An act of maritime kindness landed Mackenzie Taylor the opportunity of a lifetime.

While visiting the Ontario Legislature in Toronto, Taylor began making small talk with the custodian.  He noticed her spirited personality and immense passion for politics and suggested she apply for the Ontario Legislature Internship Program.

The 10-month non-partisan program provides backbench members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario with qualified intern positions. Out of 1,000 applicants, only eight are selected. This year’s elite crop is composed of all Ontario students, except for Taylor.

“Four years ago, I would have never imagined a small-town girl from Woodstock, NB, could be living and working her dream job in Toronto,” Taylor said. “But my parents always said, ‘if you’re going to start something, do it well.’”

That’s exactly what she’s done over her four years at St. Thomas.

Not only did she push herself in the classroom, but her dedicated community involvement has helped her become well-rounded. She volunteered with the Chalmers Foundation and gained valuable experience during an internship at the Legal Council of Human Rights Commission.

In the midst of excitement, the humble and joyful fourth-year student isn’t short of praise for her alma mater and influencers who have inspired her along the way, particularly Political Science professors Dr. Thomas Bateman and Dr. Patrick Malcolmson.

“Dr. Bateman has been my mentor for everything. I look up to him an incredible amount and someday I hope someone else could look up to me in that capacity, as well,” Taylor said.

Bateman is pleased Taylor will have the opportunity to continue to pursue her interest in politics in such an immersive program.

“I was able to lead her a certain way, but the rest of it is all her,” he said.

The Ontario Legislature Internship Program gives interns the opportunity to write an academic paper on a topic of their choice, which is what Taylor is looking forward to the most. Refining her ability to write and form an effective argument will be important as she hopes to pursue further education—possibly law school—in the future.