On Sunday, November 19th, McFadden’s Movement was proud to host Sydney Lagassie as the MM27 Ambassador of the Game.
Sydney, a grade 12 student at Center Wellington District High School, shared how losing a close friend to suicide just before starting high school was a turning point in her life.
“It made me realize that it was a bigger cause than how people made it look and sound,” Sydney explained, adding that she also deals with mental illness personally through depression and anxiety.
Starting in grade nine, Sydney – who lists volunteering as one of her hobbies – became not just an advocate for mental health, but an advocate for all members of the community through an incredible amount of volunteer work.
“I started volunteering with Get in Touch for Hutch – this organization has changed my life forever,” Sydney said of a local organization created in memory of Steven Hutchison, aimed at turning a tragedy into a journey to find a way to get youth talking. “They dedicate so much time to helping others and making sure others are okay. Getting involved in this group was one of my best decisions, and I hope I can become more involved in McFadden’s Movement, and more like it.”
Beyond Get in Touch for Hutch, Sydney also devotes a lot of time to volunteering with the senior citizens of the community.
“I love spending time around them as I get to hear their life stories and experiences,” Sydney, who is an aspiring nurse, shared. “I know that I make a difference in their lives.”
More than that, Sydney, who is also a hockey player, finds her volunteer work in addition to her time spent as an athlete, to be a coping mechanism for herself and her day-to-day challenges.
“I have played hockey my entire life which helps to create an escape form every day stresses,” Sydney explained. “By volunteering, and with strong family support, I find it easier to cope with everyday life, and I hope to help others with this.”
“Between working three jobs, going to school, and playing sports – it can be very overwhelming,” Sydney continued. “It is okay to reach out for help if you feel it’s needed. It might not always be easy, but it’s worth it.”