Barry Amos and Miramichi Valley High School
Hometown: Miramichi, New Brunswick
Barry Amos, a 39 year old Basketball coach at Miramichi Valley High School (MVHS) in New Brunswick, survived an accident four years ago that left him a C-4 level quadriplegic, in a wheelchair with no feeling below his chest. Barry began to adjust to a new way of life - one that required his strength and determination to overcome emotional and physical barriers. Fuelled by his passion for sport and working with youth, he continued to coach basketball but it was not without its challenges: inaccessible entrances into the high school and gymnasium.
In the winter of 2011, six grade 11 students from MVHS (Medal-Bearers Laura Richard, Jenna Cassidy, Julianna Haché, Adam Travis, Emma Boulay and Olivia Barry) were inspired by Barry and together, they had a vision for a more accessible school and gymnasium. With the help from two teachers, Ann O'neill Macdonnell and Krista Cabel, the students created a video and led several formal presentations to bring awareness of the school's physical barriers to School District 16 and the City of Miramichi. The students' leadership and determination resulted in a $20,000 project to install automated doors at the high school, improving the school's accessibility at one of the most frequently used public entrances in that facility. The accessible doors were completed on September 28, 2011 with official ribbon cutting and school assembly, where the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay team had the opportunity thank the school and students for making a positive difference in their community.
Barry inspired six students and those six students learned that their leadership and determination could lead to a positive impact in the lives of many in Miramichi and be true difference makers.
Watch "Barry Amos Documentary: Wheels in Motion" made by the six MVHS on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VZc4mulTsk&feature=related
Barry was selected by the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay to run on Day 35 in Shediac, New Brunswick on September 27 while Ann, Laura, Jenna, Julianna, Adam, Emma and Olivia ran their segments of the Relay on Day 37 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Jenna also had the honour of being the Relay's 1000th Medal-Bearer!
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