When Michelle was nine years old, she wanted to get her best friend something special for her birthday. A store-bought present just wouldn’t cut it – she wanted to give her friend something really special. Her mom gave her a piece of advice that Michelle’s built a life on:
“Think about what you love to do, and use your talents to make a gift”.
Michelle couldn’t draw, or paint, and she wasn’t at all crafty. But she could write. So, she gave her friend the gift of a story – one in which her friend was the main character and hero. It was such a hit that all her other friends wanted their own stories, too. And so began Michelle’s journey as a storyteller.
Over the past 20 years, Michelle has had many amazing opportunities to help people across Canada to tell their stories. As a journalist, the stories she told were as varied as a day in the life of TV’s Mr. Dressup, to the challenges facing a single-mother living with mental illness. As a Masters-level social worker with a focus on community development, she helped individuals, communities, and policy-makers share their stories with one another, ask critical questions, and work for social change. As chief policy advisor to Nova Scotia’s Minister of Health and Wellness, she helped shape the provincial discourse around health policy and translated challenges and ideas into solutions and healthy public policy. As an author and speaker, she’s given voice to those that history and society have ignored.
Now, in private practice, Michelle helps people just like you tell their stories. Her solution-focussed approach helps clients define a message, find their authentic voice, and navigate the choppy waters of social change. Along with research, writing and editing services, she offers clients support and leadership in community engagement, program/service planning, and research.
Michelle still can’t draw or paint, and she’s still not very crafty. But she continues to love what she does: helping organizations big and small, community-based or public sector, to share their stories and work collaboratively to create healthier, stronger communities.