Shine Alumni Story: Tai Speeds into the Spotlight

Shine Experiences help young people living with severe physical disabilities think differently about their future and develop a sense of purpose that gives them the confidence and tools to contribute to their society. Many recipients turn their Shine Experiences into potential careers, advance their education, and become leaders to others, showing the world they are capable of great things.

Tai was born with a disability and uses a wheelchair daily. His early years were filled with medical appointments and surgeries, but he found joy in music to keep his spirits high. At twelve years old, Tai sat in the director’s chair, working with Shine to create his very own Shine Experience: a trip to NYC to see his favourite play, Wicked, on Broadway. It was an experience that boosted his confidence and greatly shaped his future.

Now, over seven years later, that spark of confidence from Shine fueled numerous experiences on stage and in front of cameras, leading him to study Media Production at Toronto Metropolitan University. Tai is an accessibility advocate, a medal-winning wheelchair racing athlete, and well known in many diverse circles. 

He shares in an online article, “ I don’t believe that I have one designated thing that is uniquely mine, but rather, I embrace the mix of activities I have been able to try. Taking risks and putting myself out there has allowed me to follow a fluid path, which led me into TV and film, kickstarting my career.” 

Tai has kept in touch with Shine, sharing a positivity message during the pandemic, attending our Nuit Blanche Toronto installation. He even shared a congratulatory video message to a new Shine recipient, Maggie, who received a racing wheelchair and who knows Tai from the para sport community.  Tai continues to leave a shining impression wherever he goes and Shine is grateful for his support as a treasured alumni.