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Megan DeCarlo

Megan's Story :

I volunteer with my community, I work, I have learning disabilities, I sports, I am a coach, I am Indigenous, and I am an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I come from a large blended family where I am tucked somewhere in the middle of seven siblings ranging from 24 – 7 years old.

I think that it is our collective responsibility to create strong communities and support each other with positive contributions through our citizenry.

I work with Electric City Special Needs Hockey (ECM). Being a part of ECM and watching the absolute joy the players experience inspires me. For ECM players, hockey is not about winning… it’s about inclusion and having an opportunity to be recognized as an athlete, as a player, as a teammate and as folks who should be given opportunities to celebrate their achievements despite unfair stereotypes or assumptions.

I have also worked as both an assistant coach and this year, a part-time trainer for PGHA girls’ hockey team.  I wanted young women in our community to feel strong and confident.  I wanted an opportunity to mentor young women and to help to create a safer space for them to figure out who they are outside whatever school or peer pressures they might be dealing with.

This is the first time I have talked about the time I give to the community… I work with others because I love it.  ​I volunteer because building people up and supporting others to find their confidence is a core value of mine.  As someone who lives with a learning disability, I understand how easy it can be to feel defeated and discouraged but through volunteering I am constantly inspired by others; I learn from them and I am humbled by the trust they give me to help them achieve their own version of success. ​I am thankful that opportunities exist that can fit into each of our goals and dreams and that we live in a place where we can celebrate difference.

It is with resounding gratitude that I have been nominated to be included in this project alongside this group of formidable and courageous women.