2015 Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers Recipients
Established in 1998, the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers honours youth between the ages of 15 and 24 who have given a large amount of their time to a charitable or not-for-profit organization or initiative; and who have inspired other young people to volunteer. The medals are presented by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
This year, eight youth have received the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers:
Sarah Day, 17, of Mamorahas served as a member and Chair on the municipality’s Youth Committee for the past five years. She has organized numerous youth dances, parade floats and fundraising events. In 2008 she spearheaded a local fundraising drive that raised the funds necessary to construct a new splash pad for local kids and their families.
William Laurie, 18, of Chatham has contributed more than 1,000 hours of public service since entering high school, despite living independently and working to support himself since the age of 16. William spends most of his volunteer time at The Hub, a charity café, where he contributes by stocking the fridge, cleaning counters and tables, sweeping floors and making sandwiches.
Kylee Mazerolle, 17, of Hillsburghhas contributed more than 1,000 volunteer hours with the East Wellington Community Services where she helps in the Adult Day Program for seniors facing challenges related to frailty, Alzheimer’s, dementia and various disabilities. Kylee also regularly helps with events organized by the Erin Optimist Club and the local soccer club.
Robbie Palmer, 23, of Ottawais the co-founder of the Kwagala Ministries, a community-based organization created to help kids living on the streets of Jinja, Uganda. Robbie returns to Canada every summer to raise money to provide the children with food, clothing, shelter, education and the opportunity to mend relationships with their families when possible.
Liam Rondeau, 17, of Oakvillevolunteers on a daily basis with the Breakfast Club at Thomas A. Blakelock High school setting up food before students and other volunteers arrive. Last year he took on more responsibility and now helps with inventory, accounting, food service and fundraising. The club now serves more than 200 students each morning.
Samantha Smith, 17, of Thunder Bayis President of the Youth Council at the Multicultural Youth Centre in Thunder Bay. Samantha works with the Council to connect with youth in small and remote communities across northwestern Ontario, inspiring and encouraging them to become actively involved in their communities and helping to reduce loneliness among First Nation students billeting in larger cities.
Danielle Sparkes, 17, of Lindsayspearheaded an initiative that raised hundreds of dollars and collected more than 3,000 food items for the Kawartha Lakes Food Source food bank. Today she is the only youth member on the Board of Kawartha Lakes Food Source. Danielle’s contributions have also included helping out at a women’s shelter and raising funds for Lindsay’s Academy Theatre.
Taylor Young, 18, of Dalkeithis a gifted piper and fiddler. For almost five years he has been a member of the Glengarry Pipe Band, a community-based non-profit ensemble, volunteering his musical talents at many local community events. He has made significant contributions to the Celtic community in Glengarry County, actively encouraging other young people to embrace and promote the local Celtic traditions and culture.