Aleethia Mackay is a full time Addictions Counsellor at an alternative high school in the Winnipeg School Division where she works one on one with teenagers who have experienced trauma, and who may be battling substance use and abuse.
Aleethia has always had a passion for working with youth of all ages and will spend her time on the TEDxWinnipeg stage helping us take a closer look at the Youth In Iceland model and how it may have a similarly positive impact on Canadian youth. We caught up with Aleethia to ask her a few questions before the big day:
Why are you excited to speak at TEDxWinnipeg?
I’m excited to speak at TEDx Winnipeg because of the opportunity to connect with everyone involved in this event – from TEDx coordinators, speakers, audience members, and volunteers. For an introvert, I’m ridiculously pumped about how many new people I get to meet and interact with!
What’s on your playlist at the moment?
I’m super into Winnipeg’s local music scene these days! Every song that GOLD Mountain comes out with gets added to my playlist, but “Hey Mama” is at the top these days.
Since hearing Taylor Janzen at her EP release, her song “Dennis Quaid” has been on my playlist ever since.
Working at a school that focuses on the seven teachings, “7” by William Prince was an instant playlist addition as well.
Of course I have a few guilty pleasures that are all over the music map as well:
Spaceman – Bif Naked
Cleopatra – The Lumineers
A Song For Everything – Maren Morris
Stay A Little Longer – Brothers Osborne
What is one of your favourite quotes?
“The best things you will ever make: memories, love, and time” – Kal Barteski
In the era of smartphones and social media, we as a society have become disconnected from one another. I strive to spend as much face to face time with the people in my life as possible, because I have learned all too well that life is precious and can be cut short.
When I’m old and grey, it won’t be material possessions, nor my accomplishments that I will remember. After all, have you ever seen a hearse with a trailer hitch?! No!
What I will remember will be memories of trips filled with new adventures, of Friendsgiving dinners side by side around a table with my closest friends, of being welcomed home by my two cats day in and day out, and of weddings full of love (to name a few) that I will cherish. It will be the love I gave and was given, and the time I have spent with those I care about that stays with me.
What famous historical person would you most like to meet at a dinner party?
I would love to bump into Lale Sokolov at a dinner party. Lale was the tattooist for the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, and ended up not only finding, but marrying his true love whom he met during his three years in Birkenau.
I think it would be remarkable to hear Lale’s story firsthand (and of course, who doesn’t love hearing a real life love story?)
What do you do with a completely free evening or weekend?
A free evening or weekend? What’s that?!
I love being busy, so free time is hard to come by, but I try and carve out time in the summer to head to our family cabin in the Whiteshell. Spending time at the cabin lets me spend one on one time with my grandma, who is one of my best friends. She’s shared some neat stories while we’ve been lounging on the dock about raising my mom and aunt, and what life was like for her generation.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by the idea that everyday is a brand new opportunity. An opportunity to change, an opportunity to be a better person, an opportunity to make your life exactly the way you want to live it.
What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?
I think everyone should see Meg Jay’s TED Talk “Why 30 is not the new 20”. One of my best friends recommended it to me years ago, and it was the first TED Talk I ever watched. I was hooked on TED Talks after that! Still being in my 20’s, I also rewatch that specific talk every once and awhile as a good reminder on how I want to go about living this defining decade of my life.