We closed out our Rotary meetings in the month of November with an uplifting presentation by Brianne Oswald, Partnerships Manager of the Sunshine Foundation.  
The Foundation was created in 1987 to help youth, ages 11-21 living with severe physical disabilities, to identify their future vision and to take a step towards realizing that potential. Too often, these young people have their dreams defined by the physical limitations and challenges that able-bodied members of their communities see. 
Research shows that overcoming obstacles in adolescence, with the right supports, can foster mental resilience and positive growth.  A couple of the stories Brianne shared with us demonstrates this formula in action.
  • Razan, above, had her future dream career as a DJ accelerated with the gift of music equipment and is now working at venues where she previously was never invited.
  • Allayah, below, is a Grade 12 student, and an aspiring lawyer who happens to be paralyzed and relies on her family to support her daily needs.  During the pandemic, Allayah's ability to research politics and the law was limited to times when she could access a borrowed Chromebook from her school - until the Sunshine Foundation gave her a laptop to increase her independence.
The Sunshine Foundation works with youth and families across Canada to build confidence, independence and optimism to boost their mental health and future goals. For more information on their work and results check out https://www.sunshine.ca.