Arts Co-op of the Year

Skye Wattie

Ever wonder what success really means? For 2014 Arts co-op of the year Skye Wattie, success is accomplished with the help of the people that you meet during your journey - mentors, friends and reminders of resilience in the face of hardship. 

Skye spent his co-op term at RL Solutions, a Toronto-based company that specializes in providing healthcare practitioners with software that reduces risks and enhances patient experiences. As member of the RL Solutions team, Skye was responsible for training clients on how to implement and use their new software in a way that best suited the needs of the organization.

While at RL Solutions, Skye found connecting with his coworkers to be the first and possibly most valuable step to having a great work term.

Developing friendly and trusting relationships with my team of colleagues as well as my clients was perhaps the most critical element of success. The quality and efficiency of work noticeably increases when people enjoy their work and their colleagues.

In addition to receiving both the Arts co-op student of the year award and the Education at Work Ontario (EWO) co-op award, Skye is also the co-founder of Kilometres for Communication, a national awareness and fundraising campaign for people who speak with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In 2011, Skye cycled across Canada, stopping in cities throughout his trip to speak with people who speak with AAC. 

Naturally, a trip from coast to coast was not without its challenges. Throughout his ride from British Columbia to Newfoundland, Skye experienced moments of loneliness during long remote stretches, as well as rainy and windy conditions that made travelling difficult. What helped him push through these challenging times were the people he met along the way.

To stay motivated, I would think of the people I had met and the important people in my own life. This would often give me a charge when I was running low. 

Between his successful Kilometres for Communication trip in 2011 and his recent success at RL Solutions, Skye has certainly had his share of life changing experiences. His achievements have fuelled his drive to believe in the seemingly impossible to accomplish tasks, while also reminding him that there are remarkable people with incredible achievements that often go unrecognized.

I realize the importance to stay humble and acknowledge that many people who do not receive substantial recognition or prestigious awards have often worked just as hard, if not harder, and have accomplishments which are just as remarkable as those who do - myself included. 

Staying humble is definitely at the heart of Skye's understanding of success, and he is quick to remember those people who have mentored and supported him throughout his life.

I see my success as a manifestation of what others have given to me. 

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