People - May 2020

Meet Georgia - CEC Grad Who Is A Hard Worker and Excels in Everything She Does

"She has overcome a lot in her life and that makes her the young lady she is today! She shows more integrity and maturity than most her age. She is graduating from CEC and is taking a year off before she continues her schooling. She is a hard worker and excels in everything she does. We are very proud of her!"

Congratulations! Love Sophie, Dominic, Charly, Jase, and Sawyer

Meet Hannah - Graduating from CEC

"Hannah has worked really hard all year to get wonderful grades. She will be going to the NSCC next year for CCA. We are so proud of you Hannah."

Congratulations! Love Mom, Dad and Ethan

Meet Brooke – South Colchester Academy Grad Who Loves Cheer, Endangered Species, and Helping Others

In addition to success in her academic life, Brooke has been dedicated cheerleader since the young age of three. She started cheering with Truro Allstar Cheer and Tumble 12 years ago and this year competed with Integrity Cheer Empire based in Windsor in order to compete with Worlds as Truro does not compete at that level…yet. She would have been competing at The Cheerleading Worlds in Orlando Florida this year, but plans were disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brooke is heading to the University of Guelph in the fall where she will be pursuing International Development Studies with a Co-op program. She intends to work with endangered species through WWF (World Wildlife Foundation). She is a very determined and hardworking young woman who loves to help others. She participated in 2 mission trips; one in NYC where she volunteered with youth, children and in a community kitchen. She also went to Jamaica to help with community projects. Brooke is also an advocate against injustice, and stands up for what she believes.

With traditional prom and graduation ceremonies being cancelled this year due to unprecedented circumstances, Brooke felt it was very important that her fellow South Colchester Grads not feel forgotten. With donations from several local businesses, Brooke and her mom put together grad surprise bags for 81 students! What a wonderful thing to do.

Helping others and making a difference in the world is what will help to make the world a better place by improving people’s lives. One person at a time, one day at a time, and one project at a time. I believe John F. Kennedy said it best in this quote, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try” Thank you for trying Brooke.

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

Meet Kamaya – CEC Grad, Athlete, Volunteer, and Difference Maker

This strong, ambitious, compassionate young woman is considered a social leader in her school community and takes great pride in her academic success. She is a dedicated volunteer, athlete, and peer mentor. Kamaya was awarded the J&W Murphy 4 year renewable scholarship and has plans to attend Dalhousie University for a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree.

Kamaya plays CEC varsity Rugby, varsity basketball, and helped take her team to Provincials in CEC table tennis. She is a well-respected team leader, hardworking, and has natural athletic ability. She also excels in individual sports where she has a passion for running. In her quest to be the best she can be, Kamaya only competes against herself and her own best times. In her down time, you will find her painting and spending time with her boyfriend, Michael.

I wondered what lead Kamaya to pursue a profession in Psychology, so I asked. She replied, “I chose psychology because I want to make a difference in African Nova Scotian children and women’s mental health.” As she spoke, I could feel her deep rooted sense of wanting to help those who are in need, her love of people, and her passion for inclusivity. Just a few of the qualities that her family loves the most about her!

Kamaya is also a proud part of the Colchester African Dance troop and a mentor with the Afrocentric Aspiring Leader’s Youth Group. I asked, “Would you say that you proud of your heritage and that it is an important part of who you are?” Without hesitation she replied, “Yes it is a super important part of who I am,” She smiled, “It truly helped form the person I am today.” Her family is so very proud of the beautiful young lady she has bloomed into being. And, we couldn’t agree more.

Congratulations Kamaya! Best wishes from your family and your community!

Meet Abbie –Athlete, Volunteer, and Future Elementary School Teacher After Taking A Year Off

This hard working, compassionate CEC grad is a dedicated volunteer and a very impressive athlete. Abbie has been a buddy for challenger baseball for 3 years, shared reading buddy with the learning center, and also volunteers for the STAR program. Abbie also spent three years at CEC playing volleyball, basketball and track. Her volleyball team won regionals and provincials every year she played.

Outside of CEC, Abbie is a member of the Canadian Deaf Women’s Volleyball team. She travelled to France two years ago where her team won gold! That season, they didn’t lose a game. This past November, she went to Brazil where her team placed fourth. “How did you become part of this amazing team?” I asked. “I flew to Edmonton to try out for the team. I think there was 24 at tryouts and 11 made it. I was one of them,” she beamed. Even more impressive, Abbie is the second youngest on the team as most of her teammates are in their thirties. Not only does she get to play a sport she loves, it’s a great way to see the world.

As she leaves CEC with lots of fond memories, I asked her, “If you could pass along some words of advice to younger grads coming up, what would it be?” She smiled, “My advice would be to just be yourself,” she continued, “Find something you like whether it's a sport, music, academics because it really helps make your time at CEC more fun and memorable.”

My conversation with Abbie left me feeling inspired. She is such a polite and strong young lady. I just had to ask, “Who inspires you the most?” Without hesitation she answered, “My mom and my younger sister inspires me the most.” I think your Mom and sister feel the same way. Here is what Abbie's Mom told me, “It’s been a tough 7 years since Georgia (Abbie’s sister with severe special needs) was born but Abbie always rocks everything. Good grades, good at sports, always helpful with her sister, and never complains. We are very proud of her.”

Our wish is for you to always be your beautiful self. Congratulations! Love from Mom, Dad & Georgia...and your community ❤️

Meet Mady – CEC Grad, Scholarhsip Recipient and Future Nurse

It is quite common to care for your family when they are sick or need help to perform daily physical tasks. However, it is not easy for most people to take care of someone outside of their family circle. This is why most people believe nursing is not just a profession, but a calling. Mady is one of these special people who has found her calling and possesses the necessary qualities of being caring, compassionate and hard working.

Mady received the Olive M. and R. Trueman MacIntosh Memorial Education Scholarship of $10,000 this year which means a lot to her. She will be attending Dalhousie University School of Nursing to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree to prepare her to become Registered Nurse. I asked, “When did you make the decision to go into nursing?” She smiled, “In grade 8 during a health project, we had to pick a career. I researched nursing where I realized I wanted to do that and it’s been my calling ever since.” She continued, “In the future, I want specialize in care of babies. I’ve always had a love of babies and felt a connection to them.”

I wondered how she felt about leaving Truro for the “big city” in the fall. She answered, “I’m very excited!” She paused, “However, I don’t think I will be leaving in September as originally planned. I am pretty sure I will have to wait until January to live on residence.” In addition, it appears that post-secondary education may take place online instead of on campus this fall. I wondered how Mady felt about this. She replied confidently, “I feel like it’s going be a bit hard to learn some courses online, but I can do it.”

Before she begins this new chapter in her life book, she shared a few of her fondest memories of her time at CEC, “One of my favourite memories is Spirit Week. My favourite class was grade 12 Leadership. I also loved meeting new friends in class, and going to lunch with a big group of friends.”

Congratulations and Best wishes from your very proud family, friends and your whole community. 🎉

Meet Daniel - école acadienne de Truro Honours with Distinction Grad and Dedicated Athlete and Volunteer

Story submitted by Daniel's Mom, Robin

Daniel is a kind, caring, compassionate and driven young man. He is completing his second year as school President and volunteers in the school and community in many ways, such as by coaching school soccer, hockey and javelin as well as Run, Jump, Throw with the local Truro Lions Track and Field Club. He also volunteers with the Immaculate Conception Church Youth Group and is a member of the school Environmental Club.

Daniel’s devotion to sport is as great as his devotion to serving his school and community. He plays hockey for the Brookfield Junior B Elks, was ranked top 25 U20 in Canada for javelin last year, loves soccer and plays any sport he can, whenever he can.

His passion for helping others and taking care of the earth have led him to choose Engineering as a course of study next year at l’université de moncton, where he has earned a full academic scholarship.

We could not be more proud of this young man! Congratulations and best wishes from Mom & Dad. And, of course, us at Hubtown Life

Meet Chris – Talented Guitar Player, Athlete, Volunteer and Amazing Son

This honour student, not only managed to play on the school basketball team and a recreational basketball league since grade 4, but also has been employed by the RECC for the last three years as a Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard. He was an active volunteer in grades 10 & 11 as a coach for the Athletes in Action Basketball Camp, and a Peer Mentor in grade 12 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also volunteered in two mission trips; one to New York and another to Jamaica.

In chatting with Chris, I learned that he has been playing guitar for many years and he won the Doug Skidmore trophy for his guitar solo at the Truro Music Festival last year. I asked, “How did you get interested in playing guitar?” He replied, “My parents bought me a ukulele when I was around 4 years old. After that, I wanted to move to something bigger, so started to play guitar and take lessons.” With a shy giggle he continued, “I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t listen to much guitar music, but I definitely liked to play AC/DC guitar songs when I was growing up.”

Chris has plans to attend Dal AC in the Fall for Engineering before continuing on to Dalhousie University for a major in Chemical Engineering. “I’ve always liked math and science, and scored well in chemistry this year. I love engineering.” He shared that he was a very curious child and always loved solving, and piecing together problems. I asked, “What is one of your most memorable experiments?” He quickly replied, “In grade 4, my science fair project was comparing the speeds of two different tin can robots; one with normal wheels, and one with oval shaped wheels. Building these tin can robots was a great experiment and memory for me.”

Before we ended our conversation, Chris shared the persons he looks up to the most is his parents. “They made sure I was always on track, and taught me many valuable lessons growing up.” Here is to life lessons, fond memories and new adventures!

Best wishes from your proud parents. And, of course, us at Hubtown Life

Meet Katie – CEC Honours with Distinction Grad with a Love of Volunteering and Swimming

Story submitted by Katie's proud Mom

Katie has been very active inside and outside of school. She was on student council all three years and an executive member her final year. She ran cross-country and was Co-Captain of the team this year.

She also swam competitively at the AAA level for the Truro Centurions Swim Club. The summer before grade 10, she represented Nova Scotia at the 2017 Canada Games in Winnipeg. Additionally, she volunteered for the multi-sport program, Special Olympics and worked part time teaching swimming lessons at Scotia Pool. During the summer, you will find her lifeguarding at Heather Beach in Pugwash.

Katie is attending Carleton University in Ottawa next year for an honours degree in Computer Science.

Congratulations on all your accomplishments Katie! Best wishes from Mom, Dad and Jake. And, of course, us at Hubtown Life

Meet Alara - Dedicated athlete, academic Student, Inspiring Writer and Future Globetrotter!

Story submitted by Alara's Mom

Alara’s curiosity for travel started at a very young age- she spent her first 4 years living and travelling across the USA and Northern Canada ( we joked she attended Daddy’s Day Care as mom worked as a travel nurse!) - New York/ Connecticut/ New Mexico/ Dawson Creek.

She moved to Truro at the age of 5 to start school. When trying to choose a school, it became very obvious the benefits of enrolling her at the Acadian school- she would have the opportunity to learn and embrace her Acadian Heritage (very important to her grandparents), learn another language in a family-like atmosphere. Over the years at the French school, she has embraced cultural and social diversity; she has a real open-minded attitude about the world around her!

When most students choose to pursue their high school in English, she knew by staying at the French School, this would open more doors for her- a life-long ability to communicate with French-Speaking people on her future travels!

For the past 2 years, her days have started at 7 am when she welcomed a handful of kids to the “before school Program”. She has never once complained by her early starts! She has instilled in these little ones her love for Super Heroes/ Harry Potter and Puzzles. After school, she can once again be found coloring/ playing and scurrying around the school grounds with kids in hand- all experiences she hopes to carry into a teaching career.

When she is not writing short stories or entertaining kids, she can be found on the Volleyball court. She started playing Volleyball for the Lynx Club as a setter in grade 7 and has not missed a game or court time since. She hopes to continue her love for Volleyball this Fall by playing university volleyball with the Dragons.

In the Fall, she will continue to pursue her post graduate education in French by attending the Universite Sainte Anne. She has been awarded a full Academic Scholarship to pursue a degree in Science and Education.

We are so proud of her determination, her passion and hard work! Best wishes from Mom, Dad, Mason and Shylah

Meet Leah – A CEC Grad off to Acadia University to Study Kinesiology

Leah is one busy young lady. She is currently working two jobs: part time at Sobeys for the last three years plus working at Lawtons since the beginning of the Covid-19 situation. She is actually working today, but still managed to make time to chat with me.

During our conversation it was easy to see that Leah is a very caring, dedicated and a fierce competitor who has a love for athletics and volunteering in her community. As team Captain for both the soccer and basketball teams this year, she helped lead both teams to some impressive titles. She shared, “The soccer team won its first provincial Division 1 title in 27 years! And, the basketball team won a 4th place finish at the Division 1 high school provincials.” That is two very special milestones she was a part of.

I asked, “What is your favourite memory from your years spent at CEC?” With pride she answered, “Winning gold at soccer provincials. I’ve enjoyed playing for the school soccer team over the last three years, and I liked how the team improved every year I played. She continued, “This year when we won our region, and then went on to win the provincial title, it was the best way to end my last season!” I am sure those moments with her teammates are fond memories she will carry for a lifetime.

Leah also volunteered for many causes and organizations over the years. She volunteered at the Food Bank last summer; she worked with special needs youth, and was a Peer Mentor. Curious, I asked, “Why is volunteering in your community so important to you?” With a huge smile she replied, “It is important to me because I like helping others. It makes me happy knowing I’m doing something to help people in the community!”

Congratulations on all your accomplishments Leah. We wish you all the success in the world as do all your family and friends. I think this quote by Flora Edwards sums it up best, “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” 

Meet Joseph – CEC Honour Grad Heading to Acadia pursue Sociology

In addition to his academic achievement of graduating from CEC with Honours, Joseph also excels in athletics. One of his favourite sports, football!

This easy-going and compassionate athletic has found the perfect match to pursue his post-secondary education. Joseph will be heading to Acadia University in the fall. Acadia University is nestled in the heart of the Annapolis Valley in Wolfville and boasts 11 varsity status programs. It offers student-athletes an opportunity to grow as a person by combining academics and athletics which is perfect blend as Joseph with be playing on the iconic Axemen Football Team! What a perfect match.

In regard to his academic goals, Joseph will be pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Sociology. His ultimate career goal is to become an RCMP officer! I will leave you with this fitting quote, “It takes a special type of person to aspire to be a police officer. It takes an even more special type of person to actually become a police officer.”

Congratulations Joseph on embarking on this exciting new chapter in your life! Best wishes from your very proud parents and sister, Molly. And, of course, us at Hubtown Life 

Meet Arshvir – A Local CEC Grad Heading to DAL AC this Fall

Looking back on his childhood, I am sure that Arshvir never thought that he would be graduating from CEC in Truro, Nova Scotia. “I was born in Italy but my family is originally from India. I moved to India in 2006 because the school system in Italy, at that time, was not great. My parents decided going to school in India was best for me and I agreed with them,” he said. “Wow that is amazing! When did you move to Truro?” I asked. He paused for a moment, “My mom, my brother, and I moved to Canada in 2014 to join my dad who moved here in 2012. We were originally in PEI, and we moved to Nova Scotia in 2017.” I asked, ‘How do you like living in Truro?” He quickly smiled, “I really enjoy living here. The people here are great, and I really felt the sense of community when we first moved in.”

I wanted to know more about his time at school so I asked, “Were you involved in any sports or extra-curricular activities?” He quickly replied, “Yes, I was involved in football, wrestling, and had been doing track & field for 2 years.” He continued, “I love challenging myself and I think that’s why I’ve done sports. I wasn’t able to do track this year and that’s been the worst part.” I wondered what was the best part of his time at CEC was to which he enthausically replied, “Being in the IB program was one of my favorite things. The students and the teachers in it were great!”

Arshvir is a very motivated, polite, and well-rounded young man. I wondered who inspires him, “I look up to both of my parents because of how they have built themselves. Coming from low income families to being able to live in Canada takes a lot of hard work and I find that really inspiring.” I couldn’t agree more.

After graduation, Arshvir plans to attend the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus for Engineering. He will study in Truro for two years before finishing the remainder of the course in Halifax. I will leave you with this quote, “Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.” Congratulations Arshvir!

Meet Tyler – A Local CEC Grad Who Has a Bright Academic & Athletic Future

This self-described laid back, witty, and proactive young man was born and raised in Truro. Before starting a whole new chapter in his life after graduation, we chatted about his fondest memories of the years he spent at CEC.  He shared that some of the greatest memories he made was with the soccer team. “I have made a ton of great friends through that team.” He continued, “This past fall we won a bronze medal at Provincials which is only the second time that has happened in CEC history!  Coach Foster and Budgey have both taught me a lot about, not only soccer, but sportsmanship and integrity. They have been huge role models

In addition to playing soccer, Tyler is passionate about his favourite track and field event, hurdles. “The first time I tried hurdles was in grade 7. I did it kind of as a joke at first, but my coaches suggested I give it a serious try.  I did and that’s how it started.”  Tyler may be finished this chapter of hurdle athletics at CEC but he is not closing the book.  “I’ll be heading to the University of Western Ontario for a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.” He continued, “It will be a big change for me moving to a big city, but I think it’s a good decision for my future; not just academically but for athletics as well.” With a huge smile he continued, “I have also signed with their track and field team.  So that is something I’m really looking forward to.  My friend is also heading to Western with me.”

I decided to switch gears and ask Tyler a few fun questions. “What is your favourite food and dessert?” He thought for a moment, “It would have to be any type of fruit. I eat a lot of bananas.  And for dessert, I am going to say ice cream - Mint chocolate chip” I continued, “What is your favourite tv show? How about your favourite music?” He answered, “Sports when I watch tv, I like hip hop music and I’m a big Drake fan.”

Congratulations Tyler!  I leave you with this fitting quote by Nelson Mandela, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” We wish you the best of luck on this next exciting chapter in your life.

Meet Jane – A Woman who Enjoys Giving Back in Many Ways

This lovely married mother of three young children has been living in Truro since moving from her hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland in 1996.  When most people think about Newfoundlanders, their thoughts quickly go to caring, giving, easy-going, proud community-minded type people.  While speaking with Jane, it was easy to see just how many of these qualities she possesses.

Before becoming a Lawyer, Jane was an elementary school teacher who taught in Halifax at the maritime Muslim Academy and the Douglas Street Elementary School in Truro. “Why did you choose to become a Lawyer?” I asked curiously.  She replied, “I thought law would be interesting. I met someone at a Christmas party who was in law school and she encouraged me to take the LSAT and then decide. I received a letter of acceptance that spring from Dalhousie. It was a great decision and I made some of my best friends there.” She continued, “I enjoy solicitor work; it’s helping people in very concrete way.”

Jane also enjoys helping her local community by volunteering. She currently sits on the Board of the Jane Norman College and she will be the President of the Rotary Club of Truro at the end of June. She also shared one of her passions. “I try to live a small footprint - shopping local, living local. I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can be.” She giggled, “I’m sure I'm not the best at it but it is a definitely passion of mine.”

Just before our conversation ended, Jane shared that her most privileged experience is being a mom.  “Raising children, and being able to share that experience with your spouse is amazing.  It's not always easy, but there are those moments that bring the type of joy you can't get from anywhere else.” Jane may have many titles but I think this quote by Michelle Obama sums it up best, “At the end of the day, my most important title is still Mom-in-Chief.” 

Meet Martha – A Local High School Senior with a Bright Smile and Future

One of the first questions I asked Martha, who is a high school senior at CEC, was how she felt about no prom. She replied, “To be very honest, at the time in March when we were still at school, prom was one of the last things on my mind. I was thinking a lot more about my school assignments.” She giggled. This very responsible young lady is also a member of the Track Team. “I started by doing school competitions in grade 6 and I've done school track ever since. I'm now a part of Truro Lions Track Club,” she said proudly.

I quickly learned that she will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall. “I am really interested in the Food Science industry. I'm also really intrigued in the chemistry behind foods and how what we put in our bodies affects how we perform tasks in such drastically different ways,” she said. What a great time to ask her what her favorite food is. “My favorite food is mangoes because there's never a time I don't want to eat one!” she laughed. I had to agree as mango is my favorite fruit!

I asked, “As you look back at your years at CEC, what is your fondest memory?” She beamed, “Last year I was selected to be one of the four emcees for the Rally Against Racism that took place at Civic Square. There were many students who participated in the March. I did some public speaking before that event but it was nothing compared to speaking in front of over 2000 members of the public and students!”

As our conversation continued, I wondered who inspires this easy-going, motivated and slightly reserved young lady. “Congresswoman Maxine Waters because of how she stands up for what she believes in in an unapologetic way. But I also look up to my parents because they're two incredible people that I see working hard every day. My dad is a Professor at the Dal AC and my mom is a Nurse,” she shared with admiration.

I believe that you are also an inspiration, Martha. Your positive outlook, strong values, and graceful disposition are beautiful; just like your smile. Congratulations to all of the Class of 2020! 

Meet Chad and Elaine – On a Staycation

During my conversation with Chad, I discovered several things about him that stood out. Not only is he a talented published poetry author, but he is adventurous, loves nature, the beach, travelling, and laughing….a lot!

Chad was born in Armstrong, BC but always had a strong connection to Nova Scotia as his mom is from Masstown. “We lived in B.C until I was 11. We left in 1970, and drove across Canada to take up on the family farm in Masstown. My Dad was offered a job looking after the farm's book. I’ve traveled across Canada many times and I have lived in many places, “he shared. “Would you say that you were an adventure seeker as a youngster?” I asked. “Oh, yes!” he laughed. “In March 1980, I hitch hiked from Calgary to Debert.” Surprised and curious, I asked him to tell me more. “I headed out to 16th Ave, which is Hwy 1, stuck out my thumb, and arrived in Debert five days later where I stayed for about a year.” He continued, “In 2003, I put the names Victoria, Kamloops, and Debert in ball-hat. Debert was chosen, and I jumped on a Greyhound bus and left.  And, so far, it has been one the best and major moves in my lifetime.”

Chad proposed to his beautiful wife, Elaine, 15 years ago on a beach in her hometown of Antigonish. I asked, “How are you guys doing in this time of social distancing?” He smiled, “Elaine is off work due to the office being closed, so we are getting to know one another in new ways. We're good friends so it hasn't been too tough.” Awe, isn’t that romantic I thought to myself. He continued, “We often refer to this isolation thing as being like we're travelling and staying in a hotel. We have time to have lots of conversations, and to enjoy some tasty beverages.” I laughed, “Like a stayaction?” He laughed too, “Yes exactly!

I quickly got the sense that there is no other place, in this moment, that either one of them would rather be. Instead of feeling the sense of lack, we can choose to feel the good, to feel the moments that create new memories, to feel gratitude and to share love. To quote Chad at the end of our conversation, “So far so good….the trip continues!

Meet Sonya - Not All Super Heroes Wear Capes

Sonya is a married Mom of three children who has been with the VON for the past 7 years in and around the Truro area. I wondered how she is doing during this time of Covid-19. “Actually, I just got up from working back shift and I'm currently living in a hotel,” she said. “You are living in a hotel?” I asked curiously. “Yes, I volunteered to work outside of my area to help another region for a few weeks who has been hit really hard by the crisis.” She continued, “Being away from my family is extremely hard but I love my job and love helping people so when the opportunity came up I could not say no.”

This self-described passionate, loving and caring woman shared that she is also going through a hard time right now. “It will be a year on May 30th that I lost my dad to cancer along with a few other people in 2019 that was dear to me.” I wondered what gives her strength. “It is my passion to make sure everyone knows they are loved, deserve the best care and respect in their time of need.” As she spoke, I could feel the sense of purpose in her voice. 

I decided to lighten the conversation by asking her a few relaxed questions. “During more normal times, what do you like to do for fun?” She quickly replied, “Spending time with my family and friends.” I continued, “Do you have any hobbies?” She laughed, “I live crafting! Christmas is my favorite time of year. Decorating my house is my most favorite part; besides having Christmas dinner with the family.” One more fun question, “Are you a tea or a coffee drinker?” She laughed again, “Neither, I’m a wine drinker.  Anyone who knows me would expect that answer.” 

Just before we ended our conversation, Sonya also shared that she has several tattoos. I asked, “Do you have a special one?” She replied, “I have a very special one. My dad wrote out a quote for me before he passed away so I could tattoo his hand writing on me.” I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and a glow in my heart as she shared this quote, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” She continued, “I live by it…now more than ever.”

Happy Mother's Day Donna McCallum!

Here is what Donna's daughter, Trish, had to say about her Mom....

"She sacrificed so much for my sister (Lana) and me all our lives. We love you so much Mom and wish you the happiest Mother's Day ever!"

Pictured: Trish and Lana's beautiful Mom, Donna

Happy Mother's Day Sheri!

Here is what Sheri's daughter, Charity, had to say about her Mom...

This is my mom, her name is Sheri. You may see her and get greeted with a "Hi dear!" if you get your coffee at Pictou Road, Tim Hortons. She works very hard, especially these days to run her store and others. She is a front line essential worker. Behind the scenes of her already busy life, she is a mom to 6 kids, and a loving grandmother to 8 kids! Words cannot even begin to express the love, admiration and pride I have for my mom. Proverbs 31 is a passage that gives a good description! She has an amazing work ethic, she is a teacher, mentor, encourager, and is loved by many. I am blessed to not only call her mom, but also my best friend!"

Pictured: Charity and her Mom, Sheri

Happy Mother's Day Dawn MacMillian!

Here is what Dawn's daughter, Megan , had to say about her Mom...

“My Mom works for 811 and has been tirelessly taking Covid-19 calls as well as raising 3 children under 12. She is a true hero and is the backbone of our family. She is resilient, hardworking and the strongest lady I know. She deserves more recognition.” 

Pictured: (L - Megan, daughter) (M - Dawn, Mom) (R - Sarah, daughter)

Happy Mother's Day Connie Dawson!

Here is what Connie's daughter, Linda, had to say about her Mom... 

"I honestly could write a book explaining how amazing of a woman she truly is but I will try and summarize it as best I can. My Mom is a truly selfless, giving, compassionate woman. She works extremely hard at her job as a CCA with VON giving her care and love to her clients. Myself and my 2 brothers are no stranger to this same care and love being raised by this awesome leader! Her grandchildren are the apples of her eye and she always puts her family first! Thank you Mom for simply being beautiful ,amazing YOU!!!"

Pictured: Linda's beautiful Mom, Connie

Happy Mother's Day to Carole Evans!

Here is what Carole's son, Chad, had to say about his Mudder....

"What I like most about my Mudder is throughout my life she has has always been the one to ask me, : How's your writing going?"

Pictured: Chad and his Mom, Carole

Happy Mother's Day Mimi MacKinnon-Woods!

Here is what Mimi's daughter, Cassie, had to say about her Mom....

"Our Mom Is the best Mom, and Nana to her four Grandkids. She is adventurous, lives her life to the fullest and gives the best advice."

Submitted photo: Rob (L -Son), Mimi, Cassie (R - Daughter)

Meet Debbie – An Animal Lover with a Heart as Big as the Sky

In addition to having two adult children, Debbie also has a cat named Ellie May, and a beautiful Bernese Mountain dog named Bear that she considers family. I could see the love she has for her 120lbs fur baby in the photo she sent me. “Does Bear sleep in your bed with you?” I asked. She laughed, “Every night! And, what we do for our fur babies. I had to adjust my bed so he can jump in with me since he has issues with his hips.” It was easy to see that Debbie wouldn’t have it any other way as she is a huge animal lover. She is also a huge people lover which a big reason why she has been working at Fletcher’s Restaurant in Truro for almost 39 years!

This self-described bubbly, smiley, happy lady brings joy to many of the staff and patrons of the restaurant. “Wow, you've been working at Fletcher's for almost 39 years! What is the best thing about working at Fletcher's?” She quickly answered, “I absolutely love it! After working there so many years, customers and staff are definitely like family.” I could feel the sense of how much she is missing her extended family. “I am missing out on my hugs these days. I am a big hugger,” she shared.

There were two questions I just had to ask this Fletcher’s Restaurant veteran, “What is your favourite item on the menu?” Without hesitation she replied, “Fish and Chips.” And since you always have to leave room for dessert, I asked her, “What’s your favourite dessert?” With a smile she said, “Lemon meringue pie.” I wondered if there was something about her that most people would be surprised to learn. “I always wished I could play an instrument and be the good singer around that campfire.” She continued, “Also, I Love hot sauce! And, I make the best hot wings, if I do say so myself,” she laughed.

I will leave you with this quote by John Grogan which I believe describes Debbie beautifully, “Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky.”

Meet Laura – A Fitness Pro who Loves Food

This married Mom of two has some of the most upbeat and positive energy that I’ve ever encountered.  I wondered where she gets her upbeat energy and if it is inspired by someone. “I am a positive person by nature (I believe I take after my dad) and I love Jesus...He gives me joy. I also get to live my passion which is has never been a job for me, but my calling. What is the saying....’when you truly love what you do, you never work a day in your life’!”

Laura has been in the Fitness industry for 20 years!  Since 2012, she’s been the Manager of Health, Fitness and Special Populations at the RECC and also teaches classes.  “What is the one thing you miss most about not teaching classes right now?” I asked. Without hesitation she quickly answered, “I miss the connection. I am a group person and get a lot of enjoyment and energy from my participants. I cannot wait to see them again.” As she spoke, I could feel the anticipation in her voice.  In my mind, I envisioned a class full of participants smiling, laughing, and sweating it up.  Her upbeat energy combined with the high energy tempo music must give every participant a blast of feel good endorphins. That visual quickly put a big smile on my face; almost as big as if I was there.

When she is not at the RECC doing what she loves, I wondered what she likes to do for fun. “I enjoy eating out and spending time with my family. I also lead worship at the church I attend which I is so awesome!” One thing most people may be surprised to learn about Laura is that she Loves food!  She is a self-identified foodie and her favourite food is nachos. “I am not much of a cook or baker,” she giggled. “My husband is the cook in our family…thank God for that!”

I wondered how she is doing during these trying times. “I am starting to find the time long. I am not wired to be a stay at home parent or homeschooler. I really enjoy my job and I am much too hyper!” she laughed.  I thank you Laura for having the time to chat with me.  Here is to endorphin boosting, high energy, sweat filled, hyper days coming back soon.  Keep on moving

Meet Emily and Andrew – Love On and Off the Soccer Field

One of the first things Emily shared with me is her connection to the Dalhousie Agricultural College. “My grandfather, my Dad's dad, was originally a teacher but after the war he went to NSAC and then worked for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. My mother's father immigrated to Canada (from the Netherlands) after World War II to be a Veterinarian at NSAC,” she said proudly.

I wondered if she followed in their footsteps. “I consider Dal-AC to be an integral part of my family heritage, but decided to follow a different path when I graduated high school. I studied music!” she said. “Do you play any instruments?” I asked. “I play piano, flute and the saxophone. Although, I haven’t played in years, “she replied. I could sense there was more to the story, and I was right. “There was a moment in university where I practiced for a few hours every day. One day, I overheard a student saying that she was disappointed in herself for only practicing 10 hours per day. It was at the moment I realized there was always going to be better musician than me. I never wanted to feel disappointed in myself for only practicing 10 hours a day. That is when I switched programs to study Math and Science,” she giggled.

As the conversation continued, I learned that Emily is also one of the Soccer Coaches for the Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Team at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC). “So, who is the other Coach?” I wondered. “My husband is! We actually met coaching,” she giggled and continued, “He is exceeding patient, and I am not. He is also more of a soccer player than I am. We complement each other in many ways.” I agree.

This married couple of 11 years makes a great team on and off the field. “Do you have any children?” I asked lastly. “No children….However, Andrew and I joke all the time that the girls on the team are our real kids,” she smiled. Awe, now doesn’t that just warm your heart

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