This year, our MASST Chief Youth Courage Award recipient is ten-year-old, Emily. Emily was referred to MASST due to struggles with anxiety and expressing her emotions. From a young age, Emily has had involvement with Child and Family Services. Her mother struggled with addition and her father was absent most of the time, which resulted in Emily and her brother being removed from their care.

Unfortunately, a few years ago Emily received news that her father had passed away. As her mother was experiencing homelessness at the time, Emily and her brother were taken in by their grandparents. This resulted in Emily struggling to develop trusting relationships with adults and led to problems at school.

Through MASST, Emily was able to find healthy ways to express her emotions and develop coping strategies to help deal with the struggles she was facing. Emily and her Grandmother grew very close to her MASST team and they became comfortable asking for additional support when needed. MASST used Emily’s love of nature and animals to engage with her and even sent her to a camp where she could nurture horses and bond with peers. Emily also enjoys singing and with her newfound confidence, she starred in her school’s Christmas Opera production. This was a huge accomplishment for Emily.

Over the holidays, Emily learned that her mother had passed away. With the support of MASST and her loving grandparents, Emily continues to cope with this incredible loss. Despite everything that Emily has been through, we are continuously inspired by her positive outlook on life and are confident that MASST has taught her the skills needed to deal with anything that comes her way. We are so proud of Emily and can’t wait to present her with this prestigious award.

Fast Facts – About Emily

1.What do you want people to know about you? I want people to know that I am a really sweet person who has been through a lot.

2. Who is your hero? Veterinarians. I love animals and they make me happy, so I am thankful for vets keeping them healthy.

3. What do you love about Calgary? I really love my school, my teachers and all of my friends.

4. What do you think are the main reasons youth get involved in crime? I think sometimes bad things have happened to them and they think they need to steal or turn to crime to fix it. I also think kids are bullied which could lead to crime.

5. What do you think would stop youth from getting involved in crime? If we talked to them more, like we do in MASST and let them know that they don’t need to be afraid of the past and work towards moving forward.

6. Where do you see yourself in the next few years? In the next few years, I would like to be a professional dog walker or babysitter.

7. What do you do for fun? I like drawing, singing Ed Sheeran songs, dancing and doing karaoke.

8. Tell us about one thing you would like to accomplish this year? I would like to get to know some police officers. I used to be afraid that they would take me away from my family but now I want to be their friends.

9. Describe your perfect day? Every day is a perfect day to me, but especially when I get to see dogs!

10. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? I want to be able to shapeshift. I would turn into different animals.

11. What message do you have for other youth who might need help dealing with their everyday lives? Look towards the future and don’t linger on the past.