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Paige Cox is a Northside Changemaker

NS Changemakers Cohort 2_Paige

Tell me a little bit about yourself 

Hi, my name is Paige Cox, I am from North Sydney, grew up in North Sydney and only left for two years to go to school off island.

I am a two-time graduate from Cape Breton University, graduating with both a Bachelor of Community Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in 2021. In between those degrees I moved to Prince Edward Island to get my Diploma in Child and Youth Worker at Holland College (the height of the pandemic). It was there I met my partner and brought him back with me!

I am also a dance instructor and an avid volunteer in the community, spending lots of time helping with the North Sydney Food Bank.

How did you hear about this program? What drew you to applying?

I heard about The Northside Changemakers Program through Facebook. What drew me to applying was thinking about how great it would be to have support to design projects. I had so many ideas and just needed a place to start.  

Can you tell us a little bit about your project?

My project, “The Berlin Project: Breaking Down Walls”, is a pilot project created to focus on the ability, rather than the disability, of individuals. Through gathering stories from people with disabilities, I want to show people that they can be anyone they want to be, despite having a disability.  My disabilities have affected my life because I was told “no” a lot, and it made me hate the word “no”. Because I struggled in some areas, people assumed I struggled in a lot of areas. This was a big way that my disability affected my life, but in the same light, it was what made me who I am today. It made me a fighter. And it was with that fighting spirit that I wanted to showcase all the amazing people I know on the island. 

How did this (your) project begin, what made you start thinking about it?

Honestly, when I started the program, I went in with a completely different project idea.  Then we did a brainstorming activity called “rapid ideation” and it was through that process that something clicked. That’s when I started thinking about doing an advocacy/interview project. It wasn’t something I pre-planned. It evolved into what it is now.

When you think of the word Changemaker, does anyone you know come to mind?

When I think of the word “changemaker”, I think of someone who is making an impact, big or small. Someone who is out there doing things for their community.

 Someone that comes to my mind is Lawrence Shebib from the North Sydney Food Bank. 

Just, everything he does within our community is amazing. He is the first person to advocate for someone or something. Lawrence is one of my biggest supporters and someone I look up to a great deal. When I was working on my Community Studies Degree and we did a placement, my first placement was at the North Sydney Food Bank. I loved it and I am still volunteering there today.

What do you love about the Northside? What makes it special?

I love how tight-knit the Northside is. I can walk down the street in North Sydney and know every second person. It makes me feel connected and a part of something 

What are your hopes for the Northside?

My hopes for the Northside would be less sadness, and people and a community. We are a community that has experienced a lot of sadness. We are starting to rebuild, I would love to see more progress in the rebuild, it’s happening slowly.  

Why is that hope important to you/ the community?

I think if as a whole we experienced less sadness; it would make less people leave. It will make people want to stay around and that is what we need. 

What is the one thing you’re deeply grateful for right now?

Just being able to be in Cape Breton at this moment, to be able to work and live and be healthy. 

What is your best tip for making the world a better place?

Be kind to everyone, it’s that simple. 

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