At first glance, Skylar Boissonnault seems like your typical 13-year-old.
She loves her pets, acting in drama class, hanging out with her friends, and baking and crafting.
But Skylar is anything but your typical preteen.
Over the past year, Skylar has organized local workshops to empower and uplift young girls. She volunteers with her mom’s nature kids group and a few community youth groups. She’s not a kid with a ton of “down time,” but she’s perfectly fine with that.
“One person can do a lot of things; they can make your day, change your life or simply make you smile,” says Skylar, of Alberta. “It’s mostly my goal for (the workshops) to inspire others to try being the best person they can be.”
Since joining Origami Owl® as an “Owlette,” the company’s program for young people ages 11 to 17 who wish to start an Origami Owl business with a mentor (usually a parent or other family member), the transformation in Skylar has been evident, says her mother, Leanne, who is her Owlette mentor and team member.
“She’s always busy helping other people,” shares Leanne. “She’s always the one who’s in front of people (at Jewelry Bar® events) and that gives me a challenge. I can’t compete with her!”
“I’ve overcome my fear of being in front of small groups of people,” admits Skylar, who has no problem being in front of hundreds. “Being an Owlette has really built my self-confidence.”
It was Skylar, however, who did the prodding to get her mom to step out of her comfort zone.
The pair from Canada had never been out of the country. When they heard Origami Owl was holding its largest annual event in Phoenix, Arizona, it was a big leap of (financial!) faith to make it happen.
“We don’t have the extra money. We didn’t even have passports,” laughs Leanne. “I told her ‘no way,’ and she told me ‘we’re doing this!’ and we bought our tickets.”
Fast-forward to July, after months of Skylar collecting babysitting money on top of sharing Origami Owl jewelry at even more Jewelry Bars, and the pair finally had just what they needed to attend the event.
But the adventure didn’t stop there. Skylar was invited on stage to speak. Then, she was nominated by her team to receive the Most Inspiring Owlette Award. And she won.
“I was in shock,” recalls Skylar of the moment. “I actually did this—a small town, Canadian country girl actually won. I never thought it would happen and it happened.”
Uplifting Young Lives
With Origami Owl’s event behind them, the pair is focused on the months ahead with school starting and more opportunities to hold special “One Person Can” workshops across her town.
“This is about helping girls feel good about themselves,” explains Leanne. “If all we do is help them feel better about themselves, then that’s a goal completed for us.”
Skylar is grateful she came across Origami Owl’s Owlette program and says it’s cemented her mom’s life lessons.
“My mom has always taught me to be humble and put others before me,” says Skylar. “I’ve noticed I’m finally following that and putting others before myself. When I see others inspired by me, it inspires me to push myself farther than I am already.”
She adds, “It’s made me a better person.”