Header: Thrive Youth Leadership Hall of Fame

Mackenzy Willis


Mackenzy (she/her) received the Thrive Youth Leadership Award in 2009.

What’s one of your memorable moments from your time with Thrive Youth?

“One of my favourite moments from programming is when we had the choir up. It was my first time trying something new. I remember being so cautious and I didn’t know anybody. The lead walked up to me and noticed I was left handed and she says ‘OH! You’re a lefty, I am too! Let’s sit together and I’ll introduce you to some people’. I was immediately comfortable and safe in the space and program. This was also probably one of the first times I spoke to someone outside my orbit.

One pivotal moment that was life altering for me was when we were in grade 8 and we were discussing our goals and future plans. I stated clearly that I didn’t have any as I didn’t see myself getting that old. They asked me what I enjoyed most in my life and I said Thrive youth. They talked to me and said that I could maybe one day work here. I took that to heart, clearly.”

What are you doing now?

“Now I have the immense privilege to be able to provide kids like me, who desperately need opportunities and show them how to be the best version of themselves. I am the national manager of programs and advancement for Thrive Youth. I am the person who gets to inspire the little Mackenzy’s that we can look beyond tomorrow and see futures and reach goals. The first goal I ever set was to Thrive, and without a doubt I can confidently say that I am.”