Anyone who has ever spent any time at Epic Opportunities’ day service location in St. Boniface has likely met Michael.
Michael, 23, has been served by the organization for the past three years ago and his outgoing, positive personality has helped him forge dozens of new relationships during that time. In fact, he has become something of a goodwill ambassador at the organization’s Goulet Street offices, often going out of his way to welcome newcomers and help show new staff how things are done.
“He’s a very naturally social guy,” says Pam Munnik, coordinator of the agency’s Goulet location.”
The opportunity to develop new relationships was a major reason Michael says he decided to join Epic Opportunities.
“Everybody is nice to me here. I feel like I have a lot of support,” he says.
Michael says that has been particularly true when it comes to making decisions. Not only have staff has provided him with whatever tools he needs to make decisions, he says they have been great about encouraging him to make his own choices. That in turn has helped him to feel more confident in all aspects of his life, he adds.
“It’s great to see how he’s become a real advocate for himself,” Munnik says. “When he wants something to happen he won’t take no for an answer. He’s become very good at putting together the pieces of a plan that works for him.”
Michael has some big plans for this summer. He hopes to volunteer at the upcoming 2017 Canada Summer Games, scheduled for July 28 to Aug. 13 in Winnipeg.
“I’m excited about it,” he says of the opportunity to volunteer at the Games, which will feature nearly 4,000 athletes from across the country taking part in more than 250 events.
Sport is one thing Michael enjoys as much as forging new friendships. He shoots hoops regularly at his local Y and has competed at the Turning Leaf Games. He is also a diehard fan of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team, an affection he shares with his mom, Renetta. There likely wasn’t a hockey fan more excited about Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge clinching a berth in this spring’s Stanley Cup playoffs than Michael.
Another one of Michael’s passions is music. At home, he can often be found listening to his favourite music on his computer. His musical tastes tend to lean towards classic rock and he lists AC/DC and Bruce Springsteen as two of his favourite acts.