How Thomas College Alumni Are Impacting Their Communities MacKenzie Riley Young | April 2, 2021

Mackenzie Perry ’17 began her journey with Make-A-Wish Maine as an events and marketing intern during her second year at Thomas College. She fell in love with the Make-A-Wish mission and was hired as the full-time Wish Coordinator after graduating in 2017. “Here at Make-A-Wish, our passion is providing hope when children and their families need it most. When a child is going through a difficult medical journey, it can feel daunting for the whole family. Allowing a child to focus on something happy can provide them with the hope, strength, and joy needed to push through.”

During this challenging year, Mackenzie says that the organization has had to find new ways to continue their mission of granting a wish to every eligible Maine child.

“Although travel wishes are on hold, we are still granting wishes that don’t involve travel or large gatherings and we are seeing kids get more creative than ever! Finding new ways to continue to provide hope has been uplifting and empowering.”

Mackenzie is proud of the organization she works for and knows it has a big impact. “We have seen communities come together in so many incredible ways, from car parades to a police officer turning into the sidekick of a child who wished to be a superhero, and even schools forming an assembly to surprise a student who is a wish kid.”

She adds she got so much more from Thomas College than her degree alone. “I learned the importance of excellent customer service, which we provide to every wish family along with the many donors and volunteers who make our work possible. I learned the importance of networking, which allows me to solicit donated items for wishes across the state. And perhaps most importantly, I learned a sense of community from Thomas staff and my peers.”

Mackenzie is one of many Thomas alumni who are doing meaningful work in their communities, either through their professions or volunteerism. These dedicated graduates – some of whom we celebrate here and throughout this issue – reflect the College’s mission: to prepare students for success in their personal and professional lives, and for leadership and service in their communities.

*This story was originally published in the Winter 2021 edition of the Thomas magazine. View the full magazine here.