Kassia Hollier

2021 International Women's Day Nominee - Kassia Hollier

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I was born in Neepawa, Manitoba and moved to Morden, Manitoba when I was seven. In Morden, I was in French Immersion until moving back to Neepawa after the ninth grade. In both communities, I was really involved in committees, extra-curricular activities, and community sports. Growing up, I was involved in choir, theatre, and played many sports, but stuck with hockey and soccer into adulthood. In non-COVID times, I play on Neepawa’s women’s teams and began managing the soccer team last year. I was passionate about the committees that I was involved in growing up, which included Peer Helpers, Peer Tutoring, Helping Our World Pursue Equality Group, Student Council, and coaching Canskate and Timbit’s soccer. My passion for being involved in committees has not diminished, as I am now the Social Convener for Neepawa’s Miles for Mental Health Committee and the Brandon University Psychology Club. I have also been a respite worker since 2019, have worked as a Youth Engagement Leader for the Province of Manitoba for two years, and have been a Student Assistant for an Introduction to Psychology course at Brandon University for the past three years.

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Neepawa Area Collegiate Institute in 2017 and began school at Brandon University that fall. Since then, I have been completing my Honours degree in Psychology with a minor in English. I am currently finishing my fourth and final year at Brandon University!

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I have always been proud of my involvement in my schools and community, but one of my greatest accomplishments was being awarded RBC’s Make 150 Count in 2017. With this award, I hosted a family movie night and raised $600 for children’s mental health in my community. I am also proud of my current involvement in Neepawa’s Miles for Mental Health Committee and the passion that I hold for advocating for people’s mental wellness, especially through the pandemic. In addition, I have been very fortunate to have received many scholarships and awards over the past four years, which I am incredibly grateful for!

How did you become interested in your field of study?

I have always cared about helping people and always found a special bond with children. I have been babysitting for over ten years and recognized my love for children and advocating for their mental well-being at a young age. When I was in the ninth grade, I was doing Career Cruising for a class and school psychology continued to come up as one of my top options. I asked my guidance counsellor about it, and he told me that it would be the perfect job for me. Since that day, it has been my dream to become a school psychologist. I began shadowing the school psychologist in my school division when I was in grade twelve and fell in love with the career. This school psychologist had done her undergraduate degree at Brandon University, which contributed to my decision to attend BU as well.

What is your philosophy in life?

My philosophy in life is to be kind (I even have “be kind” as a tattoo!). As the common saying goes, you never know what someone is going through, so be kind, always. Life is tough and sometimes being kind can be, too, but I think that it is really important to take a step back every now and then to recognize one’s mistakes and use them to improve with kindness and compassion in the future.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

This fall, I will begin my Master’s degree in School Psychology at the University of Manitoba. After graduating from that degree, I hope to stay in Manitoba and work rurally as a school psychologist. I am ready to start making a difference in children’s lives; I’m so excited to get my career started!

What do you #ChooseToChallenge?

I choose to acknowledge my privilege and use that recognition to stand up for marginalized groups.

Nominator’s Comments:

Kassia is a hard working, young woman trying to make the world a better place for all, by not only helping fellow students, but the community at large by her volunteer work. She has been part of the Brandon University Psychology Club member, helping other students connect with each other through the club. She has given her time freely to help other students with learning new skills such as the use of Microsoft Teams. She has been involved with Neepawa community since high school in several ways. One of the most recent one is assisting the school psychologist in the Beautiful Plains school division as well as helping in all the community events among others.