This month, CAYAC will be reluctantly saying good-bye to two Support Mentors who were also long time members of the group. Its hard to imagine a meeting without a least one of them there!
Marisa Vigna (right) joined as a member in 2005. She is now a Junior High Teacher. "Being a member of CAYAC has given me the opportunity to witness the power of the youth voice and how it can positively impact healthcare. The youth I have met through this group have been very inspirational. By sharing our experiences with others, we have been able to make improvements to the healthcare system, which has been very rewarding. Moving into the role of Youth Support Mentor for CAYAC has allowed me to provide guidance for the members to help them find their voice. Watching the youth become confident, passionate, and effective leaders, assures me that the incredible legacy of CAYAC will continue. It has been an honour to have been a part of such an amazing group!"
Emily Macphail (left) has been with CAYAC since 2008. She is currently a MD/Ph.D. Student. "When I joined CAYAC as a teenager, I wanted to use my experiences in the healthcare system to impact the provision of care to young people. I never anticipated the amazing individuals I would meet, the opportunities I would have, and how important CAYAC would be in helping me feel to like my voice mattered. Over the past several years, I've been lucky to stay involved as a mentor/volunteer, and doing so has only increased my belief in the importance of patient- and family-centred care and my understanding of how integral positive care experiences are for health and help-seeking in adolescence and beyond. The youth who make CAYAC what it is are a constant reminder of how capable, self-aware, and insightful young people can be, and they have instilled in me the importance of letting adolescents have the freedom to lead and grow in an environment where they are safe and supported."