Volunteer Lethbridge celebrated the volunteer spirit in the community Wednesday night, including a total of seven University of Lethbridge students who were honoured with awards at the 2015 Leaders of Tomorrow Gala.
The annual gala celebrates the achievements of local youth volunteers who have worked to better Lethbridge and southern Alberta. The Leaders of Tomorrow program acknowledges youth who have made outstanding contributions to our community through volunteering. Volunteer Lethbridge recognizes and celebrates the dedication, conduct and good work of exceptional youth volunteers whose example is an inspiration to their peers.
A total of eight Excellence Awards were handed out and two U of L students received recognition, Michelle Kwan and Alyssa Waldner (their citations are below). As well, Ashtin Halmrast, Holly Locke, Heung Yee (Janis) Lui, Jordie Prestie and Jacquelyn Walker, all of the University of Lethbridge, were honoured with Recognition Awards.
Michelle continuously demonstrates leadership and is an inspiration to others. Michelle has been an active volunteer with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre for two years where she is involved with Junior Naturalists and Extreme by Nature as a program assistant. She also acts as an Exhibit Rover where she provides direction and answers questions from visitors. Michelle volunteers with the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge particularly in their children ministry as a Sunday School Teacher. Her work within Alberta Health Services is also commendable. She has acted as an Ice Water Deliverer and Pediatrics Volunteer where she provides one-on-one attention to the patients and siblings on the Pediatrics Unit. Michelle is involved in many other volunteer organizations throughout Lethbridge such as the Lethbridge and District Humane Society, The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Collegiate Institute. Michelle is consistently thinking of others first rather than the needs of herself.
Alyssa is a devoted volunteer with a passion for helping! She is an Assistant Music Educator to the Con Moto singers, where she helps spread the love of music. Alyssa has volunteered her musical leadership and talents with St. Augustine’s Church as the Music Coordinator for Vacation Bible School, Lethbridge Musical Theatre, the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Family Services and many other organizations. As a student at Winston Churchill High School, she was President of the Interact Club where she organized the “Bald for Bucks” Campaign, acted as Student Council Vice-President, and the Young Blood for Life Peer Recruiter for Canadian Blood Services where she increased blood donations within her school. This year, Alyssa has volunteered with Volunteer Lethbridge as the Leaders of Tomorrow SCiP Intern where she has assisted with the overall organization of the event. She also volunteers at Gift Wrapping and the Summer Colour Fun Run.
The Leaders of Tomorrow program began in 1997 and has grown over the years. Since its launch, the program has recognized 1,825 young people, including 74 nominees being recognized at the 2015 event.