THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD

Stephan Maighan: a volunteer with an extraordinary journey

A free translation of the newspaper article “Stephan Maighan: un bénévole au parcours extraordinaire” by ISABEL AUTHIER, La Voix de l'Est

October 6th 2018

On Friday morning, an exceptional resident of Shefford was awarded the Governor General's Volunteer Sovereign Medal, with simplicity. However, Stephan Maighan's career is anything but ordinary. Based in Shefford for "seven or eight years" now, he is the co-founder of Maighan Distribution Inc., a company specializing in baby, children's and wellness products. He also founded the executive and training consulting firm, Mentora Inc. As a motivational speaker, Stephan Maighan is a regular guest speaker at major corporations and government agencies around the world. He is also the author of the book “Devenez maître de votre vie,” and co-author of the book “Osez réussir”. Looking at his journey, one understands that he knows what he speaks about. Little Stephan was raised by a single mother in Anjou. He was only 7 years old when he witnessed her have a stroke in their car. After a few weeks in coma, her mother became completely paralyzed on the right side, suffering from aphasia and without memory of her son... Without income moving forward, the duo faced multiple challenges and lived on social assistance, Mr. Maighan said. At a very young age, he discovered the power of volunteering. "Volunteers have been a vital part of my life," he says, referring to the support he and his mother has received in disability organizations, among others. Stephan graduated from secondary school after a lot of "pain and misery" and started to build himself a future, based on will and resilience, always driven by the same "zero excuse" attitude transmitted by his mother. According to him, it is not what happens to us that matters, but what we do about it.

VOLUNTEER AT HEART

This need to give back therefore comes almost effortlessly to Stephan. Since 2011, Mr. Maighan has been the national spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He is also a member of the jury of Forces AVENIR, which supports students’ social involvement in Quebec. The Sovereign Medal is awarded to a few Canadians each year on behalf of the Governor General of Canada for their outstanding volunteer work in the community. Stephan Maighan received his honour from the Member of Parliament of Canada for Shefford, Pierre Breton, and the Mayor of Shefford, Eric Chagnon. Recipient application must first be submitted by peers and then reviewed by an advisory committee. Stephan Maighan does not know where his appointment comes from. It was a call from the Governor General's office over a year ago that transmitted the good news. He was the one who insisted that the ceremony be held in a simple way at Shefford City Hall rather than in Ottawa. Humble, he pointed out that this honour belongs to all volunteers. He also had a thought for his mother, now deceased. "I saw her volunteering hours, without any recognition, but always with a big smile." "For me, it's natural. I've become her voice and I want to keep going on that path. » He also took advantage of this small ceremony to make a strong call to the population. If everyone spent only one hour a month — which has more than 700! — in a volunteer activity, that would have a major impact on the society. "Anyone can do it. Volunteers, know that you are making a real difference," concluded the businessman.

THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF CANADA

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette.

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