2018 Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers Award Recipients
Ten young people will receive the 2018 Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers.
Vickram Bachan of Toronto volunteers to improve student engagement and wellbeing in his community. He is the assistant coach of multiple sports teams and supports co-curricular and after-school programs at Carleton Village Sports and Wellness Academy, and volunteers to organize extracurricular events, fundraisers, and a reading club at the public school where he is employed.
Alannah Burris of Consecon participates in fundraisers and social events with the Hillier Women's Institute, where her youth and energy are essential in supporting the Institute's older membership. She also spends time volunteering at her school, where she was co-editor of the school yearbook and events chairperson on her student council.
Hayden Cheung of Richmond Hill is the founder of Youth Nation Alliance, an organization that connects youth across the Greater Toronto Area with organizations that need volunteers. He has spent more than 1,800 hours volunteering and has also pioneered a program connecting young newcomers with older students who help them adjust to life in Canada.
Josie Kearney of Aurora is the head of the Peer Mentor Group at Dr. G. W. Williams Secondary School, a student group that helps grade nine students adjust to high school and encourages students of all ages to volunteer. She has helped organize numerous volunteer opportunities for students in her community, including a holiday toy drive, fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and a registration event for bone marrow donors.
Ornela Kljakic of Woodstock is a longtime volunteer with Frontier College and a dedicated advocate of education and literacy programs. Ornela has spent more than five years as a volunteer tutor with at-risk students and mentored new volunteers to the program. She also supported literacy programs for young readers with the London Boys and Girls Club.
Dylan Langan of Hespeler is a conductor, composer and baritone who is dedicated to supporting emerging artists and making opera enjoyable, affordable and accessible for a wide audience. He is the founder and artistic director of Vera Causa Opera, a charity opera company that provides performance opportunities to emerging artists and affordable tickets to members of the community.
Yu-Jin (Jinny) Lee of Burlington has been a volunteer for eight years with Museums of Burlington and is renowned for her enthusiasm, work ethic, and compassion. She leads historical tours, supervises children's day camps, and conducts historically accurate cooking demonstrations. She is a mentor to fellow volunteers and a favourite with museum visitors.
Ashley Muir of Bowmanville volunteers to raise awareness and increase inclusion for children with special needs in her community. She volunteers with the Grandview Children's Centre, the Sunrise Youth Group and the Durham Down Syndrome Association. She is the chair of Grandview's Youth Advisory Committee and was the catalyst behind the "Sibling Perspective" special needs campaign that the Grandview Children's Foundation launched in 2015.
Radhika Nangia of Sudbury volunteers to promote cultural awareness and increase the safety of her community. At the India-Canada Association she mentors other volunteers and organizes fundraisers and cultural events. As a member of the Chief's Youth Advisory Council, she also collaborates with the Greater Sudbury Police Service on youth outreach and engagement.
Michelle Schenk of New Liskeard is a dedicated advocate for individuals with disabilities. As the President of the Nipissing University and Canadore College chapter of Best Buddies, Michelle plans events, organizes fundraising efforts, and manages fellow volunteers. In planning events for Best Buddies Michelle has sought to create new opportunities and experiences for the participants, empowering them to set goals and achieve greater independence.