Laurentian Valley honours outstanding youth
Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett honoured this year's recipients of the Outstanding Youth Awards during the council meeting on May 16. In photo (from left) are Mackenzie Bell, Melanie Weisenberg, Mayor Steve Bennett, Caitlin Cybulski, Micaela Cooper, Maela Seguin and Emily Coulas.
LAURENTIAN VALLEY – The Township of Laurentian Valley recognized six of its brightest young men and women on May 16.
At the start of the regular council meeting, Mayor Steve Bennett honoured this year’s Outstanding Youth Award recipients.
Each year, the municipality doles out the awards to students attending one of the four high schools whose catchment areas include Laurentian Valley: Fellowes, Bishop Smith, Jeanne-Lajoie and Équinoxe.
In addition to enrolment at one of those schools, the youth must be residents of, or dependants of ratepayers in, Laurentian Valley, in order to qualify for the $150 bursary and certificate of merit.
Each school's guidance department is asked by the township to recommend students that they feel best exemplify the criteria for the awards in the categories of community contribution, personal courage, school leadership, young athletics or arts and literature.
“These awards are to acknowledge students who have gone beyond the regular 'going to school everyday' with their other achievements and their accomplishments. We encourage this and hopefully that carries on down the road for them,” said Laurentian Valley Mayor Steve Bennett.
Bishop Smith’s Caitlyn Cybulski was chosen based on her demonstrated qualities of sports leadership, her contributions with the community and her engagement within her school. Athletically, she’s been a member of many of her school’s sports teams and was awarded MVP distinction for her participation in Grade 8 basketball. For school leadership, she’s been a member of the Environmental Action Committee, Anti-Bullying Committee, Student Athletic Council, Prom Committee, Student Council and Amazing Race Committee. Within the community, she’s volunteered with Atyeo’s Dance Studio, Out Lady of Lourdes Church, the Boys and Girls Club and she’s served two years as the student trustee for the Renfrew County Catholic School Board.
Fellow Crusader Micaela Cooper’s volunteerism made her a prime candidate for the award. She completed a total of 344 volunteer hours with various organizations within the community including the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Pembroke Regional Hospital Gift Shop, the local food bank, Oktoberfest and the Horticultural Society. Along with her contributions to the community, Cooper participated in a mission trip to Dominican Republic, she organized school events with the Anti-Bullying Committee and she’s been engaged in school athletics.
Jeanne-Lajoie’s Maela Seguin has volunteered with St. John’s Ambulance, the Pembroke Regional Hospital, University of Ottawa’s Science and Engineering Campus, the Phoenix Centre Pony Pal Program and she’s been a leader with the Youth Cadet Unit. Seguin was also the recipient of her school’s Modesty award.
Mackenzie Bell, also from Jeanne-Lajoie, has volunteered at parish suppers, the Phoenix Centre, the Boys and Girls Club, the Pembroke Regional Hospital and the annual Silver Stick hockey tournament. She’s also participated in a number of her school’s sports teams and served as a member of the sports committee.
Fellowes’ Emily Coulas has been actively involved with her school’s athletics, was the recipient of the Fellowes Female Athlete of the Year award for Grades 9-11, she’s participated in community sports organizations, served as a counsellors at the Fellowes Sports Camp for four years and she’s been a member of the athletic council for three years.
Fellow Falcon Melanie Weisenberg was chosen for the personal courage and resilience of spirit she’s demonstrated with challenges she’s faced. She has also played on a number of her school’s sports teams, she’s been a member of the athletic council, served as captain of her volleyball and basketball teams and was elected co-president of her school in Grade 12.