Every child is a blank slate for Elissa Breakenridge.

An early childhood educator, Breakenridge says watching children be excited to learn about the world around them is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job.

“Just being able to watch these children interact with the learning activities we provide them makes what I do so worthwhile,” says Breakenridge.

“When I see them concentrating so hard on something you can see how they are developing right there in that moment.”

Breakenridge also passionately believes that parenting should not be done in isolation. Seeing a need for a place where parents and children can connect, learn, and grow together, she opened Ready, Set, Soar! Education Centre to support child development and build social connections in late 2021.

It stemmed from her 17 years working in the Family Resource department at Community Links. 

Alisha MacIsaac, who nominated Breakenridge after working together at Community Links, says her leadership is unparalleled.

“I have never worked with someone so supportive, skilled and encouraging in a leadership role. She pushed me to excel, had my back personally and professionally as I grew and changed within my role, and was always there to lend an understanding ear,” says MacIsaac.