Meet Maddy, a Pathways alum from Kingston!

From a young age, Maddy has been focused on how she can make the world a better place for her and her peers.

When she was in high school, she helped develop the Kingston Youth Strategy, an initiative aimed at making Kingston a more youth-friendly city.

“The Strategy was created in response to the realities many young people in my community were experiencing. We wanted City Council and organizations to take leadership in better supporting us.” Through the project, Maddy and her peers listened to over 700 young people to understand their needs.

Kingston’s City Council voted unanimously to fund the Strategy, including their recommendations for better access to public transit, focused mental health supports, and improved relationships between the youth and police. The City of Kingston now receives international attention for providing free public transit to youth.

After she graduated from high school, Maddy pursued courses in public policy, history, and law at university. Interested in how policy can effectively address social issues, she began to take on topics of justice, choice, and agency full-time—and she hasn’t stopped since.

At a young age, Maddy already has an impressive resume under her belt.

She’s served as the Vice-Chair of the Ontario Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, has conducted research on positive youth development with the Students Commission of Canada, and coordinates curriculum and program development through the Institute for Youth Health and Development.

This work has only served to reinforce her belief that young people have the capacity and interest to influence the world around them.

“I’m very interested in working to better understand how we can make decision-making processes, especially in policy, more inclusive so that all the voices that need to be heard are heard in a meaningful way. Often you see consultations, but that rarely contributes to structural change. Power shifts happen when people are making decisions about themselves and the issues impacting them. I’m passionate about creating those bridges, so people from different experiences can connect.”

Maddy is a perfect example of what we all gain from supporting young people to achieve their goals. With her strong commitment to making this world a better place, we know our future is in good hands.

Learn more about Maddy’s experience with Pathways to Education in this great interview she did with the Toronto Guardian.