Something to Smile About

You just never know when you’re going to be helping someone out. Sometimes it’s obvious – a colleague at work can’t figure out how to deal with a new software application and you’ve used it before. Bingo! You’re the office hero. Or you are struggling to unlock your trunk with an armful of groceries in the middle of a snowstorm and a smiling 16-year old guy takes them out of your hands so you can get the trunk open. You go home feeling good about teenagers and life in general.

But here’s one for the record books. A group of women Prince Edward Island lobster boat captains were part of a CBC news story and video. Not surprising. The story got picked up in the U.K. and a marine company owner named Stuart Mann saw it.

Turns out Stuart has a daughter, Keira. Keira is 12 years old, has Aspergers syndrome and wants to be a fisherman but she is scared to try anything new. She had no confidence that she could succeed – that is, until her dad arranged for her to talk to one of the PEI women who captains a lobster boat. And that did it. Keira was gunned. Since that conversation, she has been out on the fishing boats multiple times, even sticking her hand in a drum of live bait. She has learned to steer the boat and read from radar. She’s on her way to a career.

You just never know when you’re going to be helping someone out – one little U.K. girl with Aspergers syndrome got a helping hand from a female fishing boat captain in PEI. As Keira’s dad says, “One video changed a life thousands of miles away, that’s powerful.”

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