It was undoubtedly difficult to watch his friends disembark for university without him for the second year running, but Jonah had some exciting adventures while his friends toiled away during the fall semester.
As his peers were reacquainted with school, Jonah and his dad, Cleon, took a father-son road trip to 70 Mile House, testing every disc golf course they could find along the way. At the end of that long road, their cousins were there to show them a good time in the country, which included shooting guns and riding dirt bikes. On the way back, Cleon and Jonah checked out Barkerville, and then it was time for Cleon to leave his first-born son in the big city for a solo adventure.
When Make-A-Wish Foundation first offered Jonah the opportunity to pursue a dream of his choosing, Jonah didn’t have any ideas, wanting only to get better, go to school, and get a “cool programming job”. Out of this desire, the perfect dream was created; why not just get right to the cool part? So, Jonah’s wish for work experience as a programmer was granted by one of the coolest companies around, EA (Electronic Arts) Sports.
EA Sports produces the world’s best sports-based video games. Though headquartered in California, most of the big games come out of Burnaby, and the facilities and perks there are incredible. Employees enjoy flexible schedules, are allowed to bring their dogs to work, have subsidized gourmet meals… They have access to basketball courts, a soccer field, a weight room, physiotherapists, yoga, educational opportunities, diverse social activities… It’s a magical place, and they pulled out all the stops for Jonah.
Jonah got to visit a different department every day, not only seeing what is done, but getting to participate. Highlights included attending the NHL 20 launch party, trying his hand at debugging, getting his name in the game credits for his efforts, and bringing home more swag than he could carry.
He was excited before he got there, barely able to contain himself throughout, and giddy to share everything about his incredible week on his return. On top of this amazing experience at EA Sports, navigating the big city solo was an opportunity to be independent.
Jonah wanted to share more than his stories, he wanted to share the experience. So, when younger brother, Marcus, went to soccer Provincials in Burnaby following the internship, Jonah asked EA Sports if they would facilitate a tour for the entire team. This was no small ask as the nature of the work that happens at EA Sports means security to protect trade secrets is taken very seriously. For Jonah though, EA Sports kindly obliged, and everyone was so impressed and grateful to them and to Jonah for making it happen.
Seeing Jonah vibrate with excitement about his week and beam with pride as the big man on campus was a comforting light. To everyone who was involved, thank you. Your efforts to bring Jonah joy also bring joy to those who love him, and that’s a lot of people.