Youth are the future of our community


2012 Youth AwardsTHUNDER BAY – National Youth Week is a time to celebrate youth and their involvement within their community. National Youth Week typically runs annually from May 1st-May 7th and this year the City of Thunder Bay’s Recreation and Culture Division, in partnership with the Thunder Bay Youth Strategy extended Youth Week 2012 in Thunder Bay to a full ten day celebration of youth from May 1st to May 11th, 2012.

April 30th, 2012 had marked the official kickoff to Youth Week 2012 in Thunder Bay. The Youth Week Planning Committee, Mayor Hobbs, Councillor Rebecca Johnson, Councillor Joe Virdiramo, students from McKellar Park Central Public School, and community members and supporters gathered to officially proclaim Youth Week 2012 in Thunder Bay.

As a part of the proclamation ceremony students from McKellar Park School helped spread the positive message of youth by participating in Positive Chalk Talk. Messages in relation to youth being the future of Thunder Bay and really caring about the community were expressed all along the concrete surrounding City Hall.

It was so great to see the level of commitment and support that went into Youth Week 2012 in Thunder Bay. It was a true community effort that provided many opportunities for youth empowerment and involvement through a variety of youth related events and activities. In addition to the many events that were planned by the Youth Week Planning Committee, many community groups/organizations and businesses also offered special activities, events, and opportunities for youth as a part of the Youth Week 2012 celebration.

During the ten day celebration youth took part in activities and events such as Creating with Watercolour, Keeping The Streets Clean…Makin’ TBAY Green, the Youth Voice Photo Challenge 2012 Exhibit, Swagga Showdown!, Rock the Park! Step Up to Leadership Conference, 2012 Community Cup Sports Youth Hockey Tournament, Folklore Festival, BMX Intro Skills Camp, Out of the Darkness Memorial Walk, Jane’s Walk, Mini-Putt at The Sports Dome, Youth Bowling at Mario’s Bowl, Toonie Swim at the Canada Games Complex, So Wii Think YOUth Can Dance!, and the 2012 Youth Awards Ceremony.

Be it through community engagement, volunteerism, recreation, or education, youth in our community are actively involved in meaningful activities every day and Youth Week was an opportunity to acknowledge their involvement.

The 2012 Youth Awards were open to the entire youth community and the ceremony was held at the Oliver Road Community Centre on Friday May 11th, 2012 to wrap up Youth Week 2012.

The ceremony was held to recognize and celebrate outstanding youth in our community, and their exceptional contributions. Awards that were given out included the Community Enhancement Award, Actions Speak Louder than Words Award, Celebrating Diversity Award, Uniquely Me Award, Leader of Tomorrow Award, and the Group Award.

It was an honour to have both Councillor Rebecca Johnson and Councillor Paul Pugh present the 2012 Youth Awards to the nominees in the 12-16, and 17-21 age categories before their families and friends. Councillor Johnson’s address to the nominees at the ceremony really captured the essence of what Youth Week is all about. Paraphrasing what Councillor Johnson had said—the fact that these youth were even nominated for these awards means that they’re already making positive changes in the community.

The Youth Week Planning Committee would like to recognize all of the outstanding individuals and groups that were nominated for the 2012 Youth Awards, and applaud everyone’s efforts and contributions that they’ve made in helping strengthen our community.

Congratulations to you all:

Brittany Barrie (Uniquely Me Award Runner Up), Kane Butler (Leader of Tomorrow Award Nominee), Gurleen Chahal (Community Enhancement Award Nominee, Leader of Tomorrow Award Recipient), Simrun Chahal (Uniquely Me Award Recipient), Curtis Chisholm (Leader of Tomorrow Award Recipient), Kyle Chisholm (Actions Speak Louder than Words Award Recipient), Die Active Youth Arts Collective (Group Award Recipient), Jacqueline Taylor Dyck (Uniquely Me Award Recipient), Shawn Gong (Community Enhancement Award Recipient), Caley Hardland (Leader of Tomorrow Award Nominee), Hailey McKay (Leader of Tomorrow Award Runner Up), Kyler Mckenzie (Celebrating Diversity Award Recipient), Stephanie Nordlund (Actions Speak Louder than Words Award Recipient), Madeline Porter (Community Enhancement Award Runner Up), RMYC Regional (Group Award Runner Up), Quinn Spyrka (Community Enhancement Award Runner Up), Michelle Vecchione (Community Enhancement Award Nominee), Janna Wang (Community Enhancement Award Recipient), Westgate Gay Straight Aliance (GSA) (Group Award Runner Up), Betelhem Wondimu (Celebrating Diversity Award Recipient), Eden Wondimu (Celebrating Diversity Award Recipient), Youth Engaged in Tobacco-Free Initiatives (YETI) (Group Award Recipient).

A big thank you goes out to all of the community partners that helped make Youth Week 2012 a success; City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Youth Strategy, Community Youth Coalition, and United Way, and a special thank you also goes out to the Youth Week Planning Committee for all of their hard work that went into the planning of Youth Week 2012; Leeya Bobrowski-Vogt, Colleen Peters, Myles Cizmar, Kim Baskin, Mac Demchuck, Steve Tomé, Gerrit Wesselink, Nathan Ogden, and Kellie Milani.

Youth are the future of Thunder Bay and it was a pleasure carrying out Youth Week 2012 in Thunder Bay to celebrate all youth, and their involvement in the community. It was great to see so many youth actively participating in all of the events and activities, and we are looking forward to carrying out Youth Week 2013 next May!

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