OUR TEAM

Executive Team

Cara Chisholm

Co-Founder

Cara Chisholm, or “mom” to her two beautiful children, is the Co-Founder of We Are Young and grew up on beautiful Cape Breton Island where she met her husband, Lyndon. With a desire to help people and a thirst for knowledge, she graduated from Saint Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition before moving to Halifax. With her drive to help others, and passion to work with seniors, she continued her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University in Gerontology. She loves that she gets to follow her passions every day in a city that has welcomed her with open arms and has given her the motivation to follow her dreams.

Cara has always loved the thrill of a good adventure and her WAY wish is to drive an exotic car around a race track as fast as she can go!

Katie Mahoney

Co-Founder

Katie Mahoney is a Dalhousie graduate with a degree in Marine Biology and Sustainability. Although being a Marine Biologist was a childhood dream, her love and passion for the elderly led her down her current path as the Co-Founder of We Are Young. Through life experiences, Katie has learned how valuable and inspiring our oldest generation is. WAY has given her the opportunity to showcase this within her community and has allowed her to give back to our seniors. For her, the positive impact of this organization is indescribable and truly rewarding.

Katie’s WAY wish, for many years, has been to travel to Antarctica and spend several days playing in its’ ocean. She is hopeful that the leopard seals and orcas will accept her as their friends and not their next meal!

Wish Committee

Taylor McMaster

Team Lead

Taylor McMaster is a member of WAY’s Wish Committee. After graduating from Saint Francis Xavier University with a degree in business, she has taken her passion for marketing, tied with her entrepreneurial spirit, to start her own business— DOT & Co. Her passion for helping elders comes from her close-knit relationship with her grandmother, Dorothy, who had a zest for life— from travelling to education, she believed everyone should live their lives to the fullest. WAY has allowed Taylor to give back to the community in a way that feels close to the heart.

Taylor’s wish is to swim (float) in the Dead Sea and to see an Elephant!

Elbonita Kozhani

Member

Elbonita Kozhani is a graduate of Memorial University in Newfoundland, a dedicated registered nurse and a professional photographer. Her story begins in Kosovo, a small country in the Balkans in which her family had to flee during the war to Canada in the late 90s. Since then, having experienced what it was like to arrive in a place with very little and the need to rely on the community for support, she has continually made it her goal to give back. Elbonita has been an avid volunteer throughout her life with a number of different organizations including Newfound Friends (which she co-founded), Memorial University, the Association For New Canadians and now, most notably, We Are Young! Elbonita has always held a passion for the elderly through her work as a nurse and in the causes she supports.

Being an avid explorer, she has traveled to every continent aside from one. That is why her WAY wish would be to have the opportunity to go to her last remaining continent Antarctica.

Jen Drummond

Member

Jennifer Drummond has over 20 years’ experience in various support positions, including doula, pharmacy technician, crisis responder, home care coordinator, employment counselor and family support worker. After earning a Fine Arts degree at NSCAD, she moved to Cheticamp on Cape Breton Island where she raised her two children and completed her degree in Psychology. In 2020, she moved to Halifax where she now works full time at ISANS. Her passion for working in a supportive role led her to WAY where she volunteers on the Wish Committee, which brings her joy to help give back to the seniors in our community.

Jennifer’s WAY wish is to be an extra in a film or tv show. She loves watching movies and would love the opportunity to be a fly on the wall of a film production and find a tiny role in a locally produced film or tv project.

Lisa MacPherson

Member

Lisa MacPherson is a loyal and trusted friend to many who consistently gives back to the communities in which she lives and works. Many would describe her as someone who strives to make a positive difference in people’s lives and loves to invest her time and energy in the people and places that connect us all. Lisa has been married to her husband Blake for over 20 years and lives in the Hammonds Plains area where she has raised two children Ethan and Finlay.  She is a Librarian at an elementary and middle school in the Halifax area. Lisa’s interest in becoming involved with WAY was sparked by her respect for the elderly and a passion to inspire our youth to connect with this generation who have paved the way for their future.  WAY is one of many she has come to be involved with over the years as her volunteer efforts are far reaching.  Feed Nova Scotia, SPCA, Ronald MacDonald House, Run for the Cure, Halifax Shoebox project and the Mobile Food Market are just a few of the many causes she has given back to over the years.  She is a genuine philanthropist by nature. When you don’t find Lisa helping others, she is often traveling the globe, running marathons or found by a lake or on a trail hiking with family and friends simply enjoying the great outdoors.

Lisa has an adventurous soul, there’s not much she hasn’t tried but has always wished to solo skydive!

Board of Directors

Ashley Harnish

Board Chair

Ashley Harnish is the Manager of Primary Health Care for the Nova Scotia Health Authority and is the mom of two. Ashley became involved with WAY because she has always had such respect and admiration for our elders. Ashley serves as Vice President of the Board and provides policy development, strategic planning, and passion for providing exceptional customer service for those who WAY engages with. She has an undergraduate degree in Science, Psychology, and a masters in Occupational Therapy. She wanted to go to school for something that would provide her with the skills to be able to help seniors, specifically those with cognitive deficits like Dementia. While her career focus has changed in recent years, she is so thankful for the time she had working in geriatric rehabilitation, palliative care and in Dementia care. WAY allows her the space to be able to fulfil her passion for honoring our seniors and giving back. The WAY team continues to inspire her to want to give more and do more for her community.

Ashley’s WAY wish would be to ride in a hot air balloon.

Marie Boccabella

Secretary

Marie Boccabella is the General Manager of Jack Astor’s with over 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry after having graduated from the Family Studies Program at Ryerson University. She is most proud to be the mother of two wonderful daughters, and even more proud to be ‘Grandma’ to her first grandchild, Cora. Marie first became involved with We Are Young while volunteering at their annual golf tournament.  It was then when she knew that it was something she wanted to be involved with on a greater level.  Marie has volunteered with seniors and families in other projects within the community and believes that there is so much to learn from the senior population. She is looking forward to putting her life experiences in the hands of Katie and Cara and to be of service where it is needed the most.

Marie’s WAY wish is to climb Machu Picchu (first she needs to overcome her fear of heights)!

Alyssa Kelly

Director

Alyssa Kelly was born and raised in Halifax where she attended Saint Mary’s University and graduated with a Finance degree and Human Resources. Alyssa was interested in becoming part of the WAY team because of her grandmother, who happens to always be in the know on pop culture, social media, and staying up-to-date with her grandchildren. Her grandmother is the funniest person she knows and she loves what WAY does for seniors like her. Alyssa serves as Secretary of the Board and, in addition, has worked at the Bank of Montreal for 12 years with a large number of senior clients whom she has made many connections with and enjoys very dearly. Alyssa enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and traveling.

Alyssa’s WAY wish is to go hiking in the Hollywood hills or to visit Machu Picchu.

Kayla O’Hearn

Director

Kayla O’Hearn completed her Master of Social Work degree at Dalhousie University in 2019. Most of her experience is supporting marginalized and at-risk families in various communities across HRM, but she recently transitioned to hospital social work, where she works in the ICUs and with the Cystic Fibrosis clinic. When not working, Kayla loves spending time at the beach with her puppy and socializing with friends and family. She decided to become a member of WAY because she recognizes the impact aging can have on elders in our community and she feels that WAY works to provide equal opportunity and break down the stereotype that age determines ability.

While Kayla’s bucket list is long, her WAY wish is to attend the Calgary stampede!

Senior Advisors

Pauline Harper

Senior Advisor

Pauline Harper was born on beautiful Prince Edward Island and, after finishing her schooling in Halifax, became a stay at home mom for many years before working as an Office Manager at Fairview Villa Nursing Home where she worked for 20 years. Pauline became involved with WAY because she admires the WAY Team and their willingness to want to help her generation. She appreciates the time they invest despite the busy world we live in. Pauline acts as a Senior Advisor for WAY and inspires the WAY team to do its best work. She is kind, giving, and incredibly proud of her family and grandchildren.

Pauline’s WAY wish is to visit Paris.