When Mackenzie was growing up in Oakville, she found she had a lot of energy, but didn’t have the outlet to express it.
She tried to channel her energy into sports and dance, yet she wasn’t thrilled with the structure of having to be a perfectionist to succeed. Mackenzie struggled with finding something to stick to that involved high-energy exercises, and was rapidly getting tired of sitting down and watching other people.
When Mackenzie was eight, her mother went on a hunt for a program that could satisfy her daughter’s needs, and what she found would be life-changing for Mackenzie. At first, Mackenzie was shy and didn’t know her place in the group. An audition was required for admittance to the program, which she describes as a ‘whirlwind.’ Despite all this, Mackenzie succeeded.
Because of the United Way supported program, Mackenzie was introduced to a passion that has been with her since she was a child, and will continue to be there in the years to come.
“You build lasting friendships,” she says. “It gave me a real sense of home and community and brought me out of my little shell. It really made me blossom into who I am today in my acting community.”
Mackenzie continues to volunteer with the program because she wants to be the person her counsellors were to her.
“My whole world, my whole circle, revolves around doing theatre and being involved in the arts community,” she says.
“If I didn’t have access to those programs I’d probably have no clue what to do with my life at this point.”
Today, Mackenzie is actively pursuing her broadway career in New York City.