Patti and Margo at their mentorship match meeting

Patti and Margo at their mentorship match meeting


Every year Spark presents the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award at the Volunteer Manitoba Volunteer Awards Gala. We look forward to this day every year because it gives us a chance to recognize some of our volunteers and the impact their pro bono work has on the community, as well as celebrate volunteerism in Manitoba.


From now until awards night, we are celebrating the nominees for the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award, and their contributions to their community through a series of volunteer profiles. 


Today we are profiling Award nominee Margo Powell, Executive Director of Abilities Manitoba for her mentorship work with Innovative Life Options Executive Director, Patti Chiapetta!


Patti approached Spark over a year ago needing assistance. She has been a successful Executive Director for some time but was feeling stuck. She was interested in getting a peer mentor (a new kind of mentorship for Spark) that can help her work through some of her very specific challenges. When we asked who comes to mind to fill this role she had one answer, Margo Powell.


Margo was a perfect fit for a peer mentor because of her twenty five experience and success in the disability sector, including 7 years at Abilities Manitoba.


We approached Margo about the possibility of being a peer mentor. Margo didn’t hesitate to say yes because she has also benefited from a Spark match and wanted to take the opportunity to “reciprocate when it presented itself.”


For over a year the pair met every month to discuss various topics related to the ED experience.


At the end of the mentorship Patti reported that “Margo is a great strategic thinker, her guidance in outreach work, accessibility, raising awareness of the disability sector, ensuring appropriate and acceptable wages for DSP’s… [She] believes in valuing all people- she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and value people with an intellectual disability. She looks at opportunities to connect and collaborate in so many aspects- and she does it so naturally smoothly and is the first to redirect praise to others.” 


Thank you Margo for your amazing work with Patti!


For more volunteer profiles check out Danielle Harvey-Wilson, Sheila Young, and Kelly Thibodeau!