There were 22 nominees at the 13th annual awards ceremony held last Thursday night at the Community Centre Auditorium.
This year’s awards went to Tannis Bassett, Carmen Bronsch, Matt Melnychuk and Tyson Phillips for their outstanding youth contributions. Each award winner received a $1,500 bursary.
“This year’s APEX Youth Award winners exemplify the kind of character and dedication that make this area a stand-out amongst regions in the province,” said APEX Youth Awards committee co-chair Coleen Campbell. “Our youth are our future, and we can rest assured that future will be a bright one. All our youth nominees — not just our bursary finalists — will be outstanding examples of just what our collective communities have to offer.”
Prior to the presentation of the awards, the evening’s guest speaker was Trevor Brown, who detailed his experiences in confronting poverty and genocide in sub-Saharan Africa, and utilizing one’s internal passion to do good for others and encouraging others to do the same.
A student at Chamberlain School in Grassy Lake, Tannis Bassett will be using her bursary to pursue her post-secondary education.
“I’m incredibly honoured. I was really shocked — I feel really happy, I don’t know really what to say. I’m planning to use it for my child and youth care program that I’m going into in the fall, to pursue that. It will help out a lot.”
Bassett encouraged others to get involved in their communities, and to never be discouraged.
“Just get involved in your community as much as you can. No matter how much you may not think you make much of an impact, but you really do in your community, even though you might not think you do. Those little things mean so much.”
W.R. Myers High School student Carmen Bronsch will also be using her bursary to pursue post-secondary opportunities.
“I’m very humbled and honoured to be recognized and awarded for something I just love to do, and have a passion for. I don’t expect this, I just love to help, so it’s awesome to be honoured. I am planning on attending post-secondary at Mount Royal University in Calgary, with a Bachelor of Communications. I’m looking into visual communications, so information design.”
Bronsch had these words of encouragement for individuals with a drive to do something positive.
“I would just tell them not to give up, and inspire others, and do what you want to do, because as small as you may seem, you will make a difference.”
A Vauxhall High School student, Matt Melnychuk is a leader both on and off of the hardcourt or baseball diamond.
“It’s really a good honour. I was really surprised when I heard I was going to win after hearing all the other people’s nominations and their stories. It was good.”
Melnychuk would like to continue with his sporting endeavours in future.
“I’d like to go to university, but I don’t know what I want to do yet. I’d like to play sports for as long as I can, baseball or basketball.”
St. Mary’s School student Tyson Phillips will be putting his bursary to good use in pursuance of an engineering career.
“It’s a great honour. I’m looking to be an engineer, so I need to put it towards being an engineer.”
Phillips encouraged others to lead by example in their communities.
“Just keep on doing what you’re doing, just make sure that you keep up being a great example and leading the community.”
The four runners up during the awards ceremony were Benjamin Torrie, Lauren Gouw, Susy Fast, and Emma Sawchuk. All received gifts from sponsors.