Press Releases


MONTREAL, JANUARY 18, 2013  - Mackay Centre School high school level students have formed a leadership group called Leaders on Wheels and are getting involved in many great initiatives to create change.

The Mackay satellite class at Westmount High School consists of 12 students, aged 14 to 20, with various physical and learning disabilities. These students formed their Leaders on Wheels group in September 2012.
“The goal is to let people know that no matter what a person’s disability, ability, challenges or background, everyone can become a leader, make a change and bring peace to the world,” said Dana Strohl, the teacher who initiated the project. “Leadership is a universal concept that can be achieved by anyone,” said Strohl.

“We are a group of people helping and inspiring others to make a change,” said Neville Blair, one of 12 Mackay Leaders on Wheels students.

“It starts in the class; it will come out of the class and change the environment around us,” said Sam Chate, a MacKay leadership student.

The Leaders on Wheels group has been invoking change since September by participating in various projects that help themselves, their communities and the world. They initiated a Peace Day Celebration on September 21 with the Mackay Center School elementary students. They have also helped teachers coordinate a Terry Fox Run and plan a Halloween Party. On a weekly basis, they read with Kindergarten students at the Mackay Center School.

Leaders on Wheels are also involved in many other great initiatives. They are collaborating with the Grade 11 Westmount High Leadership group. “I think it’s great, leadership is a class that people really look up to,” said Lauren Asran, a Westmount leadership student.

Students are helping children around the world by fundraising for Free the Children. Free the Children is an organization that was founded by Marc and Craig Kielburger and their mandate is to provide education, health, water and alternative income to all children in this world.
Leaders on Wheels and the Westmount High School Leadership group are partaking in the “We Create Change” project, which entails collecting pennies on the first of every month throughout the school year to donate towards the building of water wells for Free the Children.

The two leadership groups started the initiative: How will you change the world? P.I.N., which stands for: Paint it New. How will you paint it?

In this project students are selling handmade bracelets. They are making the bracelets with a string, a penny, a blue bead and a safety pin. The penny symbolizes that one action, one person, no matter who you are, can make a difference. The blue bead symbolizes the water projects the students will be fundraising for and the safety pin symbolizes how the students are all connected and therefore they have to hold each other together.

The students have sold 150 bracelets so far and raised more than $300.00. The next bracelet sale will take place on Friday, January 18, 2013. All proceeds will go to Free the Children.

To paint the world new, everyone has to start with themselves and then work together for change.  “The ideas will spread like butter,” said Jaime Rioux, a Mackay leadership student.

The students hope that they get a lot of support in painting the world new! “May peace be with you,” said Ryan Cave-Beninger, a Mackay leadership student.

The Leaders on Wheels group will be hosting a Bake Sale for Love in February at Mackay to raise more funds for Free the Children.


Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213