If you search the entire earth, you are likely not to find another person anything like ‘Hurricane’ Hazel McCallion. Last year, at 93 years old, Hazel finally decided to retire as mayor of a 200,000 person Canadian city, Mississauga. She was their mayor for 36 years and 12 terms! As mayor, she was so popular that the last time she was elected, she did not even have to conduct a campaign!
Now, she is 94, but certainly not done from making an impact on the world! Many people who are alive at this age are simply trying to stay healthy or relaxing in retirement.
Hazel, however, is not very good at sitting still! She still likes to skate and is involved in running Hazel’s Hope, a charity campaign to help children in Africa afflicted by AIDS and HIV. And recently she accepted a new job! She will be working for the University of Toronto, helping them to develop courses for people interested in managing cities.
Meet Hazel and learn about her inspiring story:
Hazel’s desire to stay active and make a difference is important. Take a look at the chart below. It chart shows the projected number of elderly people in the USA for the next several years. As you can see, it is growing rapidly to say the least! If all of these people help to make the world a better place, think about the impact they could have!
- You can learn more about Hazel at her city website and from Wikipedia
- Mayor’s are regular people too. Learn about what mayor’s are like here and here
Topics for Discussion:
- What character traits does Hazel exhibit?
- Do you know anyone like Hazel?
- Talk about an older person that inspires you
- Talk to your parents and teachers about what you can do to help older people in your community
- Here are some great ideas on how to help the elderly
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.