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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

‘Know your purpose, make it your practice’

A well-dressed man holds up a tee-shirt that says Know Your Purpose, Make it your practice

Last month marked an exciting moment for our new youth leadership program, Accelerate.

At KV Oasis Youth Centre, where the program will be based when it launches this fall, we held an information session for interested teens and their parents.

Interest was high, and excitement bubbled over in the newly reopened and remodelled KV Oasis in Quispamsis, a town in the suburbs of Saint John, N.B. where Mary Ellen and I have raised our children.

There is something deeply meaningful for us about being able to launch Accelerate in the place where we not only raised our family but was an integral part of the success of Vision Coaching since we began nearly 20 years ago.

It is also deeply meaningful in another way: the genesis of Accelerate emerged from coaching led by Bruce McLeod, my late friend and colleague. His impact and wisdom was threaded through the information session and will be part of the foundation of the new KV Oasis and our youth program.

'Live big'

T-shirts and signs are emblazoned with “Know Your Purpose, Make it Your Practice” – a mantra of sorts for Bruce, who believed very much in the power people had within themselves to become stronger leaders.

And the driving force for Acting Sgt. Kelley McIntyre, a police officer in the community who was coached over the years by Bruce. Kelley, who was named the top female police officer in the world in 2018, credits Bruce for the inspiration behind her determined efforts to create positive support for youth in our community.

In coaching sessions with Bruce, Kelley would express doubts whether she could pull off what  she envisioned for the new KV Oasis and meet the promises she made to local officials and others. 

“Bruce had a big impact in my life. When you go into coaching, you tend to do a deep dive into yourself: the good, bad and the ugly,” Kelley says. “Bruce was always reminding me to ‘live big.’ He would talk about legacy – leaving the world a better place than you found it.”

Kelley and Danielle Robertson, the executive director of KV Oasis, approached us with the idea of a youth leadership program and it has been Mary Ellen who has taken charge of the program for Vision Coaching.

Passionate about supporting youth

“At Vision Coaching, we are passionate about supporting creative, resilient leadership. And this extends to all leaders, including youth,” Mary Ellen told those assembled at the information session.

“On the personal side, coming from a background in education and as the mother of two girls, this is something that I have been wanting to see in our area for quite awhile, so we were really excited when Kelley and Danielle approached us about what we could offer,” she said.

The eight-module program – designed for girls ages 12 to 15 – will combine fun physical activity with interactive lessons on leadership, communication, teamwork and self-confidence. (For more information on Accelerate, email

“The Accelerate Series focuses on activities to accelerate awareness, skills and strategies to communicate more efficiently and effectively,” Mary Ellen said. “Communication is a key component of good leadership and we really want to help our girls use their voices effectively and with confidence.” 

And with all this, Bruce’s legacy lives on.

Dave Veale

Founder & CEO

Vision Coaching Inc.

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