Make It Matter – Young Montrealers with a Passion for Education and Equal Access for All

Make It Matter is a new non-profit organization in Montreal started by the enthusiastic team of Deborah Athanosopoulos and Olivia Sheehy-Gennarelli – 2 young Montrealers who have a vision of creating a system that enhances the quality of education here in Montreal.  Make It Matter (MIM) believes that all students, regardless of their challenges, strengths and economic backgrounds, are entitled to a great education.

Deborah Athanosopoulos

Make It Matter supports schools, educators, parents, and students in need of financial assistance to enhance the quality of education. “It is the link between the community and the classrooms that allows this to happen,” says Deborah. “Too many schools in the greater Montreal area simply don’t have the resources to meet the needs of every student.  Students struggling with learning, social and physical disabilities or poverty simply lack the necessary funds to succeed academically”.

MIM directly connects resources and the people who need the help.  Every year they will select at least two projects for to fund through the organization, such as new furniture for a flexible-seating classroom, clothing and food for those in need, materials for a science lab, breakfast programs and extra support for learners with specific needs.

Olivia Sheehy-Gennarelli

“For our first year, we will be supporting the needs of St. Gabriel Elementary School in funding their Home Reading Program and Creative Arts Program,” explains Olivia. We will also provide funds for the Inspirations Newspaper to reach more people in their community.  We are so excited about these first projects because we know that through our intervention, we will enable teachers to provide students with the proper resources needed to succeed, regardless of their economic or social backgrounds.”

Supporting the special needs community – one person at a time.

Deborah and Olivia do not see their vision stopping when their budget does.  MIM will play an important role in helping to promote the projects they are not able to currently fund. “Teachers will be encouraged to share their classroom needs and seek financial support for their education-related projects from members of the community via MIM’s website and other communications platforms” Olivia explains.

Students at Saint Gabriel School getting excited about their new at-home reading program

Make it Matter mirrors Mountain Lake PBS’s vision of impactful, engaged education.  “PBS played such an important role in our childhood”, both Deborah and Olivia agree. Through its great TV shows, games and activities, PBS always puts children first and is one of the very rare organizations that both children and parents can rely on. We both grew up with Mountain Lake PBS, and we love it for both the children’s programming and our own favourite show of all time – Downton Abbey!”

Mountain Lake PBS is proud to share this mission of access to education with Make It Matter.  Mountain Lake PBS is available at no cost over the air – making it accessible to everyone in our communities, and opening windows to the world.

Make it Matter’s first fundraiser will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2017. For ticket information or more information on their mission, visit or contact