HALIFAX – Mel Boutilier is a man who has given his entire life, and now he wants to help give local youth something he didn’t have growing up. “I never had an opportunity or encouragement to attend training or university,” Boutilier said.
The 86-year-old has helped other young people in the past achieve an education, including Robert Wright.
“To help these young people become leaders in their community, to get an education, to benefit their families, to benefit the community, and to have a life that is rewarding to themselves,” said Wright, who is now working on his PhD.
The project, known as The Halifax Scholars Program, will help develop high school students through enhanced educational opportunities.
Rugiatu Geeta N-Doleh knows first hand how some help can transform your life. She arrived in Canada as a single mother. Mel Boutilier helped her through the years with everything from food donations, to helping her financially with school. She says she wouldn’t be a social worker today if it wasn’t for Boutilier. Definitely no, because I think for everybody, you need a little bit of boost, and my boost was from them.
In order to help fund the Scholars Program, Boutilier is opening the Metro Care and Share thrift shop on Agricola Street. Right now, there isn’t much inventory, and the shelves are pretty much empty. The store is looking for donations to help get them started, and the man who gives so much is asking for some help himself, to get his educational program started. “Everybody in the city of Halifax and beyond to send us $20, everybody who can afford it, Boutilier said.
It’s hoped the Metro Care and Share thrift store, and the Scholars Program will be up and running before Boutilier’s 87th birthday at the end of January.