Letter from The Editor – We are going to be OK
I’m glad you’ve picked up our third annual publication of YMM Parent Magazine. It’s been quite the achievement to get ourselves to the print production point in 2020 because it had its setbacks through the pandemic, just like the rest of the world.
But I can tell you that through all the hardships we’ve endured over the past months, we found some good news – my favourite kind. Stories that will enlighten your mind and make your heart sing. And the good stories weren’t hard to find because they are all about the passionate parents, youth and children who live here.
On our pages, you will find stories about the local business owners who have made a life out of delivering delicious treats to kids who scream: “I love you, Ice Cream Truck.” Stories about our communities’ next generation who have great aspirations of the future with the single intent to make it better for all of us.
Stories about children who are pursuing careers to become mechanical engineers to create new technologies for cancer research. Young men and women who are working towards professions in emergency services, health care and government – all of these which you’ll find in our magazine’s celebration feature of the Top 20 Under 20 program in partnership with our friends at the Fort McMurray Airport Authority and Syncrude Canada.
Yes, this year has been stressful and hard to manage as we continue trying to live our lives while practicing safety for COVID-19 protection. But if there’s one thing I have learned about our region’s communities in my past 13 years of being a Fort McMurray resident, it’s that we know how to adapt.
We know how to think fast and respond when disaster strikes. And most important, we know how to do it together as one compassionate working unit. We always find a way to move through it, and for this very reason, I know we are going to be OK.
One of our Top 20 Under 20 recipients said it best: “The residents of our region are strong-willed, resilient people… there is a bond here between neighbours that only shared hardships can forge.”
This quote is from 19-year-old volunteer firefighter Lucas Ryan who, after the 2016 Wildfire, decided he wanted to join our Wood Buffalo region’s team of local firefighting heroes.
You’ll find more quotes from residents like Lucas throughout this entire publication and from those who were victims of the 2020 spring flood.
You’ll read reassuring words from mothers who had their babies during the pandemic and messages shared from our educators on how they helped rectify situations to help students when COVID-19 shut down our schools.
I look at where we are today, and there is still a lot of uncertainty. We will continue to have challenging times in the months, and years ahead. Though I’m hopeful for positive outcomes and future rewards, and I will never give up on hope or our Wood Buffalo region.
Thank you to the YMM Parent team, our long list of contributors and our inspirational parents and residents who helped put this publication together. I’m infinitely proud of the work. We hope you all enjoy it.
Editor-in-Chief of YMM Parent Magazine