By: Geneviève Bisson

Yesterday called for some festivities as we celebrated Em’s birthday! We put together a surprise performance for her to show how much we appreciate what she does. The kids prepared two dance routines with the help of Ate Joy, Sophie came to cook crepes and miss Mae whipped up Em’s favorite meal, pasta! We even had a special visit from Catski, an immensely talented local singer-songwriter. To cap off the evening we surprised Em with an EMazine, full of funny ads consisting of her silly pictures, messages and drawings from the kids. What a great night for our great Em!

I’m a believer in seeking out people who can’t help but be who they are and do what they love. Em was already an active volunteer with the Basadours, a not-for-profit organization inspiring kids to read through story telling. And that’s the thing, you can’t fake passion. Forging these connections of inspired individuals will continue to propel us in the right direction. At the beginning you seek out these key people, but now I see that we are attracting them and will only continue to do so. When I sit with our team here it is so easy to say nice things about all of them. It’s so easy to say what their unique qualities bring to the mix. It’s so easy to feel grateful about this shared passion and appreciate the constant energy they continue to share. Anthony asked me last week while I was in Singapore how we keep the energy level up. When you surround yourself with these children, when you love what you do and when you believe in it, a high energy level is inevitable. It’s not always easy, but it wouldn’t be the same if it were. The rewards, the change, the growth would simply not level up.

I’ve learned a lot in the past few months and everything that is buzzing around us continues to inspire and motivate me to work hard.

So miss Em, thank you for being a superstar, for going above and beyond, for being the kind of person that makes everybody feel like a somebody, for taking this journey on, for politely laughing at 90% of my jokes, for the trust I can find in you, for taking care of all the small things while always looking at the bigger picture, for hitting me in the face while I sleep, for being a role model for so many people, for always setting the bar high and for being the Em-azing person that you are! Happy birthday! Cheers to you, and a year of meaningful adventures ahead!