Junior Citizen of the Year Award    

The Junior Citizen of the Year award has honoured the youth of Saskatchewan for over 40 years. The program is sponsored by The Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association, in partnership with SaskPower, and the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.

On Thursday, May 30 at 2:00 p.m., Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty will present the Junior Citizen of the Year Award at Government House, 4607 Dewdney Avenue in Regina to four impressive young people of our province.

This prestigious award was established 48 years ago and has been presented to over 180 Saskatchewan youth.

Award recipients must:

  • Reside in Saskatchewan
  • Be between ages 8 to 18
  • have overcome personal challenges
  • have a positive lifestyle
  • be dedicated to community and school
  • have a strong sense of caring and responsibility
  • inspire others

Each award recipient receives a $3,000 bursary provided by SaskPower. This year’s Junior Citizens honourees are Cassidy Evans and Obiajulu Udemgba of Saskatoon, Emmanuella McDougal of Regina and Levi Jamieson of Moosomin.

For more information, call:

Nicole Nater

306.649.1405 (Saskatoon)

or email nnater@swna.com

The 2024 call for nominations is now closed.



Cassidy Evans, Saskatoon

Levi Jamieson, Moosomin

Emmanuella (Ella) McDougall, Regina

Obiajulu (Obii) Udemgba, Saskatoon


Victor Santos Cardoza, Moosomin

Victor Santos Cardoza resides in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. At only age 18, Victor exhibits the qualities of a true leader that is an inspiration to all those around him.

Victor and his family came to Canada from Honduras after witnessing and experiencing tragedy and hardship in the country. They initially settled in Toronto and eventually moved to Moosomin roughly ten years ago. Here, they became a part of the local Honduran community. Just as they settled in, the family’s refugee claim was rejected, and they were slated for deportation. Having touched the hearts of many, the community rallied around the family which lead to a rare ministerial order being issued, staying the deportation and in 2018, Victor and his family became permanent residents. In February 2023, in front of a large audience at the family’s citizenship ceremony, Victor spoke on behalf of his family telling his story about their long journey to citizenship and what it has meant to his family to become Canadian citizens.

Victor spared no time taking on leadership roles. He demonstrated this when he joined the Pipestone Air Cadets and became a leader within the organization well before his family had become Canadian citizens. He never missed an Air Cadet event or Remembrance Day Service. In Grade 10, Victor was elected by the student body as Moosomin’s first Youth Councillor. He attended every council meeting, always providing helpful input. One of his suggestions was having high school students help with the annual town clean up. This resulted in 300 students taking part, making it the most successful clean up to date. Victor was the voice of his fellow students and frequently spoke of any concerns affecting his peers. His active role as youth councillor encouraged several other communities to add youth councillor positions to their town councils.

Victor is eager to help wherever he can, especially when it comes to family. He helps to take care of his younger brother, Edward and takes this role very seriously. Victor helps him with homework as well as picks him up and drops him off at school. Around the home, Victor helps his family with paying bills and buying groceries. He is always ready to help with daily chores including cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Recently, he has been putting his carpentry skills to use with renovations of his family’s home including building a fence and renovating the bathroom.

Victor continues to inspire many in his community and beyond. He does this by sharing his story of his family coming to Canada as refugees, and the perseverance they showed when faced with adversity. He has spoken to various media outlets including local newspapers, provincial radio stations, and the CBC. He has put remarkable effort in articulating what it has meant to him and his family to become Canadian Citizens. Victor’s story inspires all Canadians and gives hope to those facing similar situations.

Victor’s continued leadership efforts not only make him a role model to his peers, but also an example of how to be a part of a community in such a way that it makes it a better place to live for all.

Victor would like to thank the Moosomin Mayor and Town Council for allowing him to participate on the council, Moosomin St. Mary’s Parish council and church for taking his family in when they first moved to Moosomin, and lastly Kevin, Kara and World Spectator Crew for documenting their journey!


Lanea Lafontaine, Regina

Lanea Lafontaine keeps herself busy with countless volunteering initiatives and hobbies. The 15-year-old Regina resident has an impressive history of inspiring and helping others, all while maintaining a 97% GPA in her education at Flex Ed Online School. She is no stranger to overcoming adversity and has used each challenge to create an opportunity to do good.

A notable experience was throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic when difficult times struck her family. Lanea’s father became extremely ill and his heart function dropped to a deadly rate of 11%. With Lanea being only 12 years old at the time, it was devastating to watch as her father’s health declined, and the world shut down due to the pandemic. For the safety of her father’s health, she and her family were on strict lock down for two full years. They missed church, sporting events, and were not able to visit with friends, family or with her grandparents who lived across the street. Even as restrictions began to lift, her family retained strict rules to be safe. Lanea’s dedication to keeping her family safe meant missing out on things like spending time with friends and participating in Taekwondo. She knew it was important to do something to ease her anxiety. During this time, she discovered a love of crocheting. Lanea taught herself how to crochet amigurumi animals and blankets. She now crochets an animal each month and gives it away to someone she feels could use it to enhance their mental well-being. Recently, Lanea has been able to return to Taekwondo, a practice she cherishes for its ability to teach her discipline, self-defense, patience, and mental resilience. She recently received her red belt and hopes to obtain her black belt next year.

In addition to helping her family stay safe throughout her father’s health challenges, Lanea continues to help around the home. Lanea is responsible for dinners twice per week and loves learning to bake. She enjoys sharing food with her grandparents so that they do not have to cook as often. She helps to babysit her youngest sibling as well as numerous cousins. In the summer, she mows lawns and has helped her dad build a jungle gym, as well as renovate their basement. Last year, Lanea purchased a rescue dog with her own money. She is the main caretaker and providing care for her dog has given her a greater sense of organization and responsibility.

Outside of her home life, Lanea is active within her community and school. Lanea and her family have been mentoring a Syrian family for the last five years through the Regina Open Door Society Newcomer Program. This gave Lanea an opportunity to make new friendships and learn about their culture. Her ability dedication and kindness has helped the family assimilate into the new community.

At just age 10, Lanea was involved in a project with her siblings called ‘Operation Clean Water Tonga’. They fundraised by collecting bottles and asking for donations. As a result, they collected thousands of dollars’ worth of water purifiers and filters.  The supplies were sent to Tonga to help residents have a cleaner source of drinking water after a cyclone destroyed their water tanks.

Lanea was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh International Bronze Award.  She received this award by contributing 100 hours of volunteer work, skills, and physical activity. She is currently working on obtaining her silver award. She is also involved in Passion2action, a nonprofit that helps to inspire and empower youth to be their best. Lanea is the youngest member of the team and is helping to plan their youth empowerment conference, ‘Inspire’.

Lanea works with Citykidz Regina, an organization that helps to eliminate child poverty. She participated in a project that helped to provide hundreds of lunches to children in the program. She took part in an initiative to prepare graduation gifts to females of Citykids Regina. Lanea has also helped to purchase and deliver much needed baby food and formula to Regina Treaty Status and Indian Services. She has helped assemble and deliver educational kits filled with donated books, science projects and games to youth in the inner city. She assisted in preparing dinner for 100 at Camp Hope and 100 lunches for the homeless. Recently, she helped plan an initiative for Soup After Dark, a grass roots community that helps to feed those that are struggling most. Lanea was part of an interfaith group of high school students that prepared and served hot chili at the event in downtown Regina.

In addition to her services with youth, Lanea enjoys uplifting the lives of seniors. Lanea and her family have been singing at seniors’ homes for several years. During Covid when Lanea’s family was on a strict lockdown, her and her family created videos to send to seniors’ homes, along with handmade cards and kits filled with games and toys.

Interested in helping those who have suffered from domestic violence Lanea reached out to the Regina Transition House to see how she could help support the women and children residing there. This led her to create an initiative called ‘More Precious than Jewels’. After collecting over $1000 worth of necessities for dozens of women and art supplies for kids, she created kits and included a handmade wire wrapped ring with a note, “Never forget you are more precious than jewels.” She is now working on collecting items to create birthday boxes to deliver to the shelter in the near future.

Outside of her many volunteer roles, Lanea enjoys swimming and hopes to become a lifeguard during the summer. Some her other hobbies include playing the guitar, piano, singing, reading and writing.

Lanea inspires those around her by being a positive role model. Her dedication to service continues to enrich the lives of others and demonstrates that giving back can be fun and rewarding. The service she has done in her community has led her to being awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for Service.

Sophia Young, Regina. 

Sophia Young is a beacon of optimism. The 18-year-old is a remarkable young woman who breaks down barriers to make significant changes in the lives of others. She has used her hardships as motivation to become an agent of positive change.

Sophia has a been a member of numerous clubs throughout attending Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School while maintaining a 99% average. She has won 22 academic awards, 8 Dawson Ellert Leadership Awards and completed two university engineering mentorships. In school, she is the Chair of the Miller4Nature Permaculture Club, an Alto Vocalist in the Revelation Choir, and a Liturgical Director for the Miller Student Representative Council.

Sophia is passionate about both climate and mental health. In school, Sophia chaired the Miller4Nature Permaculture club to help her school community cope with the suicide rates at the school. It was her mission to create a both healing space as well as help reduce the school’s footprint. Working with her team, Sophia grew 200 pounds of produce that was used to make meals in the cafeteria, cooking classes, and community fridges. A temporary greenhouse is also expected to be constructed this year, thanks in part to Sophia’s fundraising and club-building efforts. Both the garden and the greenhouse give students a safe space to heal, all while helping the environment. The club currently has nearly 30 active members.

Throughout her life, Sophia faced many challenges due to her mixed cultural identities. Growing up in a predominately Euro-centric neighbourhood with mixed Chinese and Colombian features, Sophia had several encounters with racism, harassment, and bullying. Sophia has risen above these experiences through a combination of art, advocacy, and volunteer work.  

In her family life, Sophia became a leader at just 8 years old. Sophia’s father faced a serious injury while her mother was in China. Sophia took on an increasing number of responsibilities at home including cooking, cleaning, and assisting her father with his mobility and personal care to help her household run smoothly. Furthermore, Sophia helps her family maintain a positive, healthy, and active lifestyle. She helps her mother prepare home-cooked meals and accompanies her with walks in the park and swimming. Sophia provided emotional support, companionship, and encouragement to her family during these challenging times, and continues to do so now.

When Sophia’s family fell on hard times, finding transportation to and from school was a challenge. While Sophia’s family is no longer in this situation, the experience had Sophia quickly understanding that transportation issues can be a barrier to education for many.  This led Sophia to advocate for change for students that rely on public transportation for their education. Sophia began lobbying to City Council for fare-free transit for all Regina youths. She became the co-chair of the Regina Energy Transition and helped direct fourteen months of outreach, media coordination, and a 200-person lobbying campaign. As a result of her campaign, the Regina City Council unanimously passed fare-free transit for youth under 13 in July 2022. This has provided 36,000 children access to equitable transportation. Sophia has been determined to enhance this change and successfully received funding from the David Suzuki Foundation to continue her advocacy. With the support of several community groups, she is actively working to achieve fare-free transit for youth under the age of 18. Sophia’s work has helped to remove financial barriers and create significant opportunities for thousands of immigrant families. As a result of her work in this area, the Young Women’s Christian Association of Canada (YWCA) honoured her as finalists for the 2022 and 2023 Southern Saskatchewan Young Woman of Distinction Award.

Sophia has continued to expand her role as an environmental change-maker. Despite many people telling her she was too young to participate in politics, Sophia earned a spot as a listed contributor for the City of Regina’s Energy and Sustainability Framework, a proposed multi-billion-dollar plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. She has also turned her passion for sustainability into a career and works with the David Suzuki Foundation as a Junior Project Manager, where she manages budgets and up to fifty-member teams to deliver climate solutions with the community in mind.

Sophia also uses art to help inspire change. She became involved in Regina’s Arts Youth Network where she has displayed her artwork in two art galleries and worked with the Regina Public Library to shine a spotlight on youth voices regarding climate change. Also, after winning the 2019 Class B Woodwind Ensemble Award, Sophia felt capable to help coordinate music events to give youth artists opportunities.

Sophia’s volunteer work has a direct impact on the lives of many. Sophia is a junior summer camp counsellor in Education Youth in Engineering and Science (EYES). She has inspired more than 100 youths as a positive, bias-free role model, and provides one-on-one support and helped adapt activities to accommodate campers with special needs or learning difficulties. She is the Co-founder of the Worthy Purpose Student Action Group, where she has led a team to successfully pitch the vision of transforming an unused church into a community hub for those needing a safe place to keep warm during the cold weather. Sophia is also a Peer Leader with the Regina Open Door Society. She has led the coordination of the peer mentorship program at Miller and provides guidance and support to 70 newcomer students.

In May Sophia received the 2023 YWCA Young Women of Distinction Award and the 2023 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.

Sophia has continuously risen above adversity by use of her own nurturing abilities, positivity, and desire for inspired action. She has navigated the transition from adolescence to adulthood while balancing the responsibilities of caring for her family. She continues to inspire others by demonstrating resiliency to overcome hardship and tenacity to uplift and fight for opportunities in her community.

Winston Zhao, Regina

Winston Zhao is a resilient 17-year-old who approaches each challenge as an opportunity for personal growth.

Winston attends Campbell Collegiate, where they are an active member in advocating for an inclusive and equitable environment. As an Asian individual living in a predominantly Caucasian environment, this is an endeavour they are deeply passionate about.

Much of this desire to help others has been inspired by their own experiences. Winston has encountered incidents where their ethnicity has been a factor in the situation and has been subjected to numerous derogatory comments about his race. Their own experiences have fostered a deep passion for human rights work to ensure a positive community experience for people of all backgrounds.

Highschool has been a journey of self acceptance for Winston. They worked hard to gain more confidence in their identity and encourage others to express their truest selves. Winston’s experience inspired them to become a member of the Social Justice Club. Each week, the club meets to discuss ways to create a safer environment and one of equal opportunities for all. Winston volunteered their time with the Multicultural Planning Committee to help execute a week that celebrates the diversity that exists within the school. They assisted in planning three events, including the Fashion Show of Cultural Clothing, the Variety Show of Traditional Performances, and the Food Market, raising over $800.

In addition to their advocacy work, Winston contributes to their community and school through a variety of volunteer work. At Winston’s previous workplace, they lead the initiative to donate baked goods from retail supermarkets to local community fridges. In doing so, they were able to reduce the amount of food waste produced by large retails stores. This initiative helped support underprivileged individuals in their community during the Covid pandemic. Winston’s community involvement has fostered stronger relationships with diverse communities in Regina. They currently volunteer as a tutor with A.R.R.I.V.E., an organization which has assisted over 300 government sponsored refugee families. Currently, Winston supports a Ukrainian family by helping them adjust to being in a new community and improve their English skills.

Winston is also a member of a student-led non-profit organization called ArtForOthers. This initiative focuses on creating a safe environment for individuals in the community to connect with each other through creative expression. Recently, they opened a project in the Regina Public Libraries for children ages 7-13 to involve themselves in artistic activities.

Winston’s continued advocacy assists marginalized communities, including those affected by challenges including discrimination, poverty, and warfare. Through their community involvement, Winston has been able to connect with people who share similar values and interests. They continue to actively seek opportunities to contribute to their community’s well-being, build further inclusivity, and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

Outside of their volunteer work, Winston values the relationships with their family. They support their family by regularly contributing to the household tasks. Most important, are the meaningful conversations Winston shares with their parents. By embracing their identity and speaking their truth, Winston ensures they are helping to build a more open-minded environment by having important discussions surrounding social identity.

Winston’s dedication to his community is selfless and he never asks for anything in return. His love and understanding towards friends, family and peers exemplifies a deep commitment to create a more equitable society for all.


Corah Hales, Waldheim

Eighteen-year-old Corah Hales from Waldheim has already shown courage in overcoming challenges and sharing her story with others.

Corah is an advocate for youth mental health. She is an active member of Narcotics Anonymous, where she helps several individuals and groups in recovery. She has been serving as a Youth Advisor for the Saskatoon Mental Health and Addictions – Patient Family Advisory Committee for the past three years.

As a Youth Advisor, Corah has submitted ideas for improvement that have been implemented for the program.

Corah is a member of the Dubé Center – Quality Improvement subcommittee and recently was asked to participate in quality improvement meetings for the Calder Centre. She also speaks to students from the University of Saskatchewan Department of Medicine as part of the Patient Narratives Program.

Corah graduated with high honours from Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon in 2021 and received an entrance scholarship to the University of Regina, where she has been accepted into the Department of Social Work.

Emily McCreery, Regina

Eighteen-year-old Emily McCreery of Regina has volunteered over 500 hours while also working a part-time job, participating in sports, and maintaining a position on her school’s honour roll.

Emily’s contributions to her family, school and community were recognized when she was named the 2020 YWCA Young Woman of Distinction.

Emily was adopted from China when she was just one year-old and shortly after, her father was diagnosed with significant and lifelong health issues. Today Emily supports her family however she can. In addition, she also helps international students transitioning to life in Canada.

Emily’s volunteer experience is extensive. She has supported the following programs and organizations:

  • Global Focus,
  • the Community Center Youth Program,
  • the Food Bank,
  • Salvation Army,
  • Inner City Student Connect and Easter Community Cleanup,
  • Fort Qu’Appelle Library,
  • Echo Lake Bible Camp,
  • Faith Baptist Church,
  • Second Chance Boutique and
  • the civic election.

Emily serves on the Affinity Credit Union youth panel and has participated in the Encounters Canada program, as well.

Two years ago, when students moved to remote learning, Emily realized there were many who did not have access to technology at home. She started collecting used laptops and donating them to students in need and Laptops for Kids was born. To date Emily has donated over 90 computers.

Jordyn Montgomery, Moose Jaw

Jordyn Montgomery is a 16-year-old from Moose Jaw who has autism and a learning disability, but that has never slowed her down. Jordyn is an inspiration to other students with special needs. She is part of a Students Against Destructive Decisionsgroup. Jordyn also helps with Journey to Hope, a group that provides support for those affected by suicide. She is a member of the Innovation Club and Art Club.

Free to Be Me is a local animal sanctuary for older or unwanted animals who need care; Jordyn tends to the animals and cleans their stalls.

Despite a heavy academic workload, Jordyn maintains a 95% average! She also learned some sign language so she could speak to a hearing-impaired caretaker at her school.

At home, Jordyn helps her younger twin brothers with their schoolwork, her father with their horses and fencing, and her mother with sewing and mending.


Monica Steinke

Monica Steinke is 15 years-old and lives in Prince Albert. She is always willing to help with school activities, and at weekly barbecues to raise awareness and funds for a local PTSD support program.

Monica and some of her friends organized a craft fair to raise money for those in need. She has also participated in the STEPS for Life Walk and has campaigned door-to-door for Diabetes Canada.

Monica spent a week in British Columbia volunteering with the Okanagan Gleaners, processing surplus fruit and vegetables to share with those in need.

When Monica was in grade four, she fell and broke both arms requiring casts from fingertips to armpits. She found it tough to deal with her long hair, so she decided to cut it off and donate it to Angel Hair for Kids. Monica also raised $720 to cover the cost of a wig for a child.

Every Christmas Eve, Monica and her mother visit the children’s ward at their local hospital. In addition, Monica has been a hugesupport for her grandparents.

Monica loves to cook and bake, often making extra so she can share with friends and neighbours.


Ashya Siermachesky, Melfort

At just 12 years-old, Ashya Siermachesky has demonstrated responsibility far beyond her years. When Ashya’s father suffered a life-threatening health crisis, her mother stayed with him at the ICU in Saskatoon for a month. Ashya ran the household and the farm, caring for her younger sisters, as well as the chickens, cows and horses, all while managing the challenge of freezing water and pipes in the house at 40 below temperatures. Ashya herself manages a physical disability requiring the assistance of an orthopedic specialist, but this has never held her back in her passion for animal husbandry and her dream of becoming a veterinarian. In response to COVID restrictions, Ashya decided to write letters to seniors in the local care home; several wrote back to express their gratitude and they are still writing each other! Ashya has been described as hardworking and trustworthy, and as a person who wants those around her to achieve their best.

Darshana Lanke, Saskatoon

Darshana Lanke is an exceptional academic who has made remarkable contributions to her community. Immigrating to Canada with her family at the age of 2, Darshana faced challenges as a first-generation Canadian, and as a young person with a visible skin condition where her skin cells lost pigmentation. Despite these challenges, Darshana graduated from high school with a 95% average and can speak 5 languages. She has represented Saskatchewan on 3 occasions at the Canadian Science Fair, receiving the bronze medal for her research in 2017. She has volunteered for Ronald McDonald House, where she has made homemade baking for residents and their families. She has organized musical groups to perform at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Saskatoon Relay for Life, and has been a volunteer for Nutrien Wonderhub, mentoring grade 9 students. Darshana was a founder of Youth 4 Change, which supports the Lung Association of Saskatchewan in educating youth about the dangers of vaping. This group lobbied government to pass Bill 182, The Tobacco and Vaping Control Act, which protects youth from the dangers of vaping. Darshana has been described as a strong, kind and courageous individual, who believes that everyone can contribute to their community.

Megan Ebel, Weyburn

Despite extraordinary personal challenges, Megan Ebel completed high school with high grades, and made outstanding contributions to her family, school and community. Sadly, Megan lost her father to cancer, and her mother underwent treatment for cancer, as well. Megan, herself, had hip surgery and was in a serious car accident. Despite these hardships, Megan graduated from Grade 12 with a 90% average. She served as co-chair of her Student Representative Council, and as Youth Mayor for the City of Weyburn Youth Council. She also served as co-president of a highly successful Junior Achievement company, which chose to donate proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association and to a local family in need. In addition, Megan organized a COVID-friendly high school graduation “reverse parade.” Throughout her family’s difficulties, Megan took on many chores at home, including assisting her younger brother when he was treated for a dislocated shoulder. Megan has been described as a caring and community-minded person, who inspires others to help make the world a better place.

Michael Pelechaty, Prince Albert

Michael Pelechaty was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at birth, but has never let this diagnosis define him. With the assistance of a cochlear implant and speech therapy, Michael has become a strong communicator, who has contributed to his school and community in many ways. Michael has played competitive volleyball and bowling, and in 2020 earned a place on the Saskatchewan youth 5-pin bowling team. He has participated in the Saskatchewan Royal Purple and Elks Walk-a-thon and has been a guest speaker to raise awareness about cochlear implants and the Saskatchewan Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC). He was a finalist in the Scotia Bank Game Changers competition, which honours local heroes who demonstrate commitment and leadership. Through this program, Michael was able to donate $1,000 to a charity of his choice, and he chose SPARC. Michael participated in the Sask AG Bell Camp for hearing impaired children and now as a young adult, he will become a mentor at the camp. Michael has been described as reliable and respectful, and as a person who never hesitates to offer a helping hand to those in need.


Telia Lafontaine

Fourteen-year-old Telia Lafontaine is remarkable in many ways. She is a strong academic, who has participated in the University of Regina Science Camps and is teaching herself to speak Spanish. She is a gifted artist who donates her time to perform music and dance in cancer wards and seniors’ residences. She is a community volunteer, supporting the Food Bank and teaching English to immigrants. She is an activist and leader, who created Operation Clean Water Tonga to assist the Polynesian Island after a devastating cyclone. When her father was hospitalized with a life-threatening illness and her mother needed to care for with him, Telia took over at home, caring for her younger siblings, leading their homeschooling, cooking and cleaning the house. Telia exemplifies compassion and service, and is an extraordinary role model.

Anteneh Miller

Seventeen-year-old Anteneh Miller was born in Ethiopia and suffered malnourishment and neglect at an orphanage until his parents adopted him when he was four-years-old. Through his parents’ love and commitment, and his own resilience and determination, Anteneh overcame these challenges to become an individual of uncommon achievement and character. He is an outstanding student, who has been on the honour roll throughout high school. He is an accomplished athlete, receiving numerous awards, including Athlete of the Year. He also has coached football, basketball, and been an umpire for softball and baseball. Although he is a fierce competitor, Anteneh models good sportsmanship and seeks to encourage others. Anteneh is a positive and inclusive leader, who demonstrates a strong work ethic, respect and kindness

Aarsh Shah

Sixteen-year-old Aarsh Shah has received top marks at school and is passionate about engineering and robotics. As the Director of Corporate Relations for his school’s business program, he carries out major tasks, and raised over $1,000 to support the program. He also was chosen as a representative to the prestigious ABEX Awards in Saskatoon. Aarsh has donated his time and business savvy in support of numerous charities, including the YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, and the 100 Acts of Kindness program. Aarsh is a first-generation Canadian whose parents immigrated from India. With little money and no supportive community, his parents faced many struggles. Aarsh has remained positive in the face of racism and bullying, and believes that hard work is key to success. He is a change-maker, whose kindness and leadership continue to create a better world.

Alejandra Van Dusen

Seventeen-year-old Alejandra Van Dusen lives with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Instead of being defined by this painful and, at times, debilitating illness, Alejandra has become a passionate advocate for accessibility and inclusion. She was a Co-president of her school’s Best Buddies Program, which helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find friendships. In 2017, she was selected as one of fifty young Canadians to participate in the Rick Hansen Youth Leadership Conference in Ottawa, where she became a certified “Youth Champion.” Alejandra also is interested in environmentalism and recently took part in the National Youth Dialogue on Biodiversity. She also participated in the YMCA Leaders-in-Training Program, where she helped to raise funds for the Strong Kids Program. At home, she is a strong support to her Dad and younger sibling. Alejandra turned the challenge of arthritis into a mission to help others and lead by example.


Samantha Adams

Samantha Adams is 15 years old and lives in Delisle, Saskatchewan with her mom, dad and 13-year-old brother.

Samantha helps at home by cooking meals, tending to the dishes and spending time with her brother, which she truly enjoys. Samantha often helps her dad at Crestline by washing ambulances and other vehicles at his workplace. Samantha is devoted and strongly connected to her family and regularly visits her grandma in town to fill her in on the family’s activities.

Samantha is also involved in many extra-curricular activities including band, piano, yearbook committee and 4-H. She also volunteers regularly at the community library, at community events and is dedicated to her school work.

Samantha has struggled with depression and anxiety but has worked hard and succeeded to overcome these battles.  She has put a lot of effort into raising awareness about mental health by organizing local events.  Wanting to support people who struggle with mental illness Samantha created an event called “The Ribbon Project”. The Ribbon Project is a mental health awareness week where you wear coloured ribbons to support specific mental health issues. During this week in December Samantha raised money which she donated to two different mental health foundations.

Samantha is also currently in the process of creating a blog titled “You Are Loved” which is aimed to offer a safe web space for people who are in need of support and positively.

In the words of her nominator, her 15-year-old friend Kate, Samantha is an inspiration and will go on to do such powerful things in her future and will never stop striving for success.


Jessica Collins

Jessica Collings is 18 years old and lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Jessica is a positive young woman and is a person that people admire and want to be with.  At the age of 14, Jessica was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite her diagnosis Jessica has been determined to live her life and not let her diagnosis control her.

Jessica continues to influence others by being part of a MS support group where she and other individuals support each other by sharing their stories and providing inspiration to others who may have been given a recent diagnosis.

Jessica currently volunteers each week at Sherbrooke Nursing Home where she visits with elders who call Sherbrooke home. During high school Jessica was active in many sports including volleyball and basketball and also volunteered her time with both the Social Justice group and the SRC during all four years of high school. Jessica’s involvement with the Social Justice Group included organizing various activities during the school year as well as collecting food items and volunteering for the Saskatoon Food Bank. During Jessica’s Grade 12 year, she was honoured with two awards for outstanding school involvement for SRC and the Social Justice Group. She also received the highest academic award for French Christian Ethics while maintaining honour roll status. Jessica graduated bilingual, fluent in both English and French.

Jessica values the importance of family and often chooses a family gathering over spending time with her friends. Jessica is a positive young woman who is currently attending her first year of University. Jessica is committed to working towards studying a career in the medical field where she can share her caring and positive attitude with others.


Elizabeth Hales

Elizabeth Hales is 17 years old and lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Elizabeth is not able to be with us here today as she is in Germany on a three-month German exchange program.

Elizabeth has dealt with both physiological and mental health conditions with a positive attitude and great perseverance. Beth has dedicated herself to becoming a well-informed community advocate for mental health and gender equality. Beth was accepted into a social justice program that explores issues in the community, country and worked through the lens of class, culture and gender. As part of her studies Beth worked with classmates to produce and host two shows on CFCR 90.5 FM and publish an article in the local paper. Beth took the opportunity to write about depression and suicide, encouraging people to be empathetic and seek help.

In grade 10 Beth joined the YMCA community Action Network and along with 9 other Saskatoon youth, learned skills on how to become a community stakeholder and promote active civic engagement. Through this program Beth and her group put together an event called Run and Speak Against Homelessness. Beth was involved in the City of Saskatoon’s Voices of Youth Leadership Summit where she facilitated a workshop at the conference that focused on coping mechanisms for mental illness.  Through the YCAN program Beth was introduced to the YMCA Summer Work Student Exchange where she spent six weeks in Montreal, Quebec learning to live and work in French, as an aide to seniors residing in social housing.

Beth is currently expanding her efforts to global issues. In September of 2018 she and her friend co-founded Champions of Change YXE. These clubs are led by young people to explore “the local to global connection of social justice issues through the lens of girl’s rights”. Beth is also a member of her school’s model UN and participated in the Sir Winston Churchill Model UN Conference. Beth was the Denmark delegation and picked the International Marine organization to debate issues of ocean pollution, drug smuggling and Chinese island sovereignty.

Currently in grade 11 Beth is on the honour roll with a 93% average and shows no signs of slowing down. Elizabeth not only wants to see change in the world she is working towards being part of that change.


Emily Ives

Emily Ives is 16 years old and lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Emily is a remarkable young person who is bright, kind, sensitive and humble.

In 2016 Emily was diagnosed with Dystonia a rare movement disorder that involves involuntary muscle contractions which results in chronic pain, fatigue and reduced mobility. Despite her diagnosis Emily has not let this slow her down in the slightest.

At the age of 8 Emily started sewing and with the help of her sewing instructor and mentor began creating her own designs. She twice made garments and sold them at Art in the Park and donated some of her profits to the Ability in Me program. Emily submitted her designs and was accepted to participate in the Saskatoon Fashion and Design Festival on October 21st, 2018. Emily’s designs were also accepted and were shown at Saskatchewan Fashion Week in May of this year in Regina. Emily was interviewed by the National Dystonia Foundation this month about her designs. Emily is hoping to create a piece that will be released during Dystonia Month to help bring increased awareness to this disorder. You can see her designs and follow her success on the website she built and created called emilyannsdesigns.com.

Emily is involved with the Para Swimming Program with the Saskatoon Lasor Swim Club. She is in the competitive program but on Saturdays, she volunteers with the Para Swimming Program for the less advanced swimmers. Emily has participated in the Kids in Motion Wheelchair Dance Team for the past 4 years and currently serves on the Youth Advisory Council of the Saskatoon Community Foundation. Emily was accepted two years in a row to the Sage-Hill Summer Writing Campaign where young writers are accepted to work under the instruction of a professional writer.

Another passion in Emily’s life is her younger brother who has Down Syndrome. Emily has been instrumental in supporting her brother and his face lights up every time he sees her.  Emily is an active volunteer with the Ability in Me program which is a non-profit organization to support families of children with Down Syndrome. Emily loves to volunteer on family nights to do crafts and support children in play while their parents have an opportunity to visit. When her brother was younger, Emily volunteered for a program called Spirit Flyers which is a dance program for children and youth who have cognitive and/or physical challenges.

In the words of her nominator. It is clear that a life-changing disorder and challenging circumstances are not stopping Emily from being all she can be and doing the things she loves. She continues to believe in her dreams and herself. She continues to practice and demonstrate her care for others and her community. We can all learn from Emily. 


Georgia Edwards

Eighteen year-old Georgia Edwards is from Hudson Bay. She maintained a 94% average in high school, despite the adversity she faced.

Three years ago, Georgia single-handedly stood up to six bullies who were assaulting two younger kids on Halloween night. She then proceeded to notify the parents of one of the accused. This bravery resulted in her being ostracized by her classmates, and she endured constant harassment.  Instead of letting the situation get her down, Georgia continued to stand up for what she believes in.

Georgia is a member of the Allied Arts Council, she volunteers with senior citizens, tutors students, and is a youth delegate with Affinity Credit Union.

Georgia is an accomplished artist; her paintings have been on public exhibition, and she teaches art to young people. She also works part-time at the local co-op convenience store.

Georgia is also a huge help at home, where she is always willing to assist with household tasks, and to take her siblings to sporting events and other activities.

Georgia received the Elwood Harvey Co-operative Leadership Scholarship for her community service and leadership. She plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan in the fall, and would like to become a Forensic Psychiatrist.

Harrison King

Eighteen year-old Harrison Kingis from Saskatoon. He is an intelligent, hard-working individual, who brings out the best in others.

Harrison is an accomplished artist, actor, musician, entertainer, and aspiring audio engineer. He has participated in city and province-wide art fairs and competitions, has performed lead roles in high school musicals, and has organized the entertainment for school dances and pep rallies.

Harrison received the Grade 10 proficiency award for the highest overall average, as well as the Marion Graham Jazz Award 2 years in a row.  He achieved First Class Honours in his Royal Conservatory of Music grade 9 piano exam.

Harrison has lived with severe allergies to fish, seafood, nuts, dairy, wheat, and eggs. This has been a significant challenge for him, but Harrison has chosen to be grateful for all that he has been given in life.

Harrison plans to attend Humber College in Toronto, where he will pursue a Bachelor of Music, majoring in piano performance, with minors in music production and audio engineering.

Aline Nasselquist

Seventeen year-old Aline Nasselquistis from Creighton, where she is involved in many extracurricular activities at school and in the community.

Aline has been a member of the Student Leadership Council since grade 7. She participated in the drama club, and regularly volunteers to take photos for the school yearbook. She was a member of the Photography Club in 2017, and is a member of the Sign Language Club. Aline has won 5 Northern Saskatchewan Student Achievement Awards, and was on the honour roll.

Aline has been involved in the local dance community, volunteering to teach tap dance at the local Academy. She has volunteered at Simon House Bible Camp, and the local hockey arena concession. She has also been involved in the local theatre group.

Aline is a member and co-founder of the Sexuality and Gender Acceptance Group, and she has often led meetings. She was a member of the Flin Flon PRIDE Committee and helped to plan their first PRIDE parade in the summer of 2017. She volunteered to take PRIDE portraits, and, as a gift, she painted portraits of each member of the planning committee.

Aline has faced many challenges her in life, but she has used her struggles to inspire others to overcome their own challenges. Aline was nominated by her teacher, who describes her as the hardest working student that she has ever taught.

Aline is an advocate for living an alcohol and drug-free life, and is a designated driver for her friends.

Aline has been accepted as a Rotary Exchange Student next year, and will be going to Japan. She has been accepted to University following her year away, and is interested in a career in the arts.

Presley Onufreychuk

Seventeen year-old Presley Onufreychukis from Manor.  She is an extraordinary individual, who is always volunteering and giving back to her community.

Presley organized a Skate-A-Thon and raised $2,500 for the local rink.  She volunteers at community suppers, organizes kids’ games at the town’s annual rodeo, volunteers at the local nursing home, and has served meals at Souls Harbour in Regina.

During a trip to Los Angeles, Presley chose to spend a day at a homeless shelter, helping staff prepare for new residents. In April of this year, Presley and a group of young adults travelled to Mexico, where they spent 10 days helping in the local schools, and building houses in the community.  On a family vacation to Banff, Presley insisted that the family drive into downtown Calgary so she could feed lunch to people who live on the street.  This was not an organized activity, but something she did on her own. She used her own money to buy lunches and delivered them to the homeless.

Presley is also involved in many activities at her school.  She is the school’s Student Representative Council President, a member of the yearbook committee, volunteers with the dental program, and helps deliver the school’s milk and breakfast programs.

Presley experiences anxiety, and speaks openly about her mental health struggles, so that she can encourage others who are facing similar challenges. Presley is part of the school mentorship program that partners older and younger students.

Presley also has a part-time job working with people with special needs. She has been accepted into the Pre-Social Work program at the University of Regina.



Arslan Azeem

Arslan is a young man from Regina, Saskatchewan

Arslan has many accomplishments under his belt. At just 18 years old Arslan is a student leader of the Campbell Collegiate Video Club, is president of the Campbell Collegiate Computer Club, has previously served as both the Deputy President and VP of Marketing for the Campbell Collegiate Business Club and is president of a Junior Achievement company called Global Stance. In addition to volunteering, Arslan is a supporter of democratic and civic programs and in February, as part of Canada’s 150, he was the only Regina resident selected to attend the Forum For Young Canadians in Ottawa. At that Forum he was elected Premier of Saskatchewan for a “First Minister’s Meeting Simulation” he visited the Senate, sat in on a session in the House of Commons and participated in a trade simulation at Export Development Canada.

In collaboration with Farm Credit Canada, Arslan placed second in a marketing competition for promoting Saskatchewan’s agricultural industry among his generation. Also, as part of Arslan’s Business and Social Technology class, he co-founded TartansMo a local Movember initiative to raise awareness for men’s health. TartansMo can be found on Twitter and Instagram accounts, which he grew to a total reach of 1000 + followers, interacted with similar communities and had a post re-tweeted by Premier Brad Wall to his base of 80,000 + people. Arslan won the Campbell Chief Technology Officer 20 Award for his efforts.

Arslan also helps his father with the family business, a small time crop processor and exporter within the Regina area. Arslan created Agrican.ca, led the company through a re-branding stage and drafted and digitalized dozens of sales invoices and strategy reports. He has met with buyers from around the world with his father and took part in B2B marketing. Despite being a teenager, he has played a large role in the company. Arslan cares deeply about the province’s industries and the economy of the country.

Arslan has been able to achieve all this despite being born with a brachial plexus injury, which stunted the growth and mobility of his right arm and hand. His paralyzed right arm has not stopped him and he has challenged his physical restrictions and turned them into inspiration for innovative projects. The most notable of this is his current science fair project where he created a left handed camera rig symmetriam which seeks to increase camera functionality for the left handed while allowing independence from the right. This is a one-of-a-kind project that is both economically and technologically feasible.

In the words of his nominator “Arslan is a competitive person that sees life as a set of challenges that must be won. He never considers giving up and is never satisfied with the status-quo as he believes “you can always improve”.

Chloe Banda

Chloe is an 18-year-old young lady from Shellbrook, Saskatchewan.

In the words of her nominators, yes she had two; Chloe exemplifies a positive lifestyle in many aspects. She is physically active in a variety of sports; she consistently makes choices that are positive and healthy and exudes a positive attitude while encouraging others to do the same. Chloe Banda includes all of the characteristics outlined in the award criteria, and we couldn’t agree more.

Chloe has a strong sense of caring and responsibility. Chloe’s volunteer commitments include teaching dance lessons to less fortunate grade six students in Prince Albert and volunteering at the Parkland Integrated Health Centre.  In 2013 Chloe received the Lions Young Leaders in Service Award for her numerous volunteer hours and for making the community a better place to live. She was recognized by the Saskatchewan Rivers School Board of Trustees annual volunteer gala when she was awarded the Youth Volunteer Award. Chloe also serves as the vice-president of her school’s Student Leadership Council and is president for this year’s Saskatchewan Rivers Students for Change (SRSC). On top of her volunteer work Chloe is at the top of her grade 12 graduating class.

In 2015 Chloe had to have a surgery to correct a health issue and was in recovery for six weeks with disciplined inactivity. Even though Chloe was not able to participate in many activities she was able to maintain her high academic average and received the Grade 10 proficiency award at her school’s annual awards night.

Chloe’s ability to lead by example inspires others around her to work hard and achieve their own potential. Chloes commitment to academics, school spirit and community are lived out in ways that are visible and inspiring to all.

Christine Dupuis

Christine is an 18-year-old young woman from Regina, Saskatchewan.

Christine has endured more in her personal life than one should ever have to experience. This is due to the health issues that her and her parents have had to fight. In 2015, while trying out for the 2015 Ringette Canada Winter Games team, Christine began having difficulty feeling her leg. After numerous trips to the hospital the doctors found a 10-pound cyst that was causing nerve compression to her leg, which resulted in surgery to correct the issue. Then in the fall of 2015 Christine was involved in two separate motor vehicle accidents and is still attending regular physiotherapy appointments.

Christine’s father has forgone multiple surgeries and lengthy hospital stays due to injuries sustained from a serious fall. Christine’s mother has gone through two surgeries, hospitalization, physiotherapy, radiation and is still undergoing Chemotherapy.  During this time of adversity Christine has paid family bills, helped out around home, visited her parents in the hospital, she’s assisted with grocery shopping, meals, medication retrieval and medical appointments. This would have been a challenging time for any one, at any age but Christine persevered. Regardless of the challenges she has personally faced she knew her academic dreams required focus and dedication.

Dedication is what captured Christine the highest mark award and Great Distinction Honours in school in 2016. Christine has taken a challenging course load through the French Immersion program to meet the requirements for admittance into Pre-Medicine with a 95.4% average. Christine’s end goal is to become an Anesthesiologist.

Christine is beyond the maturity of most teenagers. She uses her mature nature and academic gifts to reach out to assist peers of all skill sets. She assists them to reach their full potential. She regularly helps peers with course content and shares her meticulous notes with students who are absent or anyone needing them prior to exams. Christine’s teachers recognize Christine’s academic gifts and disposition making her a “go-to” person for fellow students.

Christine volunteers with residents that live at Wascana Hospital and also volunteers with the Jean Vanier Swim program, which works with students who are severely handicapped.

Jillian McArthur

Jillian is a 17-year-old young lady from Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

Jillian is an incredible young woman who is a leader and is mature beyond her years. At the age of 10 Jillian decided that she would like to become a strict vegetarian simply because she did not want an animal to suffer for her dining pleasure. Shortly after, she became a member of PETA. Jillian volunteers for the Canadian Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House Charity as well as different local community groups and is also an active athlete participating in figure skating, volleyball, badminton and track. Jillian has a determined attitude, is compassionate and plans to purse a degree in Psychology, majoring in International Development and mastering in sustainable happiness.

At a young age Jillian began to suffer from depression. With the help of her family and positive reinforcement she was able to overcome this struggle and turned her suffering into awareness and began to inspire others in the struggle. As chair of the Kindersley Youth Committee, she worked tirelessly on mental health initiatives for the community. At her school, she planned and organized a mental health, self-love awareness initiative called Bounce Back Week – which features wellness leaders, such as meditation, life coaching, mental health workers and fitness professionals within the community. These wellness leaders come into the school and offer talks, presentations and information for students.  Jillian also serves as president and founder of her school’s Mental Health/Wellness club.

Jillian took her struggle with depression and turned it into a triumph.

Throughout Jillian’s four years of attending Kindersley Composite School she has been highly involved in other activities as well. These activities include acting as secretary for her school’s Student Leadership Council, co-planning and running three locked-in fundraisers and was honored to receive the Susan Thiebert Memorial Award two years in a row, the Spirit of KCS award three years in a row and the SLC award two years in a row.

Jillian is also a passionate community and global leader. She is one of the founding members of the Kindersley Youth Committee and in 2015 traveled to rural China through the Me to We Social Enterprise. She is now currently working hard to plan for her next international journey that will begin this coming August when she embarks on a Me to We trip to India.


Gillesa Bolton

Gillesa is a 17 year old from Macklin, Saskatchewan. She is an active member of her school and community with a positive attitude, talents and strong values. Not only is she hardworking, she has a “do not give up attitude”, which is essential for being a role model for her peers.

Gillesa is the co-president of Students Against Destructive Decisions. Through this committee, Gillesa participates in check stops, school presentations and volunteers to be the designated driver for events and parties to ensure no one drives under the influence. Gillesa is also actively involved in various activities within the school including booth operation, spirit weeks and anti-bulling campaigns. Recently she volunteered to work at Telemiracle where she did an 18-hour shift for the cause. Gillesa also has strong media skills and put those to use by creating a video for her schools teacher appreciation week. Gillesa was nominated by her peers to be her graduating class’s valedictorian.

Gillesa’s “do not give up” attitude is evident in her school work especially math. Math has been a subject that Gillesa has struggled with. However, rather than letting this stop her she works harder and last year received the Perseverance Award for her efforts in this subject.

Gillesa, since she was young, has babysat for a young girl with Cerebral Palsy who is confined to a wheel chair. This has become much more than a job for Gillesa who has befriended this girl and goes out of her way to spend time with her when not babysitting. She also holds a part time job at the local co-op.

Gillesa has been volunteering for the past four years at the local long-term care facility as a candystriper. Additionally she volunteers to sort bottles for the local pool to help with operation costs and is an active part in the community drama club which puts on a dinner theater each year.

Gillesa’s family has nicknamed her “tender love heart” after a care bear. This name is evident with her home life. Gillesa’s mom has epilepsy, which can result in her having one or more seizure’s a day. Gillesa knows and demonstrates how important it is for her to help out at home with household chores and being there for her mom.

Gillesa has also had struggles of her own. Since she was a young girl, Gillesa has walked on the balls of her feet which caused the tendons in her calves to shorten. In an effort to correct this, she wore casts on both of her lower legs for six months, which is not easy physically or socially. However, Gillesa did not see this as a hindrance and embraced it by not letting it get her down.

Gillesa has learned from her life experiences, which has only made her stronger. She plans on attending college in the fall to study Visual Communications.

Jordan Howie

Jordan is 17 and while from Estevan he now lives in Regina. During his high school years he worked hard at his schoolwork, which didn’t always come easy for him. He also worked three separate part time jobs in order to raise money for a trip to Europe. He budgeted carefully and managed his time all on his own in order to turn his dream into reality. Jordan knows the value of hard work, the responsibility of earning an income and prioritizing in order to accomplish his goals. Jordan has also overcome being bullied and peer pressure.

From the age of 4, Jordan was actively involved with the Scouting program in Estevan, which led him to volunteer as a Cub meeting helper. He has many role models from Scouts, Estevan Minor football, YBC bowling and other activities he was involved in. Jordan has succeeded in becoming a role model for the next generation and over the years has won awards through the Scouting organization for his contributions and dedication to the group.

Jordan’s love for children was apparent at an early age. His mother ran a daycare out of their home where Jordan helped out with the kids and also babysat for local families. You knew Jordan was good with kids when at the age of 13, he was invited to a 5 year old’s birthday party. Jordan could have easily declined the invitation but he went and had a great time.

Over the years Jordan has enjoyed fundraising and volunteering with different clubs and charities. He was involved in collecting warm sweaters and jackets for SaskEnergy’s Share the Warmth program, participating in Terry Fox runs, Relay for Life, Jumprope for heart and the penny race for the United Way Telethon.

The year Jordan was confirmed in his faith at St. Giles’s Anglican Church. He and his confirmation class decided to do a spaghetti fundraiser supper to support Operation War Child. He has also been involved with packing and delivering food hampers at Christmas time (through his church) and volunteering his time at the annual fowl supper.

Jordan struggled with peer pressure during his early high school years, which could have taken him down a different path in life. However, Jordan persevered, changed his direction and became the role model he is today, especially to his little brother Nolan.

Over the years Jordan spent many hours in swimming lessons, which resulted in him completing his life-guarding course which helped him secure a job at the Kenosee Waterslides.

At the age of 13, Jordan was diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which caused him to develop bright red stretch marks, and over time, scars on his back and shoulders. This could have caused many young men to become self-conscious, however, Jordan didn’t let this get him down and continued with his job as a life-guard.

Jordan is highly committed to his family and continues to be while living in Regina where he is furthing his Post Secondary Education.

Kalicia Chorney

Kalicia is 17 years old and is from Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Kalicia is an exemplary young citizen who is very organized, hardworking, positive, community-minded caring student and friend who brings out the best in others and encourages others by leading by example.

Kalicia is a true leader in school and was SRC co-president and a senior member of her Ukrainian dance troupe. As co-president of the SRC she was in charge of much of the planning and organizing for  the Saskatchewan Leadership Conference in 2014. She trained and led the student spirit leaders before the conference so that they could lead others. Kalicia is also active with both the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams all while holding a part time job.

Kalicia has been honored with many awards throughout her high school career, being named Senior Girls Volleyball MVP, winning the Drama Achievement award for both high school and community, receiving the Elks Community Involvement Scholarship, the Nipawin Kinsmen Scholarship for Community Service, as well as receiving the SRC Leadership Award. Kalicia also received the RCMP Citizenship Award, which attests to her involvement in her community.

The Nipawin Lions Swim Club has also been a large part of Kalica’s life. She began swimming competitively at 8 years old and has continued to do so since. This experience has allowed her to become a junior coach for the past 4 years, within the club, providing her with the opportunity to teach and help others.

Kalcia also volunteers in the community whenever she has the opportunity to through her high school and the Nipawin Kinsmen Kinettes.

On January 30, 2015, Kalicia was injured during a basketball game resulting in the ACL in her right knee to become severely injured. This injury was devastating to Kalicia as it abruptly ended her high school basketball career in her senior year, as well as putting a temporary end to her dancing. Over the next several months she attended many specialist appointments and was given a surgery date of August 6th. After her surgery she underwent intense physiotherapy and was committed to regaining her full strength in order to continue her Ukrainian dance career. Unfortunately, this surgery proved unsuccessful and Kalicia faced a second surgery in February, 2016. She will continue with months of rigorous physiotherapy sessions.

However, through her ordeal Kalicia has remained a leader on her basketball team, attending games and tournaments to encourage and cheer for her teammates from the bench. In dance, she has attended practices and competitions to mentor others.

Through this part of her life, Kalicia has remained the positive, caring, hardworking, young lady she was before her injury.

Rebecca Duncan

Rebecca is 12 years old and is from Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Rebecca is an ambitious and kind young lady who is always dreaming up ideas on how to make a difference in the world. Rebecca started raising funds at a very young age, to donate to Telemirale. She has also sang at the Telemiracle event at the ages of 6, 9 and 11, at the Estevan Untied Way and for the Relay for Life. Rebecca participates in the Jump Rope for Heart, and Estevan’s School’s 30 hour famine which is organized through World Vision. Rebecca was their top fundraiser.

Rebecca is an active participant in her community and church, volunteering and contributing wherever she can. Rebecca started a youth choir at her church, which has now been running for 3 years. Each year, Rebecca enters the Royal Canadian Legion Poster/Literacy Contest as she comes from a family who was in active service during the early 20th Century and she wants to bring awareness to the fact that some countries are still dealing with war. She talks about how destructive war is and that you need to stand up for what is right even if it is hard and can hurt you. She hopes to decrease sickness and poverty in the world.

Rebecca also has a love for sports and competes with the Estevan Mermaids Synchronized Swimming team, placing provincially and plays softball and volleyball. Rebecca’s other passion is music. She plays the piano, violin, guitar, saxophone and she sings.

Rebecca, being the eldest of three children, took a Red Cross Babysitting course to ensure efficiency in caring for her siblings and other children in her community. Rebecca also helps with her uncle, who has down syndrome, by spending time with him, helping him read the menu at a restaurant or explaining a situation that may be confusing to him. She continues to help at Special Olympic events by helping athletes register, get their meals or remind them it is their turn to compete. She has also traveled with the teams and helped with their care during down times.

During the summer of 2015, Rebecca woke up one morning and was unable to walk. Through the course of the summer Rebecca visited many doctors and hospitals and in October found the cause of her condition. Through this ordeal Rebecca has remained cheerful and kept a positive attitude.

In the words of her nominator Rebecca has always had ideas of obtaining a humanitarian type role when she is older. She loves people, animals, the earth and believes we need to help one another and watch the world blossom with a little shared loved and kindness.



Jade Shivak

Jade Shivak is a 16 year old young woman from Regina, Saskatchewan.

Jade has participated in the HBAM, Healthy Bodies Active Minds at school, plays in the school Jazz band and is part of the peer support program which works to end bullying in the school system. Jade has been an example and supportive ear for the children being helped through this organization. Jade also works as a volunteer with the Big Brother and Big Sister organization and with the local SPCA all while maintaining a 95% average in school. She also loves to sew and make quilts and won first place in the Regina Quilt show in 2013 for quilters under 18.

Jade has also worked very hard to obtain her bronze and silver awards with the Duke of Edinburgh program. This program encourages kids to work toward four key goals in their lives. A physical goal, a skill learned, community involvement and an adventurous journey. She has been selected to be the Saskatchewan representative for the Duke of Edinburgh program and is working on her gold level medal.

Jade’s father passed when she was just 5 years old. Her mother has also been faced with may illnesses which has resulted in Jade taking over many tasks at home such as cleaning, making meals, laundry and organizing her own activities. In 2012, at the age of 13, Jade had to have reconstructive surgery on both legs which resulted in her having to wear a cast on each leg for 4 months and then leg braces for another year. She had to complete very painful physio to ensure that the surgery was a success and that everything healed properly. She took on the challenge and pain with courage and never showed any defeat.

Jade is a very smart and goal oriented young lady who wishes to attend environmental science classes at University once she has graduated from high school.


Alicia Totten

Alicia is a very hard working and conscientious young lady who always puts others before herself.

In high school Alicia excelled academically and had an overall average of 95.2%. During her time at school she was involved in three musicals, was a reading buddy with the cognitively challenged students, was part of the concert choir, the chamber choir, the vocal jazz group and won the Paws for Success award at her school for her involvement within the school community. Alicia was chosen two years in a row to take part of the Saskatchewan Music Educator’s Association’s Honor Choir and was valedictorian of her high school graduating class. Alicia graduated an entire semester early and even took a University course in her final semester of high school.

Alicia was also part of the ACT (Anti-Racism Cross-Cultural Team) group, GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), RespectED (Red Cross Anti-Bullying Team) Clubs. Through these groups Alicia would host many retreats where she would teach young kids about acceptance, positivism, bring awareness about different sexual orientations and would address bullying issues. Her efforts with these clubs succeeded because Alicia is passionate, empathetic and honest. The students could relate with Alicia because she would speak honestly about experiences that she had gone through herself.

Alicia’s parents divorced when she was seven years old. At 13 Alicia’s best friend passed away after suffering a severe asthma attack. These struggles were very challenging for her, but she overcame them. Alicia is capable of changing the world and has goals to become a school social worker.

Alicia has recently become a volunteer with underprivileged youth in her community, through Street Culture Kids. She has formed special relationships with a few children and young adults because of her compassionate and understanding nature. She also works part-time in her supervisor role at a local business.

In the words of her nominator investing in Alicia is investing in a brighter future for this world and we couldn’t agree more.


Isabele Gagne

Well known author, John Maxwell defines leadership as “influence nothing more nothing less” which holds true for Isabel Gagne.

Isabel is a Metis student with strengths that can be observed by her teachers, peers and all those that surround her. At just 17, Isabel is an exemplary student with a consistent average of 97% in school. She also plays on the volleyball and basketball team at school, leading her teams to two provincial bronze medals in basketball and two City gold medals and 1 City silver medal in volleyball. She is a mentor and coach to approximately 25 elementary age school girls, coaches her school’s elementary school basketball team and serves as an assistant coach to a community girl’s club team. Isabel is the President of the SRC council, has held an executive position for the past 4 years and was the President of a Junior Achievement Student Venture Company.

Isabel was involved in a humanitarian mission which took her to the northern community of Pelican Narrows. Her team was involved in a building project, community clean up and youth program. Isabel also helped develop an anti-bullying presentation for the students at Kapanack Elementary school. She is involved in Culture Shift, a humanitarian social justice Youth Group and has started a peer mentoring group “Been there too and made it Through:. She has initiated, organized and developed anti-bullying workshops, Diversity Days, Remembrance Day services and has served as the lead on many humanitarian service campaigns such as, Share the Warmth, 30 hour Famine, Spread the Net, and Drive out Hunger.

Isabel felt the need to further challenge herself and enrolled in Flight School at the Regina Flying Club and has completed her Ground School training in the spring of this year.

Isabel tends to live by a quote by Marianne Williamson “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”.


Megan Allard

Megan Allard is an 18 year old young lady from Spiritwood, Saskatchewan. Although Megan was born with down syndrome, she has not let this life’s challenge slow her down in the slightest.

Megan has been recognized Provincially by the SACL (Saskatchewan Association of Community Living) and on a local level as well. Megan is an ambassador for the community living movement in Saskatchewan, which promotes full inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities. She promotes SACL events at school, and helps to make sure events runs smoothly.

Megan is one of five Canadians to be recognized nationally as a Canadian Down Syndrome Hero by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. Megan received a $500 bursary which she could put towards a charity of her choice. She chose to donate the money to Community Living for the Fusion Inclusion Program.

In the 2014-2015 school year, Megan initiated a clothing drive at her school. Using her impeccable leadership skills and work ethic, Megan called on friends, family and local business in Spiritwood to donate clothing. In a community of just over 900 people, Megan’s clothing drive collected 95 bags of clothing which were donated to Community Living.

Following up on the success of the clothing drive, Megan reached out to New 2 You, a local second-hand retailer in Spiritwood to form a successful partnership with Community Living. Once a month, items that do not sell at the retailer are donated to Community living. Megan has encouraged the entire community to also support this effort.

Regular on Megan’s volunteer schedule is the Scotiabank community partnership, Nu 2 U used clothing, Partners in Faith, Me to We, and filling the roles of altar person and greeter at her local church.

In school Megan is involved with drama, the Green Team and volunteers in the school canteen. Megan bowls and started horseback riding lessons just this year.

Megan is friendly, confident and is an inspiration to not only her community of Spiritwood but to the province of Saskatchewan. Without intending to, Megan models the example we all should copy.




Kaitlyn Budzak

Kaitlyn Budzak is a selfless and caring individual who strives to make a difference in her community. At just 17 years old, Kaitlyn is mature beyond her years and is fearless in her pursuit of excellence and living by her principles.

In grade school, Kaitlyn was the Student Representative Council Vice President and President. She captained the basketball team and enjoyed organizing her school’s Spirit Days. Now in high school, Kaitlyn is still part of the Student Representative Council. She also is an Adopt-a-Family Representative and captained her basketball and hockey teams. Kaitlyn has been a camp counselor at Echo Valley Bible Camp and has traveled to Pinehouse in Northern Saskatchewan to deliver Bible Camp stories. She has served at Souls’ Harbour Rescue Mission, the Salvation Army, and Zeke’s Place Youth Mission. While Kaitlyn’s experience is vast, closest to her heart is being the co-ministry lead for the Burger Bus. The Burger Bus provides McDonald’s hamburgers, clothes, and coffee to those in need in Regina. Most importantly, the Burger Bus provides friendship to people who are alone or marginalized. While running this team, Kaitlyn has had the opportunity to create and present a budget, develop a mission statement, organize volunteers, and secure donations.

Kaitlyn also keeps busy in her role as a big sister. She often acts as a chauffeur to her younger brother, helps him with homework, and provides advice.

Nearly two years ago, Kaitlyn was in a ski accident that left her with a severe concussion. The head injury caused some permanent memory loss. After missing several weeks of school, it took months to get back to school full time. The hardest part for Kaitlyn was acknowledging that she would no longer be able to participate in her favourite sports. She realized she had to re-invent herself, and she did!

Kaitlyn believes her generation has the opportunity to do great things. She passionately pursues the chances to grow her leadership skills so that she can better serve her community.


Morgan Fast

Morgan Fast has gone through more challenges in a short time than most people will face in a lifetime.  With perseverance and a positive attitude, Morgan has overcome these challenges and has turned them into opportunities for personal growth.

Morgan lost her mother to Cancer when she was just 7 years old.

Morgan, who is now 17 years old, resides with her aunt and uncle.  She is a full-time helper around the house as her aunt has undergone treatment for two serious bouts of cancer.  Through this adversity, Morgan continues to be optimistic and has been successful in building a full and healthy life.

Morgan works as an instructor and lifeguard at the Swift Current Aquatic Centre.  She has been on the Yearbook Committee and the Peer Support Committee at her local high school.  She volunteers her time and has helped at the Special Olympics Swim Meet, Barracudas Swim Meets, the Swift Current Care Home, the local Ball Diamonds’ Concessions, the Swift Current Kiwanis Club, the Swift Current Comprehensive High School Band, and has canvassed for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  Even with her busy schedule, she finds time to be a competitive swimmer and just recently participated in a swim meet where she set three new personal records.

In the words of her nominator, “Morgan is a fun loving, mature, hard-working girl, who has a positive attitude towards life.  She can do anything she puts her mind to.”


Summer Michel-Stevenson

Pelican Narrows is a better place because of one of Summer Michel-Stevenson.

At 17 years old, Summer is the Junior Chief to the Pelican Narrows Youth Council, a non-profit group created by the youth for the youth.  Summer is very active in promoting and recruiting other young people to become a part of a positive lifestyle and healthy activities.  Summer is a natural leader and demonstrates this by brainstorming ideas, volunteering to help fundraising efforts, taking youth under her wing and making everyone feel welcome.

Summer is the eldest of three children and is an excellent role model to her 14-year-old sister.  Her 3-year-old brother was born two months premature and as a result, her mother and brother had to stay at the Saskatoon Hospital for over three months.   They were six hours away from Summer, her sister, and her father.  Summer maintained stability at home, as well as her attendance and high academic standing in school.

Living in a remote Northern Saskatchewan community can present challenges.  Like many other communities, students may struggle with peer pressure, bullying, violence, drugs, and alcohol.  Summer responds to this by leading a healthy lifestyle and letting other students know that she and the Youth Council are always there for support.

Summer is an intelligent, capable, and personable young woman who is dedicated to her community.  She has been rewarded for her efforts by being nominated for the SaskTel Aboriginal Youth Awards of Excellence in 2014, as well as the Northern Youth Rose Model in 2014 for the Northern Health Communities’ Partnership.  She also was crowned as Pageant Queen for the 36th Annual Pelican Narrows Winter Festival in 2014.  Summer proudly represented Team Saskatchewan in canoeing at the Northern American Indigenous Games in 2014.

Summer has been elected two consecutive years as the Junior Vice Chief for the Pelican Narrows Youth Council.  She also is a representative on the local Police Management Board.  She received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in 2010, as well as the 2010 PAGC’s Bobby Bird Award.

Summer has been strongly influenced by her grandmother and Elders in the community.  She speaks Cree and is an avid square dancer and jigger.  She and the Youth Council embarked on a cultural trip to Northern Saskatchewan, where she was took part in moose hunting, fishing, and harvesting natural medicines.  Summer continues to learn the ways of the Woodland Cree.


Melissa Whelpton

Melissa is a 17 years old grade 12 student at Moosomin High School.  She is taking a full course load in her final year, and has succeeded keeping all her marks in the 90s.  One of her favourite classes was Work Experience, where she chose to work at a Veterinary Clinic.  The Clinic staff members became very fond of Melissa and have offered her an open invitation to return at any time.  When she is not in school or taking part in her youth group, Melissa can be found babysitting in the community of Moosomin.

Melissa also likes drama and has participated in several community productions.  Most recently, she performed in Les Miserables, which played to a packed auditorium.

In February of 2013, Melissa’s father was diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer.  This took the family by surprise and their lives, as they knew it, changed in an instant.  With consistent and hard work by Melissa and her family, they have carried on with their cattle operation.  Melissa has taken this responsibility very seriously and made it her first priority.  While her mom took her dad to weekly doctor appointments in Regina, Melissa took on many more household and family duties than most teenagers her age.   She also has her own horse, which she takes care of along with the cattle.  Melissa’s father lost his battle with cancer on April 30th of this year.

Helping people comes naturally to Melissa.  She loves life and is always busy.  Melissa is active with her church, helping in the Children’s Ministry, and is very involved in the youth group.  Over the school break in March of this year, Melissa went on a mission trip to Cuba with 11 others from her youth group.  The group was put to work doing various jobs, but their primary project was to build a garden to help grow food for the camp.

About her experience Melissa said, “My goal was to bring back an appreciation for what we have here – the safety, the opportunities, and also not to lose the fire.  It’s not always about us; we’re supposed to be out there helping people, giving them a hand because that is why we are given opportunities.  It’s not to be selfish – it’s to help others.”




Nolan Benesh

Nolan was born in 1994 and resides in Regina, Saskatchewan. Nolan is a strong voice and advocate to help others see themselves for who they really are and not how they are different. When it comes to discrimination, Nolan is known for his zero tolerance attitudes.

Nolan has also been a member of the Best Buddies Blues Band as well as the Best buddies Program, which matches teens and young adults with peers who are intellectually challenged. Nolan spending time with those who have intellectual disabilities and can often be found sharing a meaningful conversation, warm hug or a friendly smile. He assists in helping others feel they are apart of mainstream society and frequently enjoys taking them bowling, shopping or just to hang out.

Some of Nolan’s accomplishments include being on the City of Regional Youth Advisory Committee as the Vice-Chair in 2011 and the Acting Chair in 2012. He has volunteered in events for the Food Bank, raised money for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and has fundraised and ran in the Terry Fox Run for the last four years. He has volunteered for the Canadian Diabetes Foundation and also volunteers at the outdoor community skating rink in the winter.

Nolan is also very active in sports. He has played with Hockey Regina for ten years, Baseball Regina for eleven years, the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League for three years, and the Regina Community Basketball League for seven years. He is an elite athlete, winning numerous individual and team athletic recognition awards, including playing for Team Saskatchewan (Baseball) in the Canada Cup in 2011 and 2012, earning a game MVP each year.

He also shares his skills and knowledge with others as an Assistant Coach in the Baseball Regina Midget AA Division and is on the Baseball Regina Board of Directors. He also volunteers with the Jean Vanier Special Education Swimming Program and assist cognitively challenged student while they are in the water. As part of Nolan’s leadership in sports and volunteerism, he was asked to be an Olympic Torch Bearer when it came through Saskatchewan in 2010.

Nolan’s contributions to his community and the lives of others are both positive and consistent. He dedicates his time and immerses his entire self into any activity he takes on. As a young man who gives of himself freely, without any expectations of anything return, Nolan is a role model and leader to many.


Justin Hur

Justin was born in 1995 and resides in Regina, Saskatchewan. Justin is the only child of Korean immigrants pursuing their academic endeavors in Canada.

Justin is one of a few young people selected at his church to serve as a member of the “Growing Leaders” program. As a member of his church, he also leads both musically and spiritually, performing in the Church band, which plays regularly on Sunday mornings and various events. As an accomplished swimmer, Justin has received numerous awards for sportsmanship, spirit and athletic merit. He shares his love for the sport with others and coaches children with Special Needs.

In school, Justin is on the student leadership council and also serves as a classroom representative. He is a member of the Business Club, the Debate Team, the Junior Voices Choir, and also participates in the Musical Theatre.  He is enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program for advanced academic placement.

A few of Justin’s accomplishments include being the school, local and zone winner of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest in 2010, the recipient of the Dr. Eric Lepp Award for excellence in leadership and academics at Campbell Collegiate in 2010 and was the Regina Multicultural Society Novice Speech winner in 2009. He is also a qualified lifeguard and swim instructor, was a High Performance Swimmer on Team Saskatchewan in 2010 and also holds his Grade 7 and Grade 8 Theory in the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Justin was diagnosed at one month with Hemophilia A, a disorder which does not allow blood to clot, causing uncontrollable internal and external bleeding. When he came to Canada at age 10, he was considered a diseased minority, and worked tirelessly to learn English and the Canadian culture while holding his Korean culture proud in his heart. He has no siblings and no family in Canada other than his parents and has overcome many challenges at times while his parents pursued their education.

Justin is preparing himself to become an even greater leader by achieving academic excellence and entering oratorical competitions. He has pride in being a Canadian citizen, and in being a member of a minority population. He is passionate about racial equality and strives to be a mentor and champion in everything he does.



Stacie Poirier

Stacie was born October 24, 1995 and resides in Antler, Saskatchewan. Stacie is best described as an outgoing and vibrant person. She has a diligent work ethic and enjoys taking on new projects as well as inspiring others to do the same.

Stacie comes from a farming background where she regularly helps making meals, cleaning the house and taking care of the yard. She also lends a helping hand on the farm from bringing meals to the field, hauling grain and sometimes even helping with repairs. She often babysits for many families in the area and the children are always happy to see her.

Stacie has been on the student council since entering high school and has also been president for the last two years. She organizes many activities as well as participates in several, including the debate and drama clubs.

She also has a role within the Francophone Youth Organisation and takes part in “Parlement Jeunesse” (youths in parliament) at the local level, as well as the national level. Her involvement has brought her to travel to Vancouver, Victoria as well as Ottawa. In 2012, she was chosen to accompany the Minister of Education to a youth conference held in Ottawa.

Stacie was also a member of Team Sask at the Jeux de la Francophonie in Sudbury in the Summer of 2011. She has since been invited to lead a group for the Jeux de la Francophonie in Gatineau, Québec in the summer of 2014. This year, she was awarded Youth Leader of Saskatchewan for the Francophone community.


KaLee Wedhorn

KaLee was born in 1998 and resides in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. KaLee is known for her positive attitude with and strong determination to champion the under dog.

KaLee has worked since the age of 14 to help her family which is low income. KaLee works three part time jobs and spends of much of her time with volunteer work. She worked as a captain for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Moose Jaw. She also works at home on the acreage and regularly cares for and helping her mother whom is disabled with limited mobility.

KaLee volunteers at the senior centre as often as she can and enjoys attending the Senior Centre every Tuesday morning, and Fridays to dance with the seniors. KaLee also enjoys fundraising. Recently she organized her own country jam session where she organized the musicians, hall, posters, and donations on her own to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Despite having a learning disability, KaLee keeps up with her education through homeschooling and is looking forward to beginning high school in the fall. KaLee had grown up without technology, TV, internet and many of the luxuries that many teenagers have. Despite many challenges, those around her know KaLee for her cheerful demeanor and willingness to go the extra mile to enrich the lives of others.

Her goals include becoming a geriatric doctor or a medical malpractice lawyer so that she may be able to help seniors.




Alana Krug

Alana Krug-MacLeod – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Alana is from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan can be described as mature, driven, responsible, and carries a strong capacity to stand up and live out her beliefs.

At just 14, Alana is the owner of a Nobel Prize from the University of Saskatchewan. She was selected from over a hundred applicants across Canada to be a recipient of a Leacross Foundation Scholarship – a program that awarded Alana to travel to the Antarctic on an educational expedition. Alana travelled to Antarctica with students, scientists and educators from around the world with the objective to learn about the causes and effects of pollution and global climate change.

Following the life-changing journey, Alana has undertaken the life-long process of sharing her experience and inspiring others to think about how their daily actions impact the environment. While still maintaining her excellent school work, volunteer activities and numerous other activities, Alana has also engaged in a number of pre-trip and post-trip activities. She has appeared on the CTV news, radio shows, as well as the front page Saskatoon Star Phoenix. Her Antarctica poems were displayed by the Saskatoon public Library during Teen Poetry month and she has won second place in an environmental competition. She also prepared multiple videos on the trip used to share with students, and presented to a number of groups and schools.

In addition to her remarkable accomplishment and passion for the environment, Alana also contributes to the Varsity View Community Garden and participates in community garden work bees. In her free time Alana loves to do photography and make videos and has won local and national competitions for two of her videos, which raised awareness about the importance of our natural environment.

In her free time Alana runs her own pet-sitting project where she cares for people’s animals, including newborns, aging, blind, nervous, and homeless pets. She also enjoys distance running and won a 5km run as part of the Hope Race for Recovery for cancer survivors. She also loves to learn about history, ecology, technology, biology, science and social issues.

These achievements only scratch the surface of what Alana has accomplished in her fourteen years. She is indeed a worthy recipient of the Junior Citizen of the Year Award.


Lindsay Martel

Lindsay Danielle Martel – Battleford, Saskatchewan

Lindsay is from Battleford where she is a true community leader and shares her positive attitude and outlook on life with everyone she associates with.

Alana has taken AP English Courses, a French Immersion Student, and has been on the Honour Roll for all her school years at John Paul II Collegiate. Aside from her education, Lindsay has embraced countless volunteer initiatives, some of which have included:

Promotion of understanding, compassion, connection and empathy as the facilitator and group leader for Challenge Days on the ‘Be the Change Team’ in her school. She is also an advocate for Compassion Canada.

Lindsay spoke at churches and service groups and helped raised funds to build homes for two families in Mexico as part of the Mexico Mission Team. Lindsay also travelled to Peru with the Mission Team and helped build steps up a mountain in the Shanty towns.

As part of the Key Club, Lindsay helps the community through service and fund raising and she has also travelled to Edmonton and Calgary to spend nine days volunteering at the Mustard Seed – a place for the homeless in these cities. During this time Lindsay dressed as a homeless person and lived on the streets with the homeless for two days. She collected cans and bottles for lunch money and gained a true understanding of how the homeless were treated by many.

Lindsay is also involved in her Yearbook Committee, Students Against Drinking and Driving, the Travel Club, the FrancoFun Club (a club that plans activities where French is the language to communicate with), and participated in Encounters with Canada – which allowed her to travel to Ottawa to learn about the nation’s capital. She has also carried the Torch of Life to raise awareness of the need for tissue and organ donors.

Lindsay has worked as a lifeguard at the Kinsmen Aquatic since the age of 15 and coaches the 3-2-1 Swim Club. She also plays fastball, soccer, takes dance lessons, and plays the piano. Lindsay’s tireless efforts to help foster positive change and positive attitude make her a well deserving recipient of the Junior Citizen of the Year Award.


Daniel Peters

Daniel Peters – Eagle Ridge, Saskatchewan

Daniel (Danno) Peters is from Eagle Ridge where he is an Honors student and currently spends much of his time participating in the Scouts Canada program.

Danno has faced a number of health implications over his years, including allergies and a tumor at a young age, neither of which has stopped him from achieving his goals. Danno believes that life is even better when you can make life better for others. He can often be found helping others achieve their goals or giving some of this time to help the people who have helped him reach his goals.

Some of Danno’s achievements include being selected to attend Encounters with Canada in Ottawa to learn about the nation’s capital, as well as participated in the Students on Ice Arctic Expedition2012 where he was one of less than 80 students selected from across the world to participate.

Danno loves to camp and has built and slept in quinzees, igloos, lean-tos, and under the stars in all types of weather. He has achieved his Chief Scout Award in Scouts Canada and is currently working on his Duke of Edinburgh Award, an international award given in Canada. He has also been chosen to give a speech to the Saskatchewan Gilwell Club at their annual breakfast in 2012.

Along with Danno’s Scouts program, he often participates in food drives from the food bank and fundraising to assist those who can not afford to go to camp. Danno also helps organize Scout camps and aids in teaching camping skills to younger members. He has obtained his boaters and snowmobile’s license, firearms license, first aid and CPR certificate, all of which assist him with his initiatives outdoors.

Danno’s enthusiasm in the face of adversity and his commitment to both nature and his peers make him a worthy recipient of the 2012 Junior Citizen of the Year Award.







Richelle Baer

Cameron Ellerbeck

Rebecca Hennes

Riley Magnus




Carmen Currie

Carmen wants to make a difference in this world and perhaps without realizing it, she already has.

This 17 year old young woman from Regina has an inner drive to be dedicated to her school community, her neighborhood and her local church and hospital. Carmen is an individual with secure values and morals and can always be counted on to do what is right.

Through her school, Carmen?s role as event coordinator on the Student Representative Council has enabled her to make a difference. She spearheaded the first ever Terry Fox Marathon of Hope walk/run and her energy and leadership ensured the event was a success. Carmen also spearheaded this year’s Canadian Blood Services donor clinic reviving the program after many years. She has been involved in an Executive position with Free the Children? foundation which raises funds to build schools in third world countries.

Carmen’s spirit of volunteerism continues with associations, clubs and committee such as the ?LeBoldus Book Club? and ?Students Against Drinking and Driving?. She has also volunteered at the Pediatric Ward with the Regina General Hospital, the Regina Visitation House and the Seniors Housing Complex. Athletically and musically, Carmen?s energy and enthusiasm continues to be displayed by coaching, referring and participating in various bands and choirs. Using her talents, Carmen makes a difference.

Carmen is known as an individual that contributes selflessly and volunteers tirelessly. She is a role model, mentor and leader. Carmen is making a difference.



Karen Kammer

Karen Kammer, a 17 year old young lady from Landis Saskatchewan, has not let obstacles and challenges get in her way.

At the young age of 2 ½, Karen was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatiod Arthritis and the public health nurse noticed that she had a learning delay. Not knowing what the future would hold, Karen’s hard work, with assistance from teachers, has enabled her to be on the Honor Roll for several years. She overcame her challenges to achieve academic success.

At the age of 13, Karen?s spirit of volunteerism began. At the Ranger Lake Bible Camp she started out by assisting as a LIT. Since then she has become a Junior Counsellor with aspirations of assuming the role of Senior Counsellor. For the past 2 years, Karen has helped lead the Vacation Bible School in Landis. She has a passion toward mentoring young girls, continually exceeds expectations and goes beyond the call of duty. These traits make her a wonderful role model and mentor.

Through the Heartland Health Region Junior Volunteer Program, Karen can be found partnering with seniors in several different settings. The time that she has invested in the Program has enriched the quality of life of each of the clients she has encountered.

In her school, Karen has assumed a lead role with the Big Brother Big Sister Program, volunteered with the school Telemiracle project, has been SLC secretary, is on the yearbook staff, and has helped lead the Junior Choir.

Even though Karen’s young life may have started with challenges to overcome and questions about her future, she has risen above and given back.

Karen is accompanied today by her parents Gail and Albert and her sister Amanda.



Natalie Ortynsky

Natalie Ortynsky possesses a contagious enthusiasm and readily shares her excitement. This 18 year old young lady from Yorkton inspires and encourages others around her.

Natalie is described as a true humanitarian, one who gives unselfishly of her time from her heart and whose endless volunteer work is of noble bearing. She contributes to her community and school using her natural skills and instinctive ability to relate to people of all ages. Natalie has volunteered for the ‘Red Cross’ during their annual canvassing blitz and has acted as student ambassador for the ‘Kids Help Phone Line’. She has also participated in Yorkton’s first ‘Bell Walk for Kids’ which was established to create awareness about our youth in society. She has volunteered with the ‘Terry Fox Run’ and ‘Junvenile Diabetes Walk for a Cure’

Throughout her elementary and high school years, Natalie has assumed a very active role in her school. She is SRC Grad Director, a member of the Yearbook, Environmental Club and student liaison for Safe Grad. She was selected to attend Junior National Debate Championships in 2006. Natalie has attended the Sports and Fitness Program as part of Encounters with Canada and has attended the Forum for young Canadians. This only begins to touch on the activities Natalie has been involved with through school, community, home and sport.

As Mother Theresa once said, ‘youth have the gift of giving’ and as stated in one of the letters of support for Natalie, this is a true reflection of what she represents.

We couldn’t agree more.



Leejay Schmidt

Leejay Schmidt, a 17 year old young man from Melfort, has been described as the epitomy of an ideal teenager. Caring for people and creation, positive, optimistic, enthusiastic, empowering respectful and trustworthy.

Leejay believes in equality and the best for all people at a local, provincial and global level. His spirit of volunteerism began at the age of 4 and has continued to be a theme in his life. Performing at the local care homes and assisted living residences were his first acts of giving and he currently continues to enrich those lives.

For the past 4 years Leejay has been on the Outreach/Mission and Service Committee of the Melfort United Church Board, and is also a member of the Melfort Youth Council. Leejay’s interest in human rights issues have been groomed by experiences through *Encounters With Canada *Saskatchewan Student Leadership Conference and Saskatchewan Youth Parliament? Through these groups, Leejay gained experience and knowledge to found the MUCC Amnesty Club.

Leejay continues with his spirit of volunteerism by volunteering countless hours with cancers Relay for Life and fundraising for AIDS victims through the Beads of Hope Campaign. He has volunteered as a Counselor in Training for SCI-FI Camps and has helped collect food for the Melfort Food Bank during their food drives. Leejay is passionate about enriching the lives of others.

In his school, Leejay is just as committed an active as he is in church and community. He volunteers his time with the MUCC Student Council as communication rep. He is the technical rep for the Drama club, football games and pep rallies. Leejay is also a member of Students Against Drinking and Driving?.

In Leejay?s own words, There is so much we as individuals can do to contribute to our schools, communities and to all humanity. I have done my very best with the capabilities I have to enrich the lives of others. This is only the beginning.

Leejay, we believe this IS only the beginning.




Rabiya Abdulkadir

Leader. Role model. Zest for life. Rabiya displays grace in everything she does.

These are a few of the words and phrases used to describe 18-year-old Rabiya Abdulkadir from Regina, Saskatchewan.

Rabiya is actively involved in school, community, and home. She is the first to volunteer for any task that needs to be done. As president of the Student Leadership Council in her school, she has planned a variety of events including the Red Cross Blood Drive, Earth Week Activities, and a Fashion show. She has volunteered at the Jingle Bell Walk for Arthritis, and participates each year in the Cancer Society Relay for Life. Rabiya also voluntarily gathers recyclable containers in the school, which in turn helps raise money for the school projects.

Along with her parents and 7 siblings, Rabiya moved from Iraq to Canada as a child. Adjusting to anew culture and learning a new language was difficult, but nothing challenged her or her family more than the diagnosis of her brother’s brain tumour. As he recovered from his operation, Rabiya became a great support to him, especially academically. The support still continues at home where she regularly helps her parents by translating, assists her siblings with their homework and works part-time to help support the family. She also helps care for her father who has several health concerns. Not once has she complained about her duties.

In the words of Rabiya’s principal: ‘She displays grace and leadership in everything she does and is a true role model for all our students and people in the community. Her zest for life is contagious to students around her.’



Morgan Braun

At age 14, Morgan already has shown more compassion than most people twice her age.

From Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Morgan is not your typical teen who is driven by a need for materialistic possessions. She and her family live in a temporary home until they can arrange for more appropriate accommodation. This young woman makes the best of the situation around her and strives to improve the lives of others who are less fortunate.

For the last two February’s, Morgan has accompanied her parents to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico, to help build homes for families who live in poor conditions. Even after experiencing the third world realities of cold weather, minimal food, and accommodations that were far from ideal, Morgan had a strong desire to return the following year. She even paid her own way by getting a job at Tim Hortons, and is again putting money aside to return for a third time in February, 2009.

Morgan shoulders much responsibility when it comes to helping out at home and never complains while performing many household tasks. In the community, she is a peer-support worker at her school, saves her money every year to purchase supplies and toys for a Christmas shoe box, is heavily involved with volleyball and basketball, participates in various drama productions and assemblies, volunteers in the nursery in her church,all while holding down a part-time job and maintaining an above 85 per cent average.

In the words of her mother: ‘She is a humble young lady who has a strong set of morals and a desire to help others, even if it means stepping out of her own comfort zone.

For these reasons alone she is truly an inspiration.



Justin Derkach

When life handed lemons to Justin, he made lemonade!

Justin Derkach of Prince Albert has been thrown many curve balls in life. Having never known his father and separated from his mother when he was only 11, this young man spent many years of his life surrounded by drugs and alcohol. He was even pressured to join a street gang, but instead, he chose to make his life a success and make a difference in society.

In a speech Justin once gave to his schoolmates and their parents, he said, During our lives we are faced with tough decisions each and every day, some more important than others, but all must be thought through to make the best choice. Justin has done just that.For the past seven years, Justin has been raised by is grandparents, both of whom are seniors.Through their guidance, along with help from teachers and coaches, Justin has become an outstanding scholar and accomplished athlete who excels in soccer, volleyball, basketball,badminton, and rugby. He was part of Team Saskatchewan at the national soccer event and was also named the male athlete of the year in his school of 2100 students. Refereeing soccer to help with household expenses, Justin also manages to maintain an average that is in the top 10 per cent of his class of 600 students.

Justin has been faced repeatedly with every opportunity to make the wrong decisions in his life. Despite that, he has consistently made the right decisions. In the words of his nominator: Justin is a worthy young man of modest means whose indomitable spirit and determination to succeed against all odds makes him a deserving candidate for this award.



Kyle Sokalski

Kyle is an amazing 14-year-old young man from Regina, Saskatchewan.

He has been described as an exceptional citizen with a fighting spirit, and positive attitude that has become an inspiration to others.

Kyle is active and dedicated to his school and community, despite being born with Achronplasia, which has limited the ability for his extremities to reach their full growth potential. He has had to endure numerous bone-lengthening surgeries and overcome tremendous physical hardships. Through it all he has maintained an A average.

Kyle has been involved with the Douglas Park Activity Council as a member of the executive and a member of the Students Against Violence Everywhere Team. He also volunteers in his church and in the Santa Maria Senior Citizens? Home. He looks at his physical limitations as a challenge, not an excuse, and he feels blessed. Kyle lives life to the fullest and faces setbacks with and upbeat attitude and a smile.

In the words of his nominator: Although he has been faced with numerous challenges in his young life, his positive attitude and inner strength have allowed these to become opportunities for learning.




Alyssa Anderson

Leadership through example. Just one of 17-year-old Alyssa Anderson?s many achievements.

From Lloydminster, Alyssa was chosen last year to join the Saskatchewan Provincial Youth Advisory council, as one of it?s youngest-ever members. She was also a delegate to the Saskatchewan Student Leadership Conference and the Canadian Student Leadership Conference.

Alyssa is a Big Sister. You can see her patience and kindness as she teaches two young girls with Downs Syndrome about horsemanship. Those little girls, as others do, learn valuable lessons from Alyssa about conquering your fears and taking pride in your accomplishments.

Excelling at both athletics and academics, it hasn’t been easy for Alyssa. She suffers from a disorder that makes it difficult for her to process what people are saying and to understand abstract concepts. But, as in other aspects of her life, Alyssa is more than capable of meeting the challenge.

One of Alyssa’s nominators perhaps summed it up best when she described her as A gentle young lady full of life and a spirit of willingness to help others. We couldn’t agree more.


Eilish Borschneck

The vast majority of nominations for Junior Citizen of the Year come from the friends and family of young men and women either graduating from high school or close to it. So when the nominating committee started looking at the submission for Eilish Borschneck, it had many qualities similar to those already reviewed.

That’s when someone said, “Guys, this girl is only 10.”

A hush fell over the room.

This young lady has already achieved more than many of us do in a life-time. Eilish raises money for AIDS and other causes. She assists the teacher at the Pilot Butte Elementary pre-school. Eilish is very empathetic for someone her age; she spends time with the disabled kids at her school, taking them for walks, and playing with them.
Her family has adopted a child in Africa, Christopher, with whom Eilish regularly corresponds.

A budding environmentalist, she loves the outdoors. Eilish also acts. To her little sister, she?s a teacher. To her mom, she’s a big help with the housework.

In the words of her nominator, Eilish is a careful, unselfish, gentle soul.

Her potential is limitless.



Alicia Eppich

Kind. Considerate. Compassionate. A joy to be around.

Those are words and phrases used to describe 17-year-old Alicia Eppich of Landis.

Alicia is a Big Sister. She volunteers with seniors. A talented athlete and musician, Alicia is also an actress and heavily involved in the day-to-day operation of the family farm. Known for being able to focus on the positive, she has never let life?s challenges slow her down.

When she was only 14 months old, Alicia suffered severe burns to her hands and feet. Even after skin grafts and two operations, it was felt she would never be able to accomplish, at least physically, the things she has.

From Telemiracle to Community Kitchen, Alicia?s upbeat attitude has proven invaluable to her community and family. When her grandmother broke her hip, it was Alicia who helped her recover, ultimately allowing her grandmother to realize her dream of staying in her own home. Last year, a classmate lost her dad in an accident. As the community reeled, Alicia knew exactly what to do: listen and care.




Adila Azizi

This remarkable young woman had not one nominator, but three. All them guide and mentor her at Regina’s F.W. Johnson Collegiate. Teachers Kyla Wendell and Joyce Vandall, in addition to principal Len Brehelle, use words such as selfless, caring, positive, determined, and generous to describe her.

Adila is truly a special person. Adila comes from Afghanistan, and, as a refugee, life has not been easy. When she was very young, her family was forced to flee their war-torn homeland. It was at that tender age she began to develop her sense of responsibility and self-reliance, as she cared for herself and family members.

When she came to Canada a short six years ago, Adila had to learn to speak, read, and write English. She comes from a large family. Despite the challenges this remarkable young woman has faced, she has overcome her difficulties and become very successful.

Although Adila has adapted well to life in Canada, she has never forgotten how challenging life here seemed at first. She is always the first to volunteer to help a struggling student or offer friendship to a newcomer. Adila is always willing to give time to those who need help. She volunteers at the school library’s English as a Second Language program, tutoring other students that need assistance.

Adila is also involved with Regina’s Open Door Society, a non-profit group that since 1976 has been helping refugees and immigrants become part of Canadian society. There she translates for newcomers.

Ever eager, Adila is very involved with her community, mosque and school. She was instrumental in organizing school activities like Diversity Day, a multicultural event promoting peace and cultural appreciation. Adila not only performed at the event, she also helped plan and promote it. Other school activities include the Environment Club and the Spirit Team. She has also written for the Regina Leader Post’s Minus 20 section.

This outstanding young person dreams of being a social worker, and is attending the University of Regina this fall. Having had a part-time job since the age of 16, Adila has been putting money away in aneducational nest-egg. When she began her post-secondary studies this fall, she had some five-thousand dollars to put toward her schooling. Adila cherishes life in Canada. In her own words, It is a privilege to be a Canadian citizen; it is something I dearly cherish with pride and honour my hopes and dreams are coming true. At times I feel I am dreaming. If I am, I hope I never wake up.



Christa Lynn Bruneau

Christa’s nominator, Carmel Bruneau, says without her daughter, she would have been lost. High praise from a mother. But this impressive young woman is very deserving. For the past seven years, life has challenged her in every possible way, but she always rose to meet the occasion.

Involved at school, Christa takes part at every level she can. She has been part of both the Student Representative Council, along with the yearbook. She plays volleyball. For three years, Christa helped her mother run a hot lunch program to raise money for Tele-miracle. She has been on the graduation decorating committee for the past five years. Three years ago, Christa became a full lifeguard. She has been part of a Relay For Life team; not once, but twice. And this year, Christa was the valedictorian for her graduating class.

An impressive resume. But it becomes much more so when you take into account the personal challenges Christa has faced.

Eight years ago, Christa’s little sister, Alexis, became very ill. To receive treatment, Alexis and her mother were forced to travel to the Toronto Sick Children?s Hospital. Away for months at time, it was up to Christa to keep the household running. As Carmel Bruneau put it, ‘All children need their mothers; girls especially when they are growing up, Christa managed the house and also worked every day after school, without Christa’s support at home, things would have been so much harder on everyone.’

Christa’s mom says Alexis’ sickness is why the eighteen-year-old has chosen to seek a career in the profession of nursing. Carmel Bruneau says, ‘Christa has wanted to be a nurse since the very first day her little sister became ill. She wasn’t very old [when] she helped me [give Alexis] intravenous medication around the clock for four months.’

When Christa was fifteen, her mother contracted West Nile virus. She became the primary caregiver for her little sister. Her mother says, ‘I remember lying in the hospital, too sick to care about much, other than who was taking care of Alexis. Christa would climb up on the bed and lay with me to tell me about how she had it all covered and not to worry about it. I was so proud of her’

The past year has also been a challenge for Christa. Her mother made the decision to return to school. Which meant mom and little sister had to move to Moose Jaw, returning home to Willow Bunch only on the weekends. Christa looked after the family home, and also worked after school, while continuing to maintain the highest of academic records.

But as before in her young life, this outstanding young person hasn’t skipped a beat, and continues to strive toward her goals of saving lives and making a difference.



Michael Ehman

What would Mike do?‘ is an oft-heard phrase in the halls of the Weyburn Comprehensive School. It is used in reference to a remarkable young man named Mike Ehman. The eighteen-year-old’s enthusiasm and positive energy are two of the qualities which made him an ideal candidate for the SaskEnergy Community Spirit award.

Mike can often be seen working with special needs kids. He is a committed member of the Weyburn Comp’s Special Education Team. Mike is a leader, with the ability to work cooperatively or, if needed, take control of a situation. When he walks into the room, Mike puts everyone at ease, and you always look forward to spending time with him. He has been described as the ‘ultimate role model.’

Taking into account Mike’s high level of commitment scholastically, it is his family that tops his list of priorities. He is the oldest of three boys, and both parents work. As at school, Mike accepts his leadership role at home with relish, helping his mom and dad however he can. He adores his grandmothers, and is always there for them. One of the jobs he more than willingly shoulders is acting as chauffeur for his younger siblings and his grandparents.

Athletics are also important to Mike. He is involved in volleyball, basketball, hockey, and water polo. Over the past year, Mike has volunteered as an elementary school coach, and organized a volleyball skills clinic for grade sixers.

Mike is also musically-inclined. He has starred in many school musical productions, and has been involved in the school choir for two years now.

Mike’s involvement in extracurricular activities is impressive. He mentors for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and speaks on behalf of the RCMP’S Drug Abuse Resistance Education to elementary students. An accomplished musician, Mike plays bass guitar, piano, drums and alto sax. He also writes music.

Most recently, Mike represented his school at the national level. He and partner Colby Mainil began their trip to Quebec by winning a gold medal at the Southeast Regional Science Fair in March. They designed a wheelchair capable of climbing a step or curb. In May, they took their invention to Quebec City, taking gold again in the Engineering Division of the Canada Wide Science Fair. In addition to the prestige of winning a national award, both boys walked away with thousands of dollars in scholarship money.

Mike will be able to put that money to work immediately. He dreams of becoming a doctor, and intends to pursue his schooling here. It is important to Mike he remain in the province, so he can give back once he has finished his medical training.

One of the phrases used in Mike’s nomination to describe him is ‘the highlight of our day.‘ Another is that he ‘makes every activity that much better.‘ High praise for a young man with a bright future.



Kathryn Kitchen

John Hodgens, in his nomination for Kathryn Kitchen, described this young woman as bright, enthusiastic, motivated, and driven. Kathryn has contributed to her community, in just 18 years, in ways that most only dream of. She is an active and important part of what happens in Estevan.

As co-president of the student representative council at the Estevan Comprehensive School, she has organized events ranging from talent shows to school dances. That has allowed Kathryn the opportunity to communicate how important it is that the talents of youth should be appreciated and encouraged. The active teenager captained the senior girls soccer team this past year, bringing to an end an association she has with the team since grade 9. Kathryn’s athletic abilities are not confined to the soccer pitch. She is a competitive figure skater, and competes in the sports of badminton, floor hockey, and curling.

Kathryn is also vice-president of her school’s Students Against Drinking and Driving chapter. She is also a SADD Saskatchewan District 1 representative. To that end, she has played a key role in communicating the message of how important it is to be a sober driver. It is something she takes very seriously.

Kathryn also takes seriously the fight against cancer. This determined young woman accomplished an amazing feat this year.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s annual Relay For Life happens in hundreds of communities across Canada. The Relay For Life raises millions of dollars for cancer research. It has happened in past in several Saskatchewan cities and towns, but never in Estevan. This year that changed, thanks to Kathryn. She organized the town’s first-ever Relay For Life. That should come as no surprise, though. Kathryn’s commitment to health is obvious when you consider her intention to seek a medical degree, then further specialize in oncology, the branch of medicine dedicated to the treatment and prevention of cancer.

Kathryn loves children. She is currently the coordinator of Estevan Minor Hockey’s learn to skate program. Kathryn was 16 when she took that responsibility on, becoming the youngest person ever to take the position.

This outstanding young woman’s attitude can be summed up with one simple quote. Kathryn is often heard to say, ‘If god made you able to think it up, it can be done.’



Robert Marshall

The world needs more Robert Marshalls.’ That quote came from Nicole Dulle, one of the many people who wrote on behalf of this extraordinary young man, in support of his application to become a Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association/SaskPower Junior Citizen of the Year.

The road to tonight has been anything but easy, though. Robert Marshall’s life has been marked by loss. But, at the same time, he has met those challenges head on, with a positive attitude can-do attitude, and risen above them. He is truly a testament to the power of the human spirit.

As a child, Robert’s life was touched twice by tragedy. He was involved in a car accident that took the life of his father, and left him with a head injury. Robert suffered temporary deficits to his right leg, some short term memory loss, and, to this day, has problems with his right hand.

It was a long road back for Robert Marshall. He had to undergo intensive speech and physical therapy. For a time, Robert had to wear a helmet while at school, to prevent further physical injury. It was then he first had contact with his nominator, nurse and former teachers’ aid Lana Antoine. Lana was involved in Robert’s physical rehabilitation. She tells the story of one day at school when she rescued him from a sled that was coming directly at him. Robert looked up at her, and said, ‘You are my guardian angel.

The tragic circumstances of Robert’s life did not stop there. More recently, Robert lost his little brother, who suffered from a physical disability. Robert took part in all aspects of his younger sibling’s care, from giving him medicine to helping provide physical therapy.

Today, Robert is described as a selfless, spiritual, motivated and energetic young man. He helps out on the family dairy farm, and is on student council at Indian Head High School. Robert is known for his public speaking and, sometimes, singing. His infectious sense of humour is a powerful tool; his ability to lift spirits is directly tied to it.

Robert’s latest achievements are in the world of track and field. He participates mainly in distance events. And he put that talent to good use this past year. Through a series of fundraisers he organized himself, Robert managed to raise the six-thousand dollars he needed to go to Rome in March and take part in a marathon for Team Diabetes. This past summer, he travelled to Iceland where he ran a full marathon, also in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

An unsung hero‘ is how Indian Head High School vice-principal John Harvey describes this outstanding young man. There is no doubt this leader and volunteer with the infectious sense of humour has a brilliant future ahead of him.




Tyler Kaminsky

Adele Kaminsky, Tyler’s nominator states in her nomination, that Tyler, once shy and timid as a child, has since risen to become a high school graduate, an entrepreneur, a Youth Business Excellence (YBEX) 1st Place Individual Business Venture 2005 award winner and local Business Excellence Award finalist at the age of 17.

From a young age, Tyler has developed a strong work ethic through a variety of jobs that included delivering newspapers and working part-time at McDonalds. When Tyler was 15 years old, looking for a greater challenge, he started a home-based business selling Coral Calcium. This venture rapidly grew and evolved into a storefront enterprise that provides his community with safe, purified drinking water, pure ice as well as Coral Calcium, multi-vitamins and minerals and other health products.

Tyler moved to North Battleford where he started grade 3. From a young age, he learned that making new friends and building confidence came from getting involved in community activities. An avid volunteer, this young man has worked bingos, took part in fundraising activities for his Ukrainian Dance group, Big Brothers & Sisters and the Boys & Girls Clubs. He has helped his neighbors with yard work, house sitting and a variety of odd jobs. He has participated in walks for the Cancer Society, MS Society and was a carnival worker for Catholic Family Services. Tyler has also donated clothes for the Diabetes Society for the past 5 years.

He believes in contributing to his community. Through his business, TK Water Refill Center, he has donated hundreds of bottles of purified water for many community events including children?s camps, church functions, seminars, radio promotions, talent festivals, sports groups and local Club events.

This youth is ambitious, hard working, determined and courteous. He works hard at achieving the goals he has set for himself. He sees the good in others and is eager to lend a helping hand in order to make his community a better place.

Tyler?s future goals include managing his business, TK Water Refill Center, while pursuing a business diploma through SIAST.


Christine Ryan

Christine’s nominator Valerie Middleton stated in her nomination that Christine shows us the “best of the best” in everything that she does. She believes that there is no point in doing something if you are not going to put all that you have into it.

There is no half-way for this girl. Sherri Solomko stated in her nomination that Christine loves what she does and does what she loves. She is a shining example that all generations in Unity are proud of.

When Christine becomes involved in a project, her peers and younger people around her are eager to help out and be part of the event. Whether it is Girl Guides, drama or a church activity, she can easily attract others to participate with her positive attitude and enthusiasm.

In September 2004, Christine became a Girl Guide leader. Being a Girl Guide leader involves commitment and time. With some guidance, she was able to fulfill her role above and beyond all expectations.

At school, Christine was active in Students Against Drunk Driving, drama (Stage Manager for 4 years) and worked in the food booth. She excelled in her classes and was always on the honor role. A highlight for Christine was winning a trip to New York with the “Oddfellows United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth”. She was Valedictorian at her grade 12 graduation this past June and received the Governor General’s medal.

Christine is astoundingly organized. She can have several projects on the go and still manages to do each one well. She gets involved in activities that are important to her. Her never-ending energy and passion is shown in her family, her school and her many extracurricular activities.

Christine plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan and enter the field of medicine.



Neil Kalra

Neil’s nominators Allen Oruski and Anurag Saxena describe this young man as an extremely talented person who is highly motivated, enthusiastic, mature with high moral and ethical standards. His ability to relate to people in an articulate and caring manner is very obvious.

Neil loves to volunteer. At his young age it is amazing to see all the work he has done for so many organizations in his community while maintaining excellent school grades. His example and influence has had a positive impact on all who know him.

He has participated in the Ready, Set, Read program at the Saskatoon Public Library and was a volunteer at Summer Camp PAAL (Physical Activity for Active Living), a camp for children and youth with visual and/or hearing impairments, physical and/or developmental challenges. He has volunteered his time at the Friendship Inn and has been involved with cultural activities, many with the annual Saskatoon Folkfest celebration.

In school, Neil has participated in the Saskatchewan Math Challenge, science fairs, bridge competitions, geography challenges, art displays, dance competitions, music competitions, the Junior Boy’s Football team, Walter Murray’s music program, and participated in track, volleyball and basketball. He enjoys playing soccer and is a Provincial Referee as well.

Neil is reliable, dependable, helpful, obedient, and independent. He is dedicated to school and community, and has a strong sense of caring and responsibility. He is able to effectively deal with challenges, to inspire others to excel, and has a sense of service above self and tolerance of diversity.

The support of a strong, loving family has contributed to the shaping of Neil’s overall personality and has helped this young man grow into the strong leader he is today.


Clark Northey

Jan Northey, Clark’s nominator describes this Junior Citizen as a good role model for youth. Clark dedicates much of his time to the service of others and strives to excel in all of his endeavors and faces life’s challenges head on.

Clark is a young man of many talents. He is a musician who plays the violin, bagpipes and various percussion instruments. At the age of 14 he attained his level 5 Master bandsman qualification in Borden, Ontario which is the highest level and honor achieved by a cadet musically. He teaches music at provincial cadet music concentration weekends and at cadet corps and took the initiative to organize a band to perform at official ceremonies and annual reviews. Clark had a dream of starting a tri-service (army, sea and air) youth pipe and drum band in Prince Albert. He wanted to involve those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take lessons. The Prince Albert Legion #2 was so impressed with his efforts they sponsored his group with supplies and uniforms and a facility to rehearse. The group is progressing well considering some members have no past musical experience.

As a Senior cadet, he was promoted to Coxswain (Chief) of cadet corps #118 Rawalpindi. He teaches weekly leadership seamanship, communications and citizenship. He always leads by example, is respectful and motivates others to succeed.

In school, Clark took part in many activities including indoor track, Junior, Senior and Jazz band and was a member of a Mock Trial Team to develop his knowledge of law. He was an honor role student, and is fluent in English and French. He is respected by his peers and teachers and supports a positive learning environment. His teachers describe him as having a mature attitude, is prepared for class, attentive, respectful, is an enthusiastic learner and encourages fellow students to remain on task. He is proactive in supporting students who are victims of bullying.

In addition to school and cadets, Clark has participated in Ukrainian dance and is an active volunteer in his community.

This young man is confident, sincere, reliable, trustworthy and has the leadership abilities to bring out the best in others. When he sets goals for himself, he follows through with the best of his ability.

Clark is currently enrolled in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan.


Stephanie Ortynsky

Stephanie’s nominator Violet Bramwell, tells us that Stephanie has developed a sense of responsibility, leadership skills and a concern for the welfare of others by volunteering her time.

Stephanie is a recent graduate from Yorkton Regional High School. Throughout her school years she studied French and is fluently bilingual. She was involved with sports and participated in cross-country, soccer, cheerleading, and track and field. She has a love of the arts and was active in band and dance. With such a great variety of interests and activities, this excellent student remained on the honor role with averages above 90%.

An avid volunteer, Stephanie has lent a helping hand and has often taken a leadership role in many organizations including the Celebrate Saskatchewan 2005 committee, BELL Walk for Kids, Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis, Red Cross canvassing Blitz, Blood Donor Clinics and many more.

This young woman is a shining example for her siblings, friends and peers. She believes in living a healthy life, being active and staying away from negative influences.

Garry Gawryliuk, SRC Advisor and School Counselor at Yorkton Regional High School said this of Stephanie, “As Mother Theresa said, ‘Youth have the gift of giving’ and as I reflect on that statement, I know it is a true reflection of what Stephanie Ortynsky represents. She gives of herself from the heart and her endless volunteer work is of noble bearing. Her spirit and mind truly reflect her efforts in the humanitarian field.”

Her future plans include attending the University of Saskatchewan to obtain a Bachelor of science degree with hopes of becoming a dermatologist, optometrist or archaeologist. She has goals of becoming a member of the professional Ukrainian dance group, Yevshan and to become a member of the University of Saskatchewan’s Husky track team.

This Junior citizen has what it takes to succeed. She is mature, has a positive attitude, proven leadership skills, exceptional organizational skills and the ability to work towards the impressive goals she has set out for herself.




Nicole Espeseth

As described by her nominators Tracey Huckell and Glenn Marchand, Nicole is a dedicated student with a strong work ethic and a keen mind. She is mature, responsible with empathy beyond her years. This young woman excels in academics and the arts and is very involved in both school and community events. She consistently performs at a very high level and her marks reflect it.

Nicole’s teachers and peers believe she is one of the most dedicated students they have worked with and one for whom they have great respect.

Drama classes, community productions and singing are three areas where this young woman shines. One of her favorite plays is “Where the Lillies Bloom.” This year she played the lead character, Mary Call Luther in a local community production. Younger students who have seen her perform are in awe of her ability and it encourages them to strive harder to attain their own goals.

Volunteering is important to Nicole and she strives to make her community a better place. She is actively involved in her school and community through the Share the Warmth campaign, junior volunteer at her local hospital and she was also a member of her high school’s SRC.

Despite living with the challenges of spina bifida, Nicole is optimistic and provides continuous support and positive encouragement to others. The challenges she lives with have made her strong, mature and more appreciative of what life offers. She works hard to make success a reality for herself. Her physical disability does not affect her confidence or prevent her from taking on challenges or following her dreams. She is a role model for others with disabilities, showing them they can rise above their challenges and accomplish whatever they set out to do.

Nicole knows where her future will take her.  She plans to double major in Child Psychology and Drama at the University of Saskatchewan, taker her Masters in child psychology at Simon Fraser University and then obtain her PhD in England.



Nathan Kuhn

Nathan’s nominator Darlene Kidd describes this Junior Citizen as “a super nice guy who gives his all for others – family, friends, peers and acquaintances.”

The qualities that make this young man a Junior Citizen are numerous. Nathan is a strong but gentle leader. He leads by example and is not swayed by negative peer pressure. He has been congratulated on numerous occasions for taking the time and paying attention to the underdog. His manner has a positive influence on others. He often notices the looks of distress on the faces of those who feel excluded, even in the hallways of his own school. Last year, Nathan began a personal quest. He approached anyone who looked lonely or distraught and struck up a conversation that invited them to share their feelings or just plain talk. His efforts are never complete until they are laughing about something. Nathan feels his project may not make much difference to the world, but to that one person, he has made their day. Nathan’s example has inspired others to join him on his venture.

Nathan comes from a large family and as the oldest of nine children, he is required to be a leader every day. He helps out with many things from tying shoes to homework. His father works in the oilfields and Nathan helps out a great deal with farm chores. He has been his father’s right-hand man doing farm work daily, helping with the animals, driving tractor, hauling grain, and yard maintenance.

Nathan loves sports and is involved in almost everything including midget and senior baseball, volleyball, basketball, track & field, badminton, curling and hockey. To add to the challenge, he also lives 36 km from town.

In addition to sports, Nathan has also competed in the speech categories at music festivals and has helped set a positive example for other young males with speaking talent.

His future goals are to attend the University of Alberta and study engineering.



Robin Moncrief

This young Junior Citizen is only 12 years old and already has a long list of achievements under her belt. She is a cheerful, bright and outgoing youth who gives fully of herself with whatever she encounters. She assumes a leadership role in all her endeavors and encourages others to participate along with her.

Robin is polite, pleasant and respectful. She notices when someone has special needs and has a talent for encouraging others to carry on. She has a great sense of right or wrong and will go to great lengths to fix a problem or put forth a new and worthwhile idea.

As an active student at St. Gerard French Immersion school in Saskatoon, Robin has played a key role starting up a student representative council and chess club. She helps fundraise for a variety of things – from raising money for air conditioning units for her school to helping collect money for the Government House in Regina. When teachers or coaches need input or help starting a program, Robin is their go to person.

Robin does not take no for an answer, but instead will find a way to see a project through. One example is the 2004 Nokia Brier Jamcan Curling Event. Her school was invited to participate, however no teachers were available to accompany the students. Robin was able to put together 3 1/2 teams with adult supervision. They brought a gold trophy and three sets of bronze medals back to their school.

Outside of school, Robin is involved in a large variety of activities including Spanish classes, piano, voice and harp, Saskatoon’s Children’s Choir and a number of sports. She has been an active member of the Navy League Cadets, H. M. Weir #18 for three years and has won numerous awards including Cadet of the Year and the H. M. Weir Cadets Choice Award.

In each activity Robin is involved in, she brings along a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication and has nearly perfect attendance in each one. She works exceptionally well with people of all ages and has earned much respect from her peers, coaches and educators.

This junior citizen has big dreams for her future. She plans to enter Sea Cadets, finish high school, take part in the Parliamentary Page Program, join toastmasters, study law and become Canada’s longest serving female Prime Minister!



Andrew Taylor

Andrew’s nominators Nancy Duns and Frankie Smith describe this Junior Citizen as a caring and generous young man who takes on all tasks in a cheerful, respectful manner.

Community and school are very important to this young man from Tisdale. Andrew is a dedicated member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, #624 Tisdale Air Cadet Squadron and has been a member for six years. His dedication has influenced junior cadets to remain with the program despite peer pressure.

In school, he excels academically and volunteers many hours with the yearbook club, drama club, CHUMS (a mentoring program for elementary students), SAAD (Students Against Drunk Driving), and a variety of other committees. His forward thinking ideas, social conscience, energy level and incredible time management skills are truly impressive in such a young person. He consistently demonstrates his philosophy of tolerance and inclusion and is generous with his time and energy to those who need help. In addition to school and community activities, Andrew also plays an active role in sports including basketball, football, and track & field.

Andrew has sought out and won positions of responsibility with the Tisdale Middle and Secondary School SRC including the position of President. He has been instrumental in developing strategies to improve student participation in the academic and extracurricular life of the school. His pleasant disposition and great sense of humor encourages others to work with him. His ‘can do’ attitude inspires those with whom he works.

Andrew’s enthusiasm, zest for life and generous nature can be seen in everything he does and he is an inspiration to those who know him.

Andrew’s future plans include traveling and enrolling in the Royal Military College




Lyndon Graff

Joshua Noble

Cassandra Simpson

Jamie Tinker




Matthew Crosbie

Liza Percy

Aaron Vopni

Nicole Watt




Rebekah Dahlin

Jeff Irvine

Leah McDonald



Farrah Mateen

Cara-Faye Merasty

Amber Smith

Nicole Stenerson



Scott Hepburn

Tovah Racicot

Darla Read

Mryoslava Tataryn



Rydell Ohryn

Barend Pieterse

Terri Simon

Maria Stang



Rydell Ohryn

Barend Pieterse

Terri Simon

Maria Stang



Tracey Arnold

Endurance is a quality Tracey knows intimately. In 1990 She was involved in a car accident that killed her father and caused extenseive physical injuries to the rest of her family, including herself. Tracey suffered severe injuries to her heart, spinal cord, pelvis, face, limbs, and external organs. She was confined to a wheelchair for two years but is now able to walk. This trauma has not phased Tracey but has instead made her a role model for the people around her.

She was a member of SADD, coaches minor baseball, was co-editor of the school yearbook and did statistics for the Minor/Major/Excellence awards program at Oxbow Prairie Heights School. She is also very active in a local drama group where she does make-up, administers sound effects and performs.

Tracey is involved in her church and helps the musicians present music to the congregation. She recently won the right to represent Saskatchewan at the National Arm Wrestling Competition in Thunder Bay. She spends a great deal of her time helping with chores at home including laundry, house cleaning, feeding the farm animals and hauling bales.

Michelle Charles

Both family and community are very important to Michelle. She has helped evacuees from a fire-threatened community near her town of La Ronge by preparing and serving lunches and driving people to belleting locations. Michelle is also very involved in search and rescue efforts in her community.

She has been instrumental in planning community fun nights, family dances, and has participated in spring festivals and Treaty Day events. She leads by example and is not afraid of new challenges.

This individual has also been a catalyst in building school spirit and pride by heling develop the school mascot, logo and colors. She was involved in peer counselling, was a member of the Senator Myles Venne School PRIDE group, was vice president of the SRC and editor of the yearbook.

She received and award of Distinction for an academic average of 84 per cent. Michelle was involved in all school fund-raising activiities that include stay-awake-athons and tickets sales.

With a vast knowledge of traditional skills, Michelle has participated in family endeavors including wild rice harvesting, fish farming, trapline activities, beading, wood carving and designing original jewellry from natural sources. Michelle’s strong sense of morals, values and motivation make her an exemplary role model.

Christine Hilderbrand

Christine’s involvement in many groups and organizations has had a profound effect on individuals around her. She was a member of the school peer support group, peer tutoring group, the multicultural committee, and the Jean Vanier Swim program – helping mentally and physically challenged students swim.

Christine was a recipient of the Club One award which recognizes student excellence, the Youth Salute award, the Canada Day Youth award and the Gold Level candidate for the Duke of Edinburgh award. She was the SRC Liturgical and Cultural Awareness Director for her high school in Regina, a member of the Student Crimestoppers Board and a member of the school’s Liturgy Club.

She is also committed to the bettering of her community. She was the Saskatchewan representative to the United Nations Pilgrimage in 1995, a Country Delegate for Model United Nations Conferences and a representative to the Forum ’95 program.

Her drive and determination is illustrated through her participation as an elite national level athlete in synchronized swimming even though she struggled with scoliosis. She has had to retire from competition, but coaches Special Olympics in this sport. Christine’s innate ability and work ethic combined make her shining example of facing challenges head on.

Amanda Lundquist

Amanda epitomizes the meaning of caring. Says her nominator, “Amanda’s combination of intelligence, leadership, community work and sheer human decency have been seen by all of us.”

She is a candy striper who helps train new volunteers and is president of the local PRIDE chapter. She has been on the honour roll for the past six years with a yearly average of 86 per cent. Amanda is also very active in 4H counsellor at Camp Rayner and holding executive positions of vice-president and treasurer.

She has taught Catechism and has been a member of the church youth choir, the Maidstone School band, concert band and marching band playing the saxophone and piano. She has also tutored children who have trouble with their musical skills.

Amanda was born with a facial deformity called cleft lip and as a result has spent many years having surgery to correct this. Her experience has taught her to deal with adversity and come out a winner. A good sense of humour, strong work ethic, sense of responsibility and everlasting smile make her a valuable member of her home, shcool and community.

Vincent Marquez

Hard working, intelligent, polite, reliable and ambitious are just some of the qualities that describe Vincent. He excels in many areas including sports, music, drama, peer counselling, pastoral care, church choir and has won several school citizenship awards.

Vincent was also involved in the band program, was a tutor, a member of the yearbook committee and concert band, and was a coordinator of the 1996 Chemfree graduation activities.

Through Vincent’s diligence, he has won the respect and admiration of his peers, parents and teachers in his home town of Weyburn. He was a delegate on the United Nations Pilgrimage to New York in 1994 and was also a delegate to Phi Delta Kappa summer camp in 1995 in Indiana. His grade 12 average was over 96 per cent.

In his spare time he volunteered at the Weyburn General Hospital. With the spring floods this year, Vincent helped fill and set up sand bags which saved the area from the rising waters. He recently won an entrance scholarshop to Queen’s University. His actions demonstrate that not only is he a leader, but also a humanitarian.

Alison Stelle

Alison knows the meaning of challenge and perseverance. In 1995 she was diagnosed with a recessive disease of the retina called Stargardt’s Disease, characterized by a progressive loss of central vision. But this has not hampered her pursuites.

She gives tirelessly to her community through her volunteer work. For the past four years she has volunteered at Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. She was elected valedictorian of her 1995-96 graduating class. In 1996 Alison was the recipient of Saskatchewan’s only Terry Fox Humanitarian award. She has received a youth appreciation citation from the P.A. Optimist Club, a bursary from the Victoria Hospital Ladies Auzilary and a P.A. Rotary Citizenship award. She was president of the SRC during her senior year, played in the school band, participated in intramural sports, was involved in choir, was a member of the SADD committee and edited the school newspaper.

Aside from Alison’s volunteer work, she has worked part-time at the local library and for the Prince Albert Raiders, and also babysits during the summers. Contributing time to help others, while accomplising her own personal goals, demonstrates her commitment to making the world a better place.

Dana Thingelstad

Empathy and sensitivity are words Dana lives by.

When she was only seven years old she suffered a stroke which changed her life forever. Up to that point gymnastics and dancing were her life. She had just reveived an honours in ballet and won all around best gymnast for her age group. After the stroke she couldn’t walk, talk, write or even feed herself. Dana spent the next seven years regaining her ability to function normally again.

Her perseverance and positive attitude have made her an outstanding role model amoung her peers. While in high shcool she was social director for the student council, lighting director for the school drama club, and a member of the SRC. School staff praised her strong leadership skills. Dana maintained a 91 per cent average in math and an excellent all around average.

She is very dedicated to her volunteer work with the Canadian Cancer Society and develtoped a Jail ‘n Bail promotion for her school to raise funds for cancer research. Dana is also an active colunteer for the Heart and Stroke Foundation where she serves as a spokesperson. She also spent four years working for the Swift Current Hospital’s gift shop.

Of Dana her nominator says, “She brings a social conscience to her activities at school by developing programs to raise awareness of health issues like cancer and cardiovascular disease.”

Candace Triol

This young individual has repeatedly demonstrated the meaning of giving.

She was instrumental in involving her family in a church progect called Operation Christmas Child, an outreach designed to send boxes of toys and toothbrushes to needy people in other countries. For the past two years she has spearheaded a raffle to raise money for telemiracle. This involved writing buinessess and celebrities for donations of gift certificates, CD’s and other items for raffle prizes. She then sold these tickets to the people in her community of Prud’homme.

Although she was born with a heart problem called Stenosis, and tires easily, she still musters energy to run several programs. Candace has also developed a Kids Kare Klub, and association for children who want to improve the environment by encouraging recycling, reducing, and planting trees. After school she tutors other children and teaches them crafts.

“Candace is a heart and soul child. She feels your joy and pain as if it were her own,” says her nominator. She is at the top of her class academically and excels in music. When Prime Minister Chretien’s house was broken into, Candace sent a letter to Mr. Chretien comforting and assuring him that Canadians wished him well. This letter, written in both French and English, was responded to by the Prime Minister. It is these characteristics that make her very special.



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Joel Rivero

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Karen Clark

Jason Dubois

Trina Hodgson

Patricia Rudneski

Tanya Schultz



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Julie DaSilva

Brad DeLorey

Angie Greer

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Tonya Marie Lambert

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Kari Anna Marken

Melanie Louise Oliver

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Patricia Williams

Christopher Kutama

Theresa Seiferling

Ian Chisholm

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Rebecca George

Christopher Williams


Christine Ciona

Sandra Thomsen

Donna Collinge

Denise Mazurek

Neena Saxena

Richard Gabruch


Thomas Erikson

Heather Kuttai

Annalee Fuhr

Tania Miller

Mark Tysowski

Melissa Hansen


Jason Kennedy

Keri-Lyn Robins

Shelley Stevenson

Trent Tuttosi

Michelle Kainer

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Heather Laxdal


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Tim Grenier

Aubrey Wait


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Jill McCrimmon

Karen MacBean

Chris Fleming

Gail Cleverly

Hilary Wait

Karen Teledetzki

Deanna Wittig

Laurianne Gabruch


Kim Ohashi

Liza Falkowsky

Sharleen Jahner

Timothy Soloshy

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Stacey Smith


Christine Boyer

Marie Mihalicz

Brent Allin

Patricia Quaroni

Beverly Giles

Hugh Jansen


Heather Miller

Cyprian Enweani

Sandra Bradly


Simon Johnson

Cory McCallum

Fay Brunning

Lesley Robertson


Paul Lendzyk

David Lendzyk

Lisa Wassil

Colleen McCall

Carol Mazur


Alvin Law

Michael Stutt

Judy Sander

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Jim Werbicki

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Larry Hockley

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