Outstanding young Albertans received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal in a special ceremony on Tuesday, July 26.
Her Honour, the Honourable Lois Mitchell, lieutenant-governor of Alberta, presented the 2015 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal to eight exemplary students at Government House. The medal recognizes the recipients’ volunteerism and leadership within their communities and schools.
“These remarkable individuals provide powerful examples of active citizenship. They are inspiring leaders who are willing to share their abilities and compassion with others and they are also fearless when faced with obstacles along the path to creating positive change. I look forward to seeing where their vision and energy take them in the future.”
“These eight young Albertans exemplify the values of civic participation, volunteerism and leadership. They have worked hard, persevered and made a difference, not only in their schools and communities, but also in the lives of the people they have impacted. Congratulations to the recipients on their achievement.”
The medal is awarded annually to eight Alberta students. The 2015 recipients are:
- Rahul Arora from Calgary
- En Chi (Angela) Chen from Calgary
- Amie Gartner from Daysland
- Alison Lee from Coaldale
- Hina Khan from Edmonton
- Alex MacRae-Korobkov from Edmonton
- Shiv Ruparell from Calgary
- Sabrina Yu from Calgary
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal and the Premier’s Citizenship Award were established in 2002 to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II.
Medal recipients are selected from among the Alberta high school students who receive the Premier’s Citizenship Award that year. Medal recipients are chosen by a selection committee of Albertans who are themselves outstanding citizens, volunteers and community members.
The award includes a $5,000 cheque, a letter of congratulations from the minister of Culture and Tourism, and a medal and a letter of commendation presented by the lieutenant-governor.
The award program is operated in partnership between Culture and Tourism and Advanced Education.
About the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal was created in 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ascension of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole.
The award focuses both on the achievements of those people who, over the past 50 years, have helped create the Canada of today, and on the achievements of younger Canadians who are actively contributing to our future.
In order to ensure all regions of Canada were represented, various organizations were invited to propose candidates, including the federal, provincial and territorial levels of government; national professional, educational and cultural organizations; the military; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; veterans’ groups; sports associations; and philanthropic and charitable bodies.
2015-2016 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Recipients
Rahul has been passionately involved in a variety of school and community activities. His enthusiastic and personable nature, along with his uncanny ability to balance academics and extra-curricular activities, earned him a spot on the school’s Youth Volunteer Corps Committee. As a Committee Executive, Rahul led countless projects; two of the most significant ones being support the Salvation Army and the Calgary Drop-In Centre. Through these projects he created hundreds of volunteer opportunities for students to prepare meals for homeless people. This experience enabled Rahul to create his own organization, homeLESS, which aimed to understand the root causes of homelessness through a video campaign and by bolstering volunteer interaction with the homeless. Rahul served as Vice President of Global Green Alliance Alberta, a youth-run, nonprofit organization with the mission to connect environmental clubs and youth groups with the resources and support required to create successful, sustainable change. He also contributed a significant amount of time and effort as President of the Operation Med School Calgary, a full-day conference providing youth with knowledge and resources in their journey towards medical school.
En Chi (Angela) Chen
En Chi (Angela) is a talented young scholar with a strong social conscience and desire to serve others. Her awareness of global humanitarian challenges and willingness to give openly is admired among her peers. En Chi is the Chief Newsletter Editor, Event Committee Chair, Marketing Committee Member and Communications Director with People for Progress Foundation (PPF), which is an education-based international charitable organization supporting schools and individual students in East Africa. En Chi’s volunteering in this program has greatly contributed to its continuous success as she was able to initiate new partnerships with various local organizations. She utilizes her innovative ideas to bring to life new, exciting events and inspire positive change in everything she takes on. En Chi’s most recent multi-media production documented the works of the PPF and is used for presentation at various fundraising events. En Chi is also a founder of Step Up Youth Initiative, a member of her church music ministry and a dedicated volunteer with a local hospital.
Amie has always made community service and volunteering an important part of her life. She goes out of her way to help others in her community, especially youth, the less fortunate and the elderly. Amie coaches soccer, volleyball and basketball, teaches Bible school, volunteers at local a Food Bank and serves meals to the poor and aged. Amie is a natural born leader and sets a positive example for others. She demonstrated her leadership qualities as President of her school’s Students Association, where she organized and lead many events such as Spirit Days, Terry Fox Run and Healthy Active School Initiative. Amie also contributed much of her time to her school’s plays and musicals. She held lead roles in “Aladdin”, “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Mary Poppins.” Amie was a leader on stage and off – she mentored cast members and was a positive source of guidance for her co-actors. Amie was also shortlisted for Speak Out, Albert Student Engagement Initiative, and was able to share education ideas and experiences with other Alberta students and the Ministry of Education. Speak Out gave Amie the opportunity to be a leader of change in her school and community.
Hina is an inspiring young leader who dedicates herself to many causes and engages her peers along the way. Hina demonstrated exemplary leadership skills as president of her school’s Student Union, where she lead 35 students in coordinating school daily activities as well as annual events. Hina established a teacher recognition award in her school, allowing students to nominate teachers for the Dream Team award. Hina is also a youth ambassador to the National Youth Advisory Committee for the Kids Help Phone program. She is a member of the (Newcomers Orientation Week (NOW) program. Through NOW, HIna helped to lead training and mentorship for new-to-Canada students. She has also continued with an extension of the NOW program, teaching new-to-Canada parents how to use computers and improve their computer skills. Hina was awarded a Top 30 Under 30 Youth award by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation and selected as the top youth for the Day of the Girl Child Award sponsored by Canada Woman Arise.
Alison is an example of a compassionate and thoughtful member of our society. Alison has faced numerous challenges in her young life and has been able to rise above them with a positive attitude and a strong desire to see constructive change in our world. Her willingness to be the voice of the voiceless has created impressive results. Alison has spent countless volunteer hours at Little Warriors, a national organization committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse. She raised over $35,000 in support of Little Warriors through her Shed Light campaign, by selling bulbs to light up a Christmas tree in her hometown. She was also part of the Be Brave Ranch renovation and spent weekends volunteering during clean-up and rebuild phases. Alison has become a strong advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse. She has played a large part in Little Warriors advertising campaigns, including the Building Brave documentary, and the new Prevent It! Program. Her hard work was recognized with the Young Woman of Promise Award at the YWCA – Women of Distinction Awards.
Alex is a young man who seeks to be the change he wants to see in the world. His sense of social justice and what’s right for the world are influential to all around him. Alex is a founder of the Alberta Youth Council on the Environment, a platform for Alberta youth to express their environmental passion, meet similarly-minded peers, and work within their community to make a meaningful change. Through his school’s INNOVATE program, Alex developed a radio podcast on CJSR called the Environmental Forum which encompasses different youth perspectives on issues of sustainable development. Alex is also a Vice Chair of the City of Edmonton Youth Council which gave him a platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights. He played an active role in successful opposing to legislation that would limit student access to gay-straight alliance clubs. As part of the Council, he was able to shine a light on issue of youth homelessness and poverty in his presentations to Edmonton’s Task Force to End Poverty. Through his involvement with the Student Voice Initiative, Alex created and implemented a new strategy for increasing student-policymaker engagement and began discussions with school boards across Alberta regarding the implementation of a student trustee position. Alex also founded a community of similarly-minded young artists, the Absurd Collective, providing a supportive environment for networking and gaining exposure and recognition for their talents and hard work.
Shiv has left a lasting impact on his school and local community. He worked tirelessly to create a new culture of understanding, respect and acceptance of diversity in his fairly tradition bound school. It culminated in the school’s first ever Diversity Week, which Shiv founded and chaired. This week-long event celebrates sexual, linguistic and cultural diversity through guest speakers, workshops and awareness campaigns. For his work, Shiv was recognized with Michael A. Copeland Memorial Award, given each year to a community member who had greatest impact on the lives of others in the school. Shiv is a humanitarian with interest in working with immigrants. He served on the Youth Advisory Council of Immigrant Services Calgary to help youth integrate into Canadian society and also volunteered alongside immigrants in local projects for Calgary homeless. Shiv has distinguished himself in the Calgary Speech and Debate community, through his flair and brilliant performances across a wide range of categories, and has participated with great results in many national and international public speaking championships. Shiv has also served as a Director of Media and Communications for Round Square, a global outreach initiative that promotes democracy and leadership throughout the world. Shiv participated in Round Square week-long leadership conferences in South Africa and Botswana.
Sabrina is an outstanding example of how much the youth of Alberta can accomplish. Sabrina led the Youth Volunteer Corps program at her school, creating projects to meet the needs of the school and surrounding community. While she contributed a significant amount of volunteer hours to these projects herself, she also created hundreds of volunteer opportunities for her fellow students. Children’s Birthday Miracle, Inn from the Cold, the Mustard Seed and Alberta Children’s Hospital are just a few of the organizations that have benefitted from Sabrina’s leadership and commitment. Sabrina has also served as a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Youth Advisory Council, providing input on important proposals, programs and services impacting patients and families. She has contributed her time as a Co-Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Youth Advisory Council, focusing on presentations to raise awareness about healthy living and cancer prevention among youth. Sabrina founded Skindeep, which partners with the Street Light program to support homeless and at-risk youth. The focus of the Skindeep program is to improve the confidence of underprivileged girls. Sabrina was chosen by her school to attend Encounters with Canada, the country’s largest youth forum for passionate youth involved in community and national affairs.