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A beacon for aboriginal youth

By all accounts, 2007 was a banner year for fourth-year Gee-Gees quarterback Josh Sacobie. He not only set University of Ottawa all-time passing records and led his team to a perfect 8-0 season, but also took home the 2007 Ontario Universities Football Conference most-valuable-player award.

Originally from the Malisset First Nation near Fredericton, New Brunswick, Sacobie has overcome plenty of adversity on his way to varsity sports stardom. He is now using his success to deliver a message of hope to Aboriginal youth, stressing positive thinking, self-esteem and goal-setting. “Self-esteem is a thing that pins many people down. It pinned me down when I was a kid growing up. To have a positive self-esteem is very important to me.” It’s a message he’s already taken directly to the Mistissini Cree First Nation in Quebec, among others, where he worked as a youth counselor and football coach during the summer of 2007.

Determined to make a lasting difference, Sacobie recently founded Aboriginal Youth in Action, which supports athletic opportunities and educational awareness among Aboriginal youth. “It’s about reaching out to improve young lives in Aboriginal communities,” says Sacobie. “The focus is on the future.”