Meaningful Futures Participant Interview - Mase Crowchief

Tell me a bit about yourself? What are your interests or your dreams & aspirations?

My name is Mase Crowchief, I am 21 years old. My mom is Carrie Stevens. I have three older siblings and four younger ones. I have two nieces and one nephew. I have two best-friends Jodi & Anna. I also have four cats. My friends and family are important to me in no particular order, but my little kid brother Kingsley is at the top. I have so many dreams and aspirations, it changes constantly. I like singing in the car when I’m alone, I’ve always thought acting could be fun. My dream job also changes constantly too, from a social worker, lawyer or even a writer. My curiosity also wants to work in places like 711 or McDonald’s just to see how everything works there. I look up to people like Princess Diana and Selena Gomez, being a humanitarian figure or mental health advocate also interests me, but I’ve been thinking about university lately. It’s just in my own time when I know I could handle school again because I know it can get stressful. I could be ready in a month or 15 years, and that’s ok. 

What motivated you to apply to the Meaningful Futures Program?

I didn’t know the Meaningful Futures program existed because I kinda live in a bubble, I work best that way. I had a hard two years leading up to January of this year, but I woke up one day and started being persistent with two CEC’s at SETS Denise & Tiffany and they put me on the list to join and I’m so grateful for them. I didn’t get a chance to thank Denise before she left for her new job, but she helped me get my previous job and helped me get into this program with Tiffany. What motivates me to finish the program is I feel like I need to prove I’m a good worker, I kinda lost motivation at my old job when I was going through personal situations but I’m grateful for all my bosses I’ve had Shay Wright and the late Janice Doore, Mandi at trail market, and Tyrone and Lynn at media. 

Can you describe any activities or exercises that stood out the most for you from Canada Bridges, Unveiling Youth Potential program? These could be either positive experience/ or challenging?

I didn’t find anything challenging. I sorta went through a similar experience with the classroom part with a summer job I had for two summers. I feel like I’ve just been cycled through those classrooms to raise my confidence. What stood out of for me was the university tours I’ve always wanted to go to the University of Calgary  for some reason but it’s all just in my own time and when I can handle it and when I figure out what I wanna do with the rest of my life, I’m in no rush, I feel bad for saying that but I wanna be honest and I know I wanna keep working at least. 

Do you have anything to share about our approach delivering the UYP program activities?

I liked how everything was a choice and we could say no if we wanted to, pushing our boundaries but also respecting them. I remember actually feeling good about going to the classroom part and knowing I had a choice to say no if I was having an off day. I’m super grateful for you and Alison because you guys are so kind and welcoming, and easy to talk to. 

Is there anything about yourself that you feel comfortable sharing?

I used to be terrified about telling my story for many reasons. I started telling my story and it’s felt super freeing. I’m always open to listen to someone or talk with someone because I know how it feels to be terrified to tell your own story. I wouldn’t be able to be where I am without my kid brother Kingsley, or my mom, or my sisters Madison and Renelle, or any of my friends and everyone who’s taken care of me. The album of my life would be “Rare” by Selena Gomez. I have the word Rare tattooed on my wrist. 

I'm excited about your new job placement at Siksika Media. Is there something about capturing and sharing stories and perspectives in media, that you're passionate about? 

I would say it’s the listening part, I’m a really good listener. I’ll put my phone down and try to look at someone when they’re talking. I talked to two addictions counselors at Siksika Health Will Jerry & Doyle Crowshoe, I was listening to them talk and enjoyed it, I felt super inspired after my conversations with them. I have another conversation coming up with Monique Sleigh and her work with animals on the Nation. I’m looking forward to listening to her. I also like the writing part, I love journaling. I hate the way my mind works sometimes but a while ago I read my journal front to back and I actually loved how my mind worked and I understood myself better. 

Speaking of stories, what are some important things that help you feel safe and empowered to share your story?

My friends and my family. I’ll let them know sometimes when I’m doubting myself but most of the time they can tell when something has come up with me and they’ll give me space and encouragement but also my little kid brother Kingsley. I had a terrible breakdown a year ago and he walked into my room and with him around, I just want to do my best and keep going. He’s a reminder of why I must keep going. My mom is also super shy but she becomes protective over me & my siblings no matter what, she’s the best. 

You mentioned wanting to take a mental health approach to sharing your thoughts about the Meaningful Futures Program. What does your current relationship with your mental health look like now?

I take care of myself better now, I have so many different things that I do for myself. If I'm feeling different emotions, I wish I could share them all. I got lost in those two years leading up to January of this year. I made a lot of mistakes, and it got so bad that my mom had to call crisis workers for me. I really don’t think I would’ve been ready if I had just been thrown into a job without the classroom part and Canada Bridges coming to the classes. 

Is there any advice you would give to other young adults thinking about applying to the program in the future?

I would say try not to be scared but it’s okay if you are (I was). Just remember you’re all there for similar purposes - Carrie Anne and Canada Bridges make it a welcoming place. It’s a place to make friends as well, so you’re never alone. I’m still trying to keep in touch with Zoe & Raegan but I’ve just been busy lately. You’re never too far gone, I hope that makes sense but whatever you can give or can’t contribute, even if it’s just a little. I believe that you’re still important and be determined and persistent, don’t feel discouraged over rejection. 

Canada Bridges has been supporting the Meaningful Futures program through a long-standing partnership with Siksika Employment & Training Services. MFP is an educational, career, and personal skill building readiness program that creates opportunities for young adults in transition exploring a career or post-secondary journey.