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Empathy • Humour • Courage

Her Story

Stefanie Hockaday

Stefanie's Story :

I am an “old soul” or so I’ve been told.  I feel empathy.  I have always been a nurturing person.  Perhaps that’s because I am an older sister or because I grew up heading to my grandma’s senior residence after school.  I feel for people.  I look out for others.  I can be a bit bossy and I like to keep things organized.  I like to keep others safe.  I am the mother of my friend group.  I am always looking out for them and they appreciate that.  When I was younger, I was told by a group of girls I hung out with that if we couldn’t do gymnastics we couldn’t hang out with them, so I led our tiny outcast group (mainly boys) to play soccer.  I hung out with them so much that my teacher emailed my mom worried that I might be “boy crazy”.  When they investigated, they quickly realized that I hung out with them because it was a safe inclusive space where I could be myself and not be judged or criticized.  I’ve never accepted bullying in any way, shape or form.  I adapt, include and treat others how I would like to be treated.

I have two major diagnoses in my life.  One is physical and one is a learning disability.  Both of them have taught me to stay strong, taught me to stay authentic and to realize that everyone has their own struggles and are fighting their own battles,  your challenges bring out your strength.

My roots are strong in my community where I feel safe and loved.  I love my hometown.  My happy place is on my boat on Katchewanooka Lake which is the lake I live on.  I tell my family all the time if I were to get a tattoo, I would get the coordinates of Lakefield.

I dream of a career in counselling, nursing or as a paramedic.  I feel helping people is my purpose in life.  I have been told many times I am great in emergency situations.

I am most grateful for my family and my friends.  I have the most amazing, supporting and loving parents.  My whole family would give their right leg to see me succeed with and achieve my dreams.  My brother can get on my nerves but he is also my best friend; especially when I need him.  I am completely blessed to have the most amazing friends in my life.

I wrote a poem about Covid-19.  I spoke about the things we take for granted and the points in life that matter most to me.  I call my grandma daily.  I never turn down a movie night with my aunt and I love having dinner with my family.  my life has so many things I am grateful for, but that’s the beauty of life itself.  you get each day to show how grateful you truly are for the people, places and things in your life.  I am only 16 years old and I get to spend every day with the people that I love most and not everyone can say that.