#Project: What's Your MapleWish?

If  the universe granted you one wish,
what would it be?


We hope to amalgamate words of wisdom and inspiration from a diverse spectrum of individuals across a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

James Pulei
Maasai Warrior


We met James on our  to Kenya, 2017.  James is one of the "Last Maasai Warriors".  He grew up adherent to the strict rules of his culture, conqering all notions of fear and proving himself worthy to bear the privileges and responsibilities of a true Maasai Warrior.

James is a wonderfully cheerful man with great patience and a genuine interest in imparting knowledge about his culture and traditions.  He is the father of 3 children whom he hopes to see through to university.

You can read more about he Maasai culture, Maasai Warriors and their journey to redefine the concept of a true Warrior in "The Last Maasai Warriors: An Autobiography."


 If the Universe granted  me one wish it would be that people would realize that they have within themselves everything that they need to conquer their fears and achieve their true greatness.

Mitch Kurylowicz
Founder, "Project Jenga"& "Make Luck History"


By all measures, Mitch’s vision for the world is extraordinary and what he has accomplished over the last few years is truly inspiring.  Mitch was 12 years-old when he first travelled to Kenya with his family. He celebrated the opening of an all-girls secondary school but was surprised that no equivalent existed for the boys. “Project Jenga” was hence born and Mitch spent the next 5-6 years moving through high school and raising funds to build a boys-secondary school. 1 million dollars plus later, the Ngulot boys secondary school opened it’s doors to its’s first class of 33 boys in January 2017.
Mitch is also founder and head of the Make Luck History” consulting firm - an initiative aimed at proving that everyone has an incentive to be part of the solution to global poverty and bridge the opportunity gap.
“Luck divides us as a species. Some have it. Others do not. It is not luck to get a large coffee when you ordered a medium, or luck to find a quarter on the street. That's chance.  Luck is far more fundamental. It consists of three ingredients: Health, Safety, and Access to Opportunity. The vast majority of people in our world are not lucky - in our own backyard, and halfway across the world."
My one wish to the universe would be to take luck out of the equation of development. But more realistically in the short term, I would wish that everyone lucky enough to make choices that relate to their purpose instead of their survival would realize that giving is in their best interest. The result of this wish would be a happier world and one with more opportunities for all. The great thing about this wish is that it is completely possible through very simple acts of kindness and gratitude.

Derek O'Farrel
Olympian, Teacher

With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming to an end, we thought we would share with you the “maplewish” of a former olympian.
Derek O’Farrell is a Canadian olympian who made his olympic debut in rowing at the London 2012 summer olympics. He finished third in the B final of the men’s four with team mates Anthony Jacob, Will Dean, and Michael Wilkinson. He has participated in a number of career and senior World Championships winning a number of medals.
In addition to his athletic accomplishments, he graduated from McGill in 2007 with a degree in Physiology. Currently, he is a science teacher and rowing coach at Elmwood School, Ottawa.
If I had one wish it would be that everyone has access to sport and is able to participate in an active lifestyle.


Eugenia Cheng
No ordinary Mathematician!

“It’s really more intelligent to be able to simplify things than to complicate them.”
- How to Bake Pi:
An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics

Having transcended the boundaries between science and art, Eugenia Cheng can hardly be defined by any one of her varied accomplishments.  A pure mathematician with a doctorate in “category theory” from Cambridge University, she is the current Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, concert pianist & founder of Liederstube, and author of 2 widely successful math books: "How to Bake Pi" & "Beyond Infinity".  In her books, Ms. Cheng explores and explains mathematical topics in a manner accessible to all with a bid to rid the world of “math phobia."  

“I always wanted to share my love of math very widely because I think people fear and dislike math for the wrong reasons...They think math is all about right and wrong, but it isn’t about that. They think they can’t do it, but they can.”
- The Intrepid Mathematician, Sept. 2017

If the Universe were to grant me one wish, what would it be?  This is quite daunting to think about but it's a very interesting exercise. Here's my wish: That everyone would collaborate instead of compete.


Dr. David Park

Director of the University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute
Co-director of the Parkinson’s Research Consortium

Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa

Dr. Park, is an internationally recognized expert in molecular biology focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s disease and stroke-related neurodegeneration.

Having received his PhD from Rutgers University and completed his post-doctoral training in Neurobiology at Columbia University, he established his lab at the University of Ottawa in 1998.

We had the unique pleasure of visiting Dr. Park’s lab 2 years ago. He graciously took us on an extended tour of his lab where we were privy to various steps in his research. In his own words, “Pinpointing the process that results in Parkinson’s disease is like assembling a complex jigsaw puzzle. From an intellectual level, it’s an incredibly difficult and convoluted puzzle that needs solving. From a patient level, you see people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and you want to help in every way you can. It’s a whole range of reasons that coalesce into making me passionate about what I do.”

If the universe granted me just one wish, what would it be?  My wish would be to get more people involved and inspired to help solve the most difficult brain disorder problems such as Parkinson's Disease.


Catherine Clark
Broadcaster, Blogger & Writer

“I believe that life is a stepladder, not an elevator. Sometimes you’re climbing up, sometimes you’re climbing down."
- Ottawa Business Journal, Dec. 2017

Literally born into a life of politics, Catherine Clark, daughter of Canada's 16th PrimeMinister, Joe Clark, is no stranger to being in the public eye.

From Storoway to 24 Sussex to a career path paved through broadcasting halls, Ms Clark is a nationally respected speaker, writer, and blogger.  She currently writes for a number of national publications, is President of Catherine Clark Communications, and sits on numerous Boards of charitible organizations.

In 2015, we had the pleasure of watching Ms Clark interview Margaret Atwood as part of our school's centennial anniversary celebrations. Certainly, our then 8 and 11 year-old selves could not entirely follow  the nuances of  the discussion.  But what remains etched more in feeling than in memory  from that night is the pervasive sense of thoughtful strength that emanated from the variety of dialogue between the two women on stage. 

If the Universe granted me one wish... I wish for a world where boys and girls have equal opportunities - for health, for education, for work and for hope.  It may still take us a while, but by working together around the world we can make this wish a reality - and by doing so, we will fundamentally make all communities a better place.


Kanika Thakar
Founder, #ToiletTalk


Read our full interview with Kanika, HERE !


If I could ask for one wish, I think it would be for every individual in the world to have more empathy. I think with more empathy many of our problems would be solved. If we had more empathy, then we would allocate more resources to ensure that everyone has a toilet and access to clean water. If we had more empathy, we would make sure women and girls had the means to safely manage their periods. If we had more empathy, women and men would be afforded the same opportunities. If we had more empathy, we wouldn’t over consume water; depriving ecosystems and downstream communities of their needs. If we had more empathy, we would care more about our environment and future generations and do more to stop climate change.  If we had more empathy, we would all be a little bit kinder…. And that is the world that I would like to live in.