 - 6 times per week, she also enjoys playing volleyball, slow pitch, ball hockey, and trail and mud runs. “Working out is my therapy.  I’m in the best shape of my life.  I actually workout in the hospital,” she said. Kristen has been at the hospital with Georgia three times during the Covid-19 pandemic with stays up to 10 days. “It’s been long, and lonely with no visitors allowed. However, I do get to help other families who have children with special needs or rare genetic disorders which brings me joy,” she smiled.

I wondered if I could wave a magic wand, what Kristen’s "perfect day" would look like. “My perfect day would be walking down to the Farmers Market with my husband and both girls, drinking coffee, and chatting with everyone. I would have to include a workout. Then maybe a bonfire with friends and family, “ she smiled. Every day may not be “perfect” but the love she has for her husband and daughters certainly is.

Meet Lee-Ann – A Mom of Two, Inspiration, and Dedicated RN for 17 Years

This Mom of two young children has experienced some challenges recently but that does not stop her. Lee-Ann credits her mom for giving her the strengthen she has today. “My mother is the strongest woman I know. She taught me to be independent. She was a single mom before it was acceptable to be a single parent.” I asked, “What’s the best piece of advice your Mom gave you?” She answered proudly, “Don’t ever become reliant on anyone else.” She continued, “I guess that’s why I’ve always been 100% independent becoming a top female provincial triathlete, competing in provincial bodybuilding shows, and buying a house for us.”

Lee-Ann is originally from Toronto but moved to Kentville with her mom when she was young. “I went to Acadia University for my first Bachelor of Science. After Acadia, I was accepted to Dalhousie for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.” She smiled, “Right after obtaining that Degree, I was offered a full time position delivering babies at the old Truro hospital which I couldn’t say no, so I moved.”

Lee-Ann has been a Registered Nurse in Truro for the past 17 years. She is very physically active and eats well so when she took a heart attack while out running in November; it was a complete surprise! “How has that experience changed you?” I asked. She replied, “The experience definitely changed me. I’ve re-evaluated what is important in life and what isn’t. I am started to feel better. I try to let the small things go and focus on the positive.”

Focusing on the positive for Lee-Ann includes helping others by working at the Covid-19 clinic in Truro. I asked, “How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected or changed you?” She replied, “I’ve always worked in Women and Children’s Health delivering babies, taking care of children and their families. Being able to work front line during this pandemic at the Covid-19 clinics has been a very intense and rewarding experience.”

At the end of our conversation, I felt a sense of gratitude having had the opportunity to chat with this strong, powerful, and truly inspiring woman. One of her life mottos is, “Always have a good story to tell.” Well Lee-Ann, you certainly have a story. Here is to the next chapter including lots of fun, laughs, good health and lots of love

Meet Matt, Lucas, Jessica & Michelle – One Happy Blended Family

I chatted with Michele a couple of weeks ago while she was excitedly waiting for her mom to arrive at her house. “My mom and I are actually spending the day together and making 60 – 70 liters of spaghetti sauce “she said. I could tell by the excitement in her voice that spending time with her mom is something that she truly enjoys and she is someone that she truly admires. “I would definitely say my mom is my superhero. She’s had a lot of struggles and she always seems so strong. She is always there when we need something…for ourselves or the kids.”

Michele grew up in Kitchener Waterloo area in Ontario but moved to the Truro area 11 years ago with her young daughter to follow her Mom who moved to NS after Michele’s dad passed away. “I didn’t want to raise my daughter so far away from my mom. I wanted my daughter to grow up close to her Grammie, so that is why we moved,” she said. Since that time, Michele married her husband, Matt, two years ago after being together for 6 years. “We both brought a child to the relationship. Lucas is Matt’s son and Jessica is my daughter.” She said. “During speeches at our wedding, Jessica asked Matt to adopt her, and since then he has,” With a warm smile she continued, “Matt may have brought Lucas into the relationship, and even though the option to adopt him is not there, I feel like he is just as much my son as Jessica is my daughter.”

I wondered how this beautiful blended family has been doing during the Covid-19 situation,” I am home full time right now so that definitely helps! Matt has just recently gone back to work which is fantastic! Everyone home full time was tough,” she laughed. “Jessica is a cheerleader and she is a Coach in Training right now and has been helping run the conditioning and stretching classes online. It helps, but she sure is missing seeing her extended Cheer family.” She continued, “Lucas is a goalie and since being locked down, he has not been able to be on the ice. He is struggling with that a lot! He’s obviously an active boy (at 8 who isn’t?) and being tied to the house has been difficult.”

This story reminded me that every family has their ups and downs during this time of Covid-19 uncertainty. But one thing I know for sure, family by blood or by choice, is always a blessing.

Meet Connor- Colchester Christian Academy Graduate, 2020 Valedictorian, pursuing Engineering at Dal AC in the Fall

We received this message for Connor…

“You currently can find Connor working at Dairy Queen here in Truro. When he is not working, he likes to pursue his other like of soccer (won provincials with his cc riders soccer team) and fishing( he has started to fish some tournaments to up his fishing skills). Connor hopes to continue his athletics in soccer by trying out for the Dal AC team when the time presents itself.

Connor has done various volunteering throughout both his junior and senior school life, as well as going on two mission trips to NY and Jamaica with his church youth group.

It takes a community to raise a successful senior, and we would like to say thank you to:

• Family and friends who have mentored him all his 18 years for the things that you do for him on an ongoing basis
• Spiritual leaders at church and youth group who have had a hand at shaping his Christian character
• Teachers at CCA who have shaped him both academically and spiritually
• All the minor coaches in hockey and soccer who have given him the tools for hard work, celebrating victories and how to handle defeat.

Hats off to Connor's community and how you have helped to shape the strong intelligent, caring young man that he is growing into.
Connor we are proud of who you are and where you are going with God as your center.”

Congratulations! Best wishes from Mom, Dad, and siblings; Colton and Cheyenne

Meet Tylia - École acadienne de Truro Grad Who Loves Volleyball, Volunteering, Community, and her Family

We received this special message for Tylia...

"Tylia is graduating from École acadienne de Truro. Tylia has worked part time in the Ingenious community of Millbrook for the past 18 months at Keith's Gas Bar. When not working, attending school, or playing volleyball you will find her offering to volunteer at any school function. Tylia is a proud member of the Truro African Nova Scotian community and enjoys community events & BBQ's whenever her schedule allows.

Tylia has an amazing relationship with her family, particularly her grandmother. All her siblings both older and younger are very proud of Tylia. I think she may admit that being an Aunt her to her nieces and nephews is one of the things she loves the most. 

Tylia has not decided on a specific career path yet but knows it will be in science. She will be continuing her studies in French at
Université Sainte-Anne."

Congratulations Tylia!  We are so proud of you. Love,  Mom, Roy, Devyn & Braylee

Meet Clare – CEC IB Program Grad, Dedicated Volunteer and Activist for Social Change

To say that this young lady is community-minded does not give enough credit to her dedication to volunteerism in and out of school.

Clare was a very active member in extra-curricular activities at CEC.  The list includes being Student Council President, TEDxYouth@CEC Co-lead Organizer, Big Brothers Big Sister Peer Mentor, Shared Reading, Environmental Club, CEC Symphonic Band, and the Relay for Life 2019. She was also part of the Student Advisory, and the Community Liaison Council. Outside of school, she was a member of the Cantabile Choir, Special Olympics volunteer, United Way Board member, and the lead volunteer and trainer at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre. 

However, it was Clare’s role as the United Way Youth Committee Co- President that led her to an awakening. “I became exposed to more local issues during my time in that role. It really opened my eyes to wanting to help,” she said.  Her passion for helping others and for social justice originally led her to the decision to pursue Gender & Women Studies at Kings University and then Dalhousie University for a law degree in Social Justice upon graduation.  However, her plans have changed slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I have decided to defer my post-secondary education for a year to stay home and work,” she smiled and continued, “I do plan to continue that course of study when it is safe to do so. Social issues are important and so much work needs to be done.”

I asked Clare to share one of her most memorable experiences of her time at CEC. “The IB program and its teachers inspired me so much in so many different ways, and taught me so many lessons I will hold with me forever.” She continued, “Their unconditional support for all of my major ambitious projects throughout my two years in the program means the world to me and I am so grateful.” Roald Dahl’s quote says, "Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world."  I have no doubt Clare that you will be a world changer. Congratulations!

Meet Keith – A Witty Teacher Who Loves Bringing Fun into the Classroom

One of the first things I learned about Keith is that he is a dedicated teacher at École acadienne de Truro. “I knew I wanted to teach from a very young age; probably around grade 5. I always helped my classmates with their math homework, and I wanted people to love math as much I did,” he giggled.

This father of two young boys grew up in Halifax in an English speaking family. I wondered what lead him to be a teacher at a French school. “My father decided to be truly Canadian and successful I should be fluent in both official languages, thus I was thrust into French immersion. Knowing I wanted to teach meant keeping up my French to improve my job options later in life.” He continued, “I started teaching at École acadienne de Truro in 2009”, he smiled, “The Acadien community accepted me, and I am proud to be part of it!”

This witty, “out of the box” thinker loves to bring fun, and his own teaching style into the classroom, “My experience with teachers showed me that my favorites always made connections outside the material. I decided to bring my life into the classroom,” he said. Keith shared that he enjoys breakdancing, playing and coaching soccer, board games, and card games such as Magic – The Gathering. In addition, he loves transformers, listening to music, and collecting comics. “I like to ask questions on my tests like, ‘Hulk is running towards Iron Man at speed x and Iron Man is running at speed y,’ he grinned. What else does he like to do for fun? He likes to play modern upbeat French music in between classes which can be heard throughout the hallways to the delight of many.

Before we ended our conversation, I asked, “When school resumes in September, what is the one thing you are looking forward to the most?” He smiled, “Working with the students again. I call them my kids because I treat them like my own while they're in my care.” Awe, I am sure that your kids are going to love seeing you too! I will leave you with this fitting quote by Scott Hayden, “Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.”

A Special Message for CEC Grad Georgia

“Georgia, you are our beautiful, social butterfly, always making friends, always loving to chat and so happy to be around people. From day one you have had hurdles to overcome, but overcome them you have with huge success! Whatever you choose in life Ge, you have our blessing and support."

Congratulations and Best wishes! Love you very much Ge, from Dad and Caity xo

Meet Vanessa – Strong Woman, Mom, and Dedicated CCA for 17 years

I am sure that it was not much more than five minutes into our conversation that I realized Vanessa is one strong, determined and caring woman. She grew up in downtown Truro around Victoria Park after moving to Nova Scotia from PEI at the young age of two years.

Vanessa has spent the last 17 years working for VON as a Continuing Care Assistant. I was curious as to how she chose this important line of work. “After a divorce and having a 3 month old daughter, I walked into NSCC to inquire what courses they had to offer.” She continued, “The lady named a few course titles and when she said Continuing Care Assistant, I asked ‘What is that?’ With her love for the elderly, she knew exactly what she wanted to do. “So at 29 years old, I packed up my daughter every day for daycare and went to school. She was 2 years old when I graduated,” she said proudly. She continued, “My daughter, Mackenzie Allaby, is now 19 year old and attending NSCC too, taking Criminal Justice. I am so proud of her.”

Last year, Vanessa decided that she wanted a change so, she now splits her time between two part time positions; CCA for the VON and working at a local group home. “My favourite part is how happy residents are to see me when I walk through the door. I guess I like to feel like I’ve made a difference in someone’s life at the end of the day,” she smiled. Somehow this busy single mom finds time to volunteer as well. “I have a little brother from Big Brothers Big Sisters. I couldn’t see him due to my front line position, but I dropped off cupcakes on his step last week,” she beamed.

I asked Vanessa one last question to which I received a very heart-felt answer. “Is there someone that you look up to? Without hesitation she replied, “I definitely look up to my daughter. She was patient with me when I was trying to deal with things in my life. Being a single mom wasn’t easy and she didn’t complain.” She laughed, “I tried to teach her to do what makes her happy, and when I wasn’t doing what I preached, she would remind me.” 

Meet Jacob - CEC Grad, Devoted Academic, Volunteer and Musician

This kind considerate individual, with a witty sense of humour, is enrolled at Dalhousie University where he will pursue a Bachelor of Commerce, with plans to major in Finance or Accounting this fall. From a young age, his love of sports, reading, and studying the world around him, as well as his love of music was evident. He soon began to realize his compassion was in helping others and playing music where he found his niche.

As a dedicated volunteer, Jacob mentored younger kids at a local church, volunteered at the local food bank on a weekly basis, and with the Special Olympics at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre where he enjoyed helping kids learn to swim. He also volunteered at The Mira where he truly enjoyed spending quality time talking and playing games with the seniors. In addition, he volunteered for a mission trip to the inner city of New York where he helped the homeless and visited a local orphanage. These experiences helped him gain a deeper compassion for children, youth, and to further appreciate people’s plights in the world.

Jacob has been playing the piano since the age of five. During his school years, he played in music festivals, participated in school musicals, and played in the pit band for school musicals. He was also part of the Student Council, Relay for Life, Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and was Vice President of the Band Executive. While he is an avid piano player, Jacob excels in keyboard and the percussion instruments, and has been asked to play at various venues for community occasions including local churches.

Some of his fondest memories of CEC include the band trips, helping with the 2019 Christmas Float, his inspiring teachers, great friends, his courses and the lessons learned through his school years. He is also proud to call himself, “a soon to be Alumni” of CEC. I will leave you with one of Jacob’s favourite quotes by Milton Berle, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Great advice Jacob!

Congratulations on this milestone! Love and Best wishes from your very proud parents, your brothers; Joseph and Joshua, and your whole community 🎉

Meet Mallory – CEC IB (International Baccalaureate) Program Grad pursuing a Bachelor of Health Services Honours Degree

This compassionate, determined, and dedicated young woman was born and raised in Belmont. When Mallory enrolled in the IB program she knew it was going to be a challenging couple years with a heavy course load. However, she did not let that discourage her. She faced all those challenges head on while also being Student Council Co-President for her grade 12 year as well as a member of various committees. If there was something to be organized or an event needing volunteers, Mallory was always quick to jump on board.

She was a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Peer Mentoring program for two years where she developed a close bond with her mentee. She is currently the Youth Advisor on a NSHA Community Health Board. She has been a member of the track and field team all three years of high school where she threw javelin and was very disappointed to not have her senior season.

Mallory will be attending Carleton University in Ottawa in the fall where she will be studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences Honours degree with a Concentration in Global Health. Her plan is to pursue a career in the medical field.

Although her senior year has gone nothing like she hoped and planned, she kept her chin up and made the most of it.

Congratulations! We couldn’t be more proud of you and your accomplishments Mal. You’re going to do great things! Love Mom, Dad, Michaela…and your whole community.

Meet Erin - CEC Honours with Distinction Grad, Varsity Athlete and Dedicated Volunteer

This young lady sure can balance it all and do it well. Erin is graduating from CEC with honours with distinction and secured a spot in St. FX/ Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the fall. Her hard work has earned her a yearly, renewable scholarship from St. FX. Although she is fully aware that she may be doing this online, she is up for the challenge and will do what it takes until she is able to head to Antigonish to live on campus. In the meantime, she has plans to go back to her full time summer position as a hostess/waitress in a seasonal restaurant on PEI working 60 hours a week!

Erin has been a dedicated member of CEC’s volleyball team since Grade 10. This year, her varsity team won silver at the provincials in a very close and intense match. She still talks about how hard the team worked to get that far and how proud she is of all of them. She shared, “Practicing 5 times a week, including some at 7 am, certainly paid off.”

Erin also understands the value of volunteering and giving back to your community. You may have seen her at Central Colchester Hospital’s Emergency Room front desk through her Grade 11 and 12 years, offering information or comforting ill patients. She certainly excelled in those environments, which will make her an excellent Nurse.

Erin would tell you, that one of her favorite memories at CEC was when the whole school got together for Terry Fox Day. She has fond memories of participating in the dodgeball tournaments and doing the slip and slide while raising awareness for cancer research with the whole student population. We wish Erin and all the 2020 Grads the best of luck in whatever path lies ahead!!!

Congratulations! Best wishes from your proud family, friend, and your community

Meet Courtney - Ecole acadienne de Truro Grad, Future Social Worker

Courtney Cook is graduating from Ecole acadienne de Truro. She worked at the after school program at her school and is so wonderful with children. She was also a member of many committees and volunteered her time to helped raised money for a school in Ecuador.

Courtney was a miracle, born 2 months early and only weighing 2lbs and 9ozs. She was always an adventurous child who loved to spend time with her family and friends. She is a friendly and compassionate young lady with a free spirit and love for life. She loves school and has worked hard. She received a bursary from the Universite de Moncton and will be studying to become a Social Worker.

Due to Covid-19, she was unable to get her grad photo taken. She may not have a grad photo to share, but she sure has some great accomplishments.🥳

Congratulations! We are so proud of you Court! Love Mom, Dad, Mitchell, Poppy, Nanny, and Bumpy

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