It wasn’t long after I started working for Power To Be that I first met Matthias. I’d heard a lot about this great person and his family, so I was keen to get out on a program and get to know him better. I was instantly taken aback by how patient, caring, and kind he is, and could tell he was a very thoughtful and conscientious person.

When Matthias was two years old, him and his family moved to the Island from White Rock, where he was born. He is very much Island-raised, with a curiosity and awareness of the nature around him, which made the connection with Power To Be that much more special.

Over the past six years that Matthias has been coming on our programs, climbing, and paddling have been a focus and a firm favourite. He loves to challenge himself and what better way to do it than climbing a rock wall or trying to stay dry while paddling on Prospect Lake. During the heaviness of the pandemic, our programs shifted to the virtual realm. Matthias and his brother Aaron regularly attended and shared projects that were happening, as well as insight and feedback to any learning on the programs. A favourite moment that Matthias has is from a paddleboard program where he got to see a turtle within the peacefulness of the lake.

Now 15 years old, when he’s not out in nature, he’s fixing and re-purposing electronics. And when he is out in nature, he’s focused on helping the environment and organizing beach cleanups. These cleanups have been recognized with One Planet Saanich and have won him two Environmental Awards, thanks also in part to a 3-minute video Matthias made as submission to a One Planet contest, which can be found here.

In Matthias’ own words, “I think all the work that Power To Be does is amazing because it makes you feel happy and included. I like meeting new people and everyone at Power To Be is very supportive and friendly. I think the most important thing is that people are kind and work together to make a positive difference.”

Keep your eyes and ears open for this young man, I know I will!

This blog was written by one of Power To Be’s awesome Program Facilitators, Paul Blood! Paul grew up connected to nature. Exploring the rolling countryside and tiny villages of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park in England, hiking and camping have always been a passion for him.