May 19, 2024

Behind the Scenes with MACOY: Mentorship teamwork through a pandemic

By on August 9, 2021 0 309 Views

Wrapping up a third year of the Top 20 Under 20 program, I have to give a lot of acknowledgement to this year’s MACOY (Mayor’s Advisory Council on Youth) General Assembly for their remarkable teamwork to help celebrate the young adults, teenagers and children of our region.

The program had many transitions through the pandemic. In the pilot year, we were able to collaborate a mentorship process with other media industry leaders. The program ended with a community celebration at the Fort McMurray International Airport. The result left a feeling of a well-formulated program.

The second program year came quickly, and we were interrupted halfway but were still able to honour the recipients at the airport using COVID restriction guidelines. This year was a completely altered and limited format from how we started in 2019, as we could only pursue the magazine production portion.

With more than half of the MACOY General Assembly new to the program and all of our meetings online, it was difficult for us to connect as usual. Thankfully, the other half of the group had been with the program since its inception and were well-experienced. They teamed up with the junior members to assist, and I’m incredibly proud of the entire 2020/2021 MACOY General Assembly for their outstanding efforts.

To the Top 20’s Class of 2021, thank you for your patience and understanding of the setbacks while we moved forward. We will continue to celebrate you through your future endeavours.

I send a special thank you to Nicole Martyn-Dickinson, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s MACOY program lead. YMM Parent’s Top 20 Under 20 program is just one of the many programs she helps facilitate, and the program has dozens of youth in grades 7 to 12.

Getting to know her well throughout the years has helped me realize the value of mentorship. Mentoring youth has been an invaluable experience for me and has changed my career perspective. It’s further reminded me of the importance of education and how to help support those with eagerness to learn.

If you’re interested in mentoring opportunities through the RMWB’s MACOY program, contact Nicole by email at and for more information, visit the RMWB website.

Photo caption: Mentors and mentees of the Top 20 Under 20 program Nicole Martyn-Dickinson, Saakshi Arvikar, Matthew Lorenz, Krish Shah and Heet Shah at the Fort McMurray International Airport in September 2020. Photo by Dawn Booth, YMM Parent

About the author

Editor-in-Chief at |

Dawn Booth is the Editor-in-Chief of YMM Parent Magazine and Your McMurray Magazine. She has actively worked in the Wood Buffalo region's media industry since residing in Fort McMurray in 2007.

Her passion is writing poetry and puts it at the forefront of the community through her volunteer work as the President of NorthWord Magazine. Most important, Booth puts her family of five first, which includes her husband Ryan and their three children, Landon, Dawson and Tessa.