School District 83’s Student Me to We Committee received word that it will be recognized for its hard work with an award that celebrates youth who have gone above and beyond to make their communities and the world a better place.
The committee will receive the “Get Doing Award” at WE Day on Nov. 22 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The event brings together speakers, activists, philanthropists and students to celebrate those committed to giving back to the community and others in need.
Shuswap students are selected for the Me to We Committee by teachers in each of the district’s middle and secondary schools. These students are recognized as being outstanding leaders and most commit to the group from middle school right through to graduation.
The District 83 Student Me to We Committee has been operating since 2006. Following the “Me to We” philosophy, the committee is “for youth, by youth.” Over the year student leaders rotate the committee chair position and work as a team to make excellent decisions, explains Principal Wendy Woodhurst, who along with teacher Lisa Coombs-Smith, are the committee’s sponsors.
The 2018 committee includes returning members Maddison Coombs, Keeya Corbett, Destaney Dean, Katie Findlay, Brynn Gowen, Andrew Hall, Richard Jurasek, Rhys Middleton, Brody Mitchell, Sebastian Nyeste, Chris Ollinger, Haleigh Parker, Taylor Parker, Sunny Pickup, Ethan Pyle and Fiona Young. This year, the committee is welcoming Maddison Collins from A.L. Fortune and is looking for new representatives from Carlin Elementary Middle School, Len Wood Middle School and Eagle River Secondary to add to the group.
Through the committee’s leadership organizing the annual Toonie Tuesday fundraiser, students and staff have raised more than $130,000 over the years to support both local and global causes.
Some of the funds raised by Toonie Tuesday can be applied for by student leadership groups for a local project, and these have ranged from food bank donations, knitting scarves for the homeless, making dog biscuits for the SPCA, providing wheelchairs for students to experience wheelchair basketball and Saturday babysitting organized by leadership students to give parents a break.
A new batch of projects will soon be under consideration by the committee as the grant applications for funding from the 2018 Toonie Tuesday were recently sent out to principals to share with leadership teachers.
Global funds from Toonie Tuesday have built schools and adopted villages in Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ghana, rural China, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Tanzania. Several of the committee members have spent their spring break in these villages working alongside community members, and further enhancing their leadership skills.