Matty Parlee

Matty Parlee

37 Years Old

Class of 2021

Living by the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier,” Matty Parlee works for Waypoints, and volunteers his time on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Fort McMurray, various faith-based non-profits, with Keyano Theatre productions, Pride events, and more.

He recently chatted with YMM about taking risks, feeling proud, and being motivated.

YMM: What’s the biggest risk you have ever taken?

MP: Moving from Saint John, New Brunswick to Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo in 2014 was such a step of faith for us. We were a young family abandoning the security and safety net of family to start a new life in a new community without any guarantee that this would work. Sitting here almost eight years later, I can’t imagine how different (in a bad way), life would be had we not taken this risk.

YMM: For what are you most grateful?

MP: My wife engages the world with kindness and grace – without her I am much less. She has always supported me to pursue life’s adventures and keeps me grounded in reality. In 37 years I have so much to be grateful for but not many days go by that I don’t stop to think about how lucky I am to have her in my life.

YMM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

MP: My wife and I have three daughters – Jovianna (16), Addyson (13) and Dahnilyn (11). We are continually astounded at their thoughtfulness of others and selflessness to give from their own pockets. I can’t think of anything I am more proud of than these young women.

YMM: What motivates you?

MP: In our lifetime, we are all responsible to make some sort of difference in the world around us; to live open handed in love, reducing suffering by whatever extent we can. Each day is a new opportunity to look for the darkness around us and to bring light to that space.

YMM: How should success be measured?

MP: I can get caught up in a desire to make more money and wishing for some sort of notoriety. Or I feel like I’ve missed the boat by comparing my journey to people that I see as “more successful” than myself. Sitting here at the end of the first 40, I am convinced that if you can leave an impression of encouragement and love with everyone you meet; if hearts are warmed when your name is mentioned – you can’t be any more successful than that.

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