CTV and the Halifax Hurricanes are celebrating the youth in our community.

This month’s Hurricanes Hero is 17-year-old Hayley Elliott, from Brookfield, N.S.

Hayley is passionate about sports and being active. This year, she captained her soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams. The grade 12 student says she enjoys the challenges and rewards that come with holding a leadership role.

“I think the biggest thing for me is not letting my teammates get down,” says Hayley. “When we’re either losing or frustrated, that’s the big step, not letting the team get down.”

Hayley’s passion to motivate and help others has been recognized by those around her. In grade 11, she was selected by a panel of teachers to attend a leadership camp in Campeche, Mexico along with 21 other students. The group raised almost $25,000 – over $2,500 of which was raised by Hayley – to help charitable organizations in the area, like an elder shelter and cancer centre.

When she’s not playing sports, Hayley trades in her jersey for camo. An avid hunter, Hayley volunteers with the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation – a not for profit organization that promotes sustainable management of wildlife and habitat.

“It’s a lot of wildlife conservation,” says Hayley. “I love being outdoors and I love hunting and fishing, it’s just really fun.”

Hayley’s mother, Teresa Elliott, says her daughter can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.

“We’re pretty proud of her, her father and I. She’s very goal-oriented and she excels at a lot of things,” says Teresa.”

Hayley has a part-time job at a horse farm, doing chores and admin work. She saved up her earnings to purchase a car when she turned 16 and also covers her insurance and cell phone bills.

“Both of my kids, we’ve always been very diligent teaching them that hard work pays off and you have to take responsibility for some things, even at a young age,” says Teresa.

School is also a priority for Hayley. She is an honours student with distinction and plans to attend the NSCC to study business next year.

“I someday want to own my own gym,” says Hayley. “I'm looking forward to that eventually.”

Coach Mike Leslie, from the Halifax Hurricanes, says it is encouraging to have young people like Hayley leading the way for other youth in the Maritimes.

“She’s one of many, but certainly she stands out just because of the wide variety of things that she’s done and the way that she’s going about it,” says Mike. “She may not know what job or occupation she’s going to have next, but she’s building a toolbox or skill set that will allow her to be very resilient in whatever she faces.”

Congratulations Hayley, our Hurricanes Hero.