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Meet 19 teens who make our community a better place

Published on

Journal Staff

Some pretty amazing teens have once again been recognized by the YMCA.

The Celebration of Youth Awards are presented annually to select young people who demonstrate values that make the community a better place, traits such as personal honesty and respect for others, a commitment to inclusiveness and acting responsibly.

The 19 Sarnia-Lambton winners are featured here. Some are recognized for their talents, others for their innovation or involvement. All were chosen after a rigorous process that included a written essay, solo interview in front of a panel of community members, video production and award acceptance speech.

“I’m always amazed when I hear their stories every year, whether they’ve overcome adversity, excelled academically or advocated for a cause, their passion to overcome, succeed or give back is impressive and I’m truly glad to part of it,” said YMCA communications manager Gerry Gillis.

The 19th annual Celebration of Youth Award ceremony was held in May at P.E. McGibbon School.

The program expanded six years ago and now includes award celebrations in Goderich and Chatham as well as Sarnia.

“The awards celebrate youth who demonstrate the Y values, of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and inclusiveness,” said Gerry Gillis, communication manager at the YMCA in Sarnia.

“There’s less emphasis on academics and more on what we feel are important attributes.”

Some are talented, others innovative or involved. Each was selected following a rigorous process with an application, written essays, a speech, and solo interviews in front of a panel of community member

PAIGE GILLIARD North Lambton Secondary School K. Eileen Wilson Award Believing in the need to 'pay it forward,' Paige is actively involved with Big Sisters, the Inn of the Good Shepherd, Girl Guides and as a peer mentor helping incoming Grade 9 students become successfully integrated into school life.
PAIGE GILLIARD
North Lambton Secondary School
K. Eileen Wilson Award
Believing in the need to ‘pay it forward,’ Paige is actively involved with Big Sisters, the Inn of the Good Shepherd, Girl Guides and as a peer mentor helping incoming Grade 9 students become successfully integrated into school life.
LYRIC ALLIN Great Lakes Secondary  Elaine McMurray Memorial Award A go-getter who commits to important causes, Lyric is an active participant in clubs and teams at school and has won awards for her artistic pursuits while holding down two part-time jobs while preparing for university.
LYRIC ALLIN
Great Lakes Secondary
Elaine McMurray Memorial Award
A go-getter who commits to important causes, Lyric is an active participant in clubs and teams at school and has won awards for her artistic pursuits while holding down two part-time jobs while preparing for university.
DAVID BOS North Lambton Secondary  Social Justice Award As his school's Youth Facilitator, David has made a positive impact by advocating for the LGBTQ community while working with administrators at the Lambton Kent District School Board to help students find the support they need.
DAVID BOS
North Lambton Secondary
Social Justice Award
As his school’s Youth Facilitator, David has made a positive impact by advocating for the LGBTQ community while working with administrators at the Lambton Kent District School Board to help students find the support they need.
AYNSLEY  PERSAD Great Lakes Secondary   International Ambassador Award Aynsley is using her abilities to make our world a better place, whether working with special needs children, managing her wrestling team or travelling to El Salvador six times to help build homes for that country's poorest families.
AYNSLEY PERSAD
Great Lakes Secondary
International Ambassador Award
Aynsley is using her abilities to make our world a better place, whether working with special needs children, managing her wrestling team or travelling to El Salvador six times to help build homes for that country’s poorest families.
JOSEPH FRIESEN Alexander Mackenzie Secondary  St. Clair Auto Award Joseph has struggled with bipolar disorder, ADHD and depression, but he has fought through adversity, enjoys helping others, done well at school, earned two welding tickets and will graduate with his high school diploma in June.
JOSEPH FRIESEN
Alexander Mackenzie Secondary
St. Clair Auto Award
Joseph has struggled with bipolar disorder, ADHD and depression, but he has fought through adversity, enjoys helping others, done well at school, earned two welding tickets and will graduate with his high school diploma in June.
DANIEL LEAPER Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School Apprenticeship Award  A fourth generation farmer who organized and led a Drive your Tractor to  School Day during lunch in Petrolia, Daniel intends to pursue an interest in all things electrical and mechanical at Lambton College.
DANIEL LEAPER
Alexander Mackenzie Secondary School
Apprenticeship Award
A fourth generation farmer who organized and led a Drive your Tractor to
School Day during lunch in Petrolia, Daniel intends to pursue an interest in all things electrical and mechanical at Lambton College.
JAYDEN KIPLING Northern Collegiate YMCA Celebration of Youth Committee Award Despite having to relocate across the country to escape drugs and alcohol at the family home, Jayden is excelling in Sarnia where she has received several Gold and Silver awards and the Aboriginal Beliefs Award for her academics.
JAYDEN KIPLING
Northern Collegiate
YMCA Celebration of Youth Committee Award
Despite having to relocate across the country to escape drugs and alcohol at the family home, Jayden is excelling in Sarnia where she has received several Gold and Silver awards and the Aboriginal Beliefs Award for her academics.
Lindsay Kirkland Northern Collegiate Mental Health Champion After being hospitalized twice for depression last year, Lindsay was inspired to give back to the Bluewater Health recreational therapy program that helped her by creating 'Stigma Survivors,' organized a committee and raised more than $5,000 for the program since November.
Lindsay Kirkland
Northern Collegiate
Mental Health Champion
After being hospitalized twice for depression last year, Lindsay was inspired to give back to the Bluewater Health recreational therapy program that helped her by creating ‘Stigma Survivors,’ organized a committee and raised more than $5,000 for the program since November.
JOY SHAH Great Lakes School Creativity Award Joy is a volunteer TV producer, executive member of the Golden K Kiwanis Club and a future engineer whose fuel cell idea won a bronze medal and best senior energy project award at the Canada Wide Science Fair
JOY SHAH
Great Lakes School
Creativity Award
Joy is a volunteer TV producer, executive member of the Golden K Kiwanis Club and a future engineer whose fuel cell idea won a bronze medal and best senior energy project award at the Canada Wide Science Fair
JOSEPH GOLOB St. Patricks High School Philanthropy Award A strong academic achiever, Joseph is also a respected leader, event volunteer, multi-sport athlete, musician and band member, mentor to others, Chaplaincy Lead and was Prime Minister of the Student Council this year.
JOSEPH GOLOB
St. Patricks High School
Philanthropy Award
A strong academic achiever, Joseph is also a respected leader, event volunteer, multi-sport athlete, musician and band member, mentor to others, Chaplaincy Lead and was Prime Minister of the Student Council this year.
MEGAN MCCLINTOCK L.C.C.V.I. Volunteer and Community Service Award Megan is a well-rounded individual who maintains a 90-plus average at school while volunteering from an early age at church, camp, choir, music department and Lambton County Developmental Services, where she sees people's gifts, not their disabilities.
MEGAN MCCLINTOCK
L.C.C.V.I.
Volunteer and Community Service Award
Megan is a well-rounded individual who maintains a 90-plus average at school while volunteering from an early age at church, camp, choir, music department and Lambton County Developmental Services, where she sees people’s gifts, not their disabilities.
ALEXANDRA  GOUVEIA St. Patrick's High School Jim McMurray Award Alexandra has devoted countless hours to volunteering in her community, organizing food drives, teaching children to swim and dance, and assisting at Ronald McDonald House and Community Living camps.
ALEXANDRA GOUVEIA
St. Patrick’s High School
Jim McMurray Award
Alexandra has devoted countless hours to volunteering in her community, organizing food drives, teaching children to swim and dance, and assisting at Ronald McDonald House and Community Living camps.
BEN VANDEVENNE St. Patrick’s High School YMCA Youth Leadership Award Ben has overcome personal challenges in life and at school to make a real impact working with autistic children both at after-school programs and the YMCA Autism Camp.
BEN VANDEVENNE
St. Patrick’s High School
YMCA Youth Leadership Award
Ben has overcome personal challenges in life and at school to make a real impact working with autistic children both at after-school programs and the YMCA Autism Camp.
NATHAN MORO St. Patricks Catholic High School Thelma McMurray Memorial Award Nathan was removed from his parents at an early age but has become a natural leader and Rebound coach ,as well as a superb all-round athlete who finished seventh at the national wrestling championship this year.
NATHAN MORO
St. Patricks Catholic High School
Thelma McMurray Memorial Award
Nathan was removed from his parents at an early age but has become a natural leader and Rebound coach ,as well as a superb all-round athlete who finished seventh at the national wrestling championship this year.
COLE CAMPBELL Alexander Mackenzie Secondary  Linda Hughes Award Despite undergoing many operations, Cole has persevered with a positive attitude. He uses his abundant community connections to fundraise for sporting events while participarting in sledge hockey, sitski and winning a SWOSSA gold medal in wheelchair track.
COLE CAMPBELL
Alexander Mackenzie Secondary
Linda Hughes Award
Despite undergoing many operations, Cole has persevered with a positive attitude. He uses his abundant community connections to fundraise for sporting events while participarting in sledge hockey, sitski and winning a SWOSSA gold medal in wheelchair track.
SARAH  SCOTT Northern Collegiate Excellence in Leadership Award A hard working, highly motivated young woman, Sarah is active on Student Council and as a leader in track and field, the concert and jazz bands, as a swimming coach and lifeguard, and by being selected to attend a prestigious science research camp.
SARAH SCOTT
Northern Collegiate
Excellence in Leadership Award
A hard working, highly motivated young woman, Sarah is active on Student Council and as a leader in track and field, the concert and jazz bands, as a swimming coach and lifeguard, and by being selected to attend a prestigious science research camp.
SABA SIDDIQUI Northern Collegiate Business Innovation Award Saba, who is an active participant at school and and an oustanding acacemic student, has also won numerous business awards at Junior Achievement, including President of the Year and Achiever of the Year.
SABA SIDDIQUI
Northern Collegiate Business Innovation Award
Saba, who is an active participant at school and and an oustanding acacemic student, has also won numerous business awards at Junior Achievement, including President of the Year and Achiever of the Year.
RHIANNON LYONS North Lambton Secondary Bellavance Family Award Rhiannon credits her family and a drive to assist others with helping her recover from several diagnosed mental disorders. She now balances sports with club activities and studies and aims to become a psychiatrist.
RHIANNON LYONS
North Lambton Secondary
Bellavance Family Award
Rhiannon credits her family and a drive to assist others with helping her recover from several diagnosed mental disorders. She now balances sports with club activities and studies and aims to become a psychiatrist.
MICHELLE  YAO Northern Collegiate Arts & Culture Award A prominent promoter of the arts and culture, Michelle is a creative writer, storyteller, website creator, pianist (Grade 9) and artist whose work has been displayed at Gallery in the Grove.
MICHELLE YAO
Northern Collegiate
Arts & Culture Award
A prominent promoter of the arts and culture, Michelle is a creative writer, storyteller, website creator, pianist (Grade 9) and artist whose work has been displayed at Gallery in the Grove.

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