As an educator for 35 years in Hamilton, Marisa has been a classroom teacher, student success teacher, guidance counsellor and most recently, Head of Student Services. Motivated by the power of youth, her award-winning initiatives uniquely combine her passion for promoting mental wellness and breaking barriers with opportunities to build hope and resiliency. She has presented at various local, provincial, and national conferences, always nurturing youth leadership. Marisa believes that volunteerism is central to a healthy community and dedicates her free time within the city. She is the site coordinator for the Terry Fox Run in Stoney Creek, the vice-chair on the board of directors for the Suicide Prevention Community Council of Hamilton, a safeTALK trainer for suicide alertness, an active member of her parish and of the Donnici Social Club, and runs an after-school cooking club for newcomers. Although a busy home, she is happiest spending time with her husband, four children and daughter-in-law, and dog, Boomer.