Season 2 Episode 9 We Rise When We Fall

Season 2 Episode 9 We Rise When We Fall


There is a reason for the expression, ‘No pain, no gain’. Every time we feel pain, we learn. When everything goes smoothy, we learn nothing. It is falling that teaches us about who we are and who we are going to be.

Ellen shared a quick story that occurred she was 11 years old. She went to sleepover camp for the first time. She went with a friend who, right when they got there, decided that she didn’t want to be friends anymore. So, her first time away, and everyone decided they didn’t like her, without even trying to get to know her. That difficult and almost impossible summer, launched Ellen into the person that she wanted and needed to be. After that summer, Ellen sat herself down in front of the mirror, looked at herself and vowed that she would never, ever, treat anyone the way those girls treated her. Over 40 years ago, and Ellen has stayed true to that pact with herself.

Our expert guest speaker was Melissa Oziel. Melissa is a mother of four daughters and owner of The Speech and Language Associates of Toronto. ( She is an executive function coach specializing in helping children build communication skills, confidence and daily living/social skills. She is also one sensational dancer!

Melissa started by saying that through all her experience, her biggest job is to build confidence. How to do that? She pushes her students to set higher limits. You may fail along the way, but with each failure comes great success. You must learn from your failure and try again. After all, Kobe Bryant said, “It’s not a failure, until you quit.”

Melissa then shared a story about competitive dancing in her youth. After blanking out and freezing, she got off stage, cried, went to bed and made herself let it go. She said to herself, that she would never allow that to ever happen again (sound familiar?) Melissa learned to push forward and visualize dances ahead. Ultimately, she learned how to persevere, make changes and adapt.

How does failure make us stronger? Someone needs to push you to make you take that extra step, and change the mindset about failure, so that it’s a stepping stone for success. It’s how we progress.

For parents, it is so hard to see their kids struggle. But when is parental support too much? In order to problem solve, you must have problems to solve, which means, you need to allow your children to fail. It shows that you believe in them and trust them. Eventually, it will ultimately help them to thrive. Model the behaviour you want to see and allow them to take risks.

For students, set many goals for yourself, even if it is scary to do so. Just do it! Then, evaluate what can be done differently. Try new things, pick yourself up, until you get to be where you want to be. When things are too easy, you don’t always appreciate it, but when you have worked hard at something, that is something that you will always appreciate.

We need to fail, so we can build ourselves up. Don’t celebrate the end result, rather the journey that got you there. For failure is a beautiful thing! Thank you Melissa, for your expertise and advise, something from which we all can benefit.

Ethan Young was our musical guest, with a massive heart and a gift that needs to be shared with the world. He was a friend to Jacob and would often grace him with his sensational voice and presence. This young singer/songwriter was also the winner of CTV’s the Launch. He was here to perform an unreleased original song called, ‘You’. Keep an ear out for it!

Next, we met our two Shining Stars, Maya Kassam and Olivia Sherman, who together have started something beyond sensational. They started their own initiative called, ‘Share Your Smiles’.

Olivia began by telling the story how their initiative came to life. Inspired by their Project Give Back experience and a student’s presentation on Seaton House, they wanted to help people who have struggled with homelessness. The girls researched the most needed items for the homeless. Once they began to donate bags of items to Seaton House, it made them happy. They thought, what else could they do to make a larger impact? Then COVID hit; how could they help and what could they do, as they still felt obligated to help those in need? So they embarked on a mission to help their community. Together, they made care baskets and came up with the name for their initiative called, ‘Share Your Smiles’. The name came from the idea that if you smile, you should share it with someone who doesn’t. Next, they created a website and started to create many more care kits. They grew their initiative and raised money with no instructional manual on how to do so!

Maya then spoke about their care kit drop offs and fundraising. At first, to raise money, the girls made beaded bracelets to sell. The money raised went towards making more care baskets, that were delivered to the Seaton House. These baskets were filled with necessities like toiletries and clothing. From that point on, the girls encouraged more donations and expanded their drop offs to other shelters. And now, they continue to look for new shelters and get others to join in on their mission.

Wow, what an incredible accomplishment from these two young girls! If these two are examples of our future leaders, there is no worry about our future. Check them out on their website, or on Instagram

Lindsay @One2GiveTo spoke about their current initiative. Instead of helping an entire organization, they chose to help out one family in particular. They helped them to move out of the shelter system and into their own home. They received a wish list from the family and provided them with all the necessities, like cleaning supplies and furniture. Within 48 hours, they filled the entire list and gave this family a brand new start on life! The goal of helping out just one family at a time, was readily achieved and attainable. Way to go One2GiveTo!

Thank you to all of our special guests. Please share this Episode, along with your smiles, with anyone who might benefit from learning from today’s powerful messages and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Project Give Back Connects to check out this and all other inspiring episodes.