Chiefs’ forward, Mattila, has bright future in business
With a promising hockey career on the horizon, 18-year-old Myles Mattila is laying the groundwork for a bright future — combining his passion for competitive hockey with a solid business education at Okanagan College.
The right-winger joined the KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs this season after making his mark with the Okanagan Rockets and Cariboo Cougars of the B.C. Major Midget League over the past two seasons.
Mattila is one of approximately 2,380 new students who began classes at one of Okanagan College’s four campuses last week.
“My goal definitely is to play hockey at the highest level possible,” Mattila said. “I can excel in hockey, but why not also with a degree in hand? You never know if an injury or other circumstances could sideline me.”
Finding a program that wouldn’t make him choose between hockey or education was key.
“With team practice mid-day, I needed something that afforded me the scheduling flexibility to still play competitively,” said the former Quesnel resident, who recently returned to Kelowna. “That’s why I chose Okanagan College. I was able to build my timetable with morning and evening classes.”
Mattila is confident that the community focus at Okanagan College will also enable him to pursue his other passion: championing mental health awareness.
He’s already received wide-spread recognition for his efforts. In June, Mattila was bestowed the B.C. Hockey President’s Award for his dedication to the cause as the founder of MindRight.info, a website designed to educate the Cariboo Cougars hockey community about mental health.
Mattila even received a Twitter nod from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his efforts.
“The business program at the college has a reputation for community involvement and enabling students to give back,” Mattila said. “I’m confident that pursuing the management specialty will help me make connections to advance mental health awareness.”
Relatively new to Kelowna, Mattila has already been asked to represent the city at the International Conference on Youth Mental Health. Mattila will travel to Dublin, Ireland, in two weeks where he will collaborate with young leaders from around the world who are committed to creating positive changes in youth mental health. As for Mattila’s long-term goals? “I’d love to become a lawyer one day, but one thing at a time,” he said. “For now, I’ll just enjoy my first weeks as a college student.”