The Day I met Mark Horvath

This is a special blog post by Tahl East, Campus Director of CDI College in Winnipeg.

Tahl East

Tahl East @TahlAri

From a very young age I wanted to change the world. Maybe it was the fact that I spent many a night in bomb shelters in Northern Israel, maybe it was the time spent in South Africa as a tween during apartheid or maybe it is the fact that I am an immigrant to Canada. Either way, before I even understood how to make the world a better place I was doing it. Saving injured animals, babysitting all the neighbourhood kids, running my own summer camps in Jerusalem (I was 11) or feeling bad for the terrorists who were captured, empathy was and still is me.

So when I was asked to do a presentation about volunteerism and community involvement for my colleagues at the Wynn in Las Vegas last month, I jumped at the opportunity, planned and organized my presentation, delivered it and even got a standing ovation….little did I know that this very presentation would in a very short period of time, 3 weeks to be exact, lead me to Mark Horvath and

After returning from Vegas in the middle of July, one of my superiors connected me with a colleague, Frank Seto, who connected me with Sean French at the Community Action Committee in Calgary. Sean explained and the road trip its founder, Mark Horvath was now on across Canada. He asked if I wanted to get involved and before he could add a question mark to the end of his sentence, my answer was a resounding YES!!!

Mark Horvath with Addictions Recovery students from CDI College

Mark Horvath with Addictions Recovery students from CDI College

Over the 8 days that followed a plan was put in place for Mark to introduce, and himself of course, to Winnipeg and for Winnipeg to embrace him. We did just that!!!

On August 9, 2011, in the unassuming parking lot at CDI College in Winnipeg, our eyes were opened; for some for the first time, while for others the eyes opened just a little wider. Mark’s presentation was moving to say the least. Not just emotionally, but figuratively as well. Listening to the homeless he interviews, to his stories and to the emotion behind it, has forced us into action. Because of Mark, and in his honour, we introduced a “We Are Visible” scholarship for either CDI College Winnipeg or CDI College Calgary City Centre that includes the total cost of any of our 1 year programs. To follow in Mark’s social conscious and social networking footsteps, one of the selection criteria must include the use of social networking for the greater good in the areas of poverty, food security and homelessness….

Listening to Mark tell the Invisible People story

Listening to Mark tell the Invisible People story

Not a day has gone by since we met Mark earlier this week, when we have not stopped each other in the college corridors, staff and students, to discuss what we are going to do next – to make a difference. That is a testament to Mark’s message, humanity and mission. We have been changed, we have been moved, and we will make a difference….Thank you Mark.

For more information, you might want to follow Tahl East on Twitter (@TahlAri), visit CDI College, or maybe even check out Mark (@HardlyNormal) Horvath directly.

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