Katie Mahoney grew up with grandparents who lived into their mid-90s and always had a revolving door of love and support, shaping her perception of how all seniors were valued in society. However, in 2014, Katie was nominated to do an act of kindness for someone in her community. For her act of kindness, she chose to spend time with 79-year-old Eleanor, whose zest for life and philanthropic character intrigued her. As they spent time together, Katie learned about the hardships Eleanor had endured and the selfless sacrifices she had made throughout her life. What she learned most that day about Eleanor was that this was the first time in years someone made a day about her, and this realization shook Katie’s perception of how seniors were supported. When Katie got home after her day with Eleanor, she began to reflect on her own life, the countless experiences she had in her short 22 years of life, and asked herself “With the many sacrifices our seniors have had to make in their lifetime, putting the needs of others before their own, how many of them missed out on their own dreams? Dreams that may seem out of reach, but they still hold onto and would like to see fulfilled?” It turns out there are many.
Shortly thereafter, in 2015, Katie was lucky to have crossed paths with Co-Founder Cara Chisholm, a true Cape Bretoner who carries the biggest heart and who comes with years of experience working with seniors. The two young millennials quickly realized that they both shared a passion to help as many seniors as possible. Cara and Katie knew that the success of We Are Young (WAY) would come from building a team of different generations who were just as passionate to positively change the way we view, value and support aging. Today, WAY prides itself in having a dedicated team that has supported this organization since the beginning.