Marie-Soleil Labelle helps youth
Local university student and race car driver featured in children's book
Marie-Soleil Labelle is a 17-year-old from Gatineau currently studying mechanical engineering and computer technology at the University of Ottawa. Labelle is the youngest female driver in the Nissan Sentra Cup and she will race for the Musée Gilles-Villeneuve Racing Team as part of the 2022 Nissan Sentra Cup for the third year in a row.
She was recently featured in the children’s book Mission: non aux étiquettes! By Martine Latulippe and Phil Poulin. The book follows two young students who are interviewing inspiring and successful people with learning or developmental disabilities in order to overcome labels. Labelle is featured in this book due to her successful career and accomplishments and because she has Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).
“The book's goal is to support children who have learning or developmental disabilities and their parents,” says Labelle. “I wanted to participate in something that shows kids that they are not alone, they can achieve their dreams and they will accomplish great things in life.”
Marie-Soleil is a spokesperson for the Regroupement Langage Québec (RLQ), a non-profit organization that aims to promote better understanding of DLD by implementing assistance services and developing tools for their nine regional organizations.
“I would tell kids who are struggling with a learning or developmental disability that bad days happen, but don’t give up. If you set a goal and work hard, you can achieve your dreams. Don’t get discouraged; you can do it.” says Labelle.
Labelle’s impressive work doesn’t end there. She is also an ambassador for Make-A-Wish Children’s Dreams Canada. To date she has raised $10,000.
“Every time I’m on the track, I am living my dream and I thought to myself, why not help kids who are sick. They have dreams too, I wanted to help make a difference. While I’m racing, I spread the message and encourage people to donate.”
Labelle currently works as a representative for Days Inn Berthierville. She says that, despite her differences with her DLD, they offered her a job as well as an educational project on best recruitment practices, hiring and employment opportunities that promote equality, equity and the inclusion of difference in business.