Peace Wapiti Public School Division congratulates four Peace Wapiti Academy (PWA) students who will receive Aboriginal Youth Role Model Awards during the 17th annual Spirit Seekers Youth Conference feast on Saturday, March 5 at the Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) gymnasium. An award will also be presented posthumously to a former PWA student.
The five award winners will be among 20 outstanding youth from all over the Peace Country. Nominations for the awards are open to Aboriginal youth between the ages of 11 and 29 who have set and reached goals; are positive role models; demonstrate pride in their culture, and value and maintain a positive, healthy lifestyle.
"The biggest thing for me is sharing the news of the award with my students," says Shelly Logan, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Liaison Worker at Peace Wapiti Academy. "When I call them to let them know they have been chosen, they are shocked about the news; they cannot believe that someone would choose them to receive an award."
Grade 11 student Leighton Alook will be recognized at the junior level of a new category, Ahkameyimok, or "all of you persevere". Leighton shows strength of character as he envisions and works toward a better future. He is always willing to give others the benefit of the doubt.
Grade 12 student Brian Bohler has been selected for a senior Athletic Achievement award. He was invited to try out for the Edmonton Huskies Football Club at the end of his third year with the PWA Titans Football team.
Grade 12 student Janine Willier will be awarded for Career and Employment in the junior category. Now in her third year of PWA's Dual Credit Power Engineering program, offered in conjunction with Northern Lakes College, Janine has gained valuable work experience through summer placements at Weyerhaeuser's Power Engineering department. She completes regular shift hours while learning about her chosen career and developing confidence as a member of the power engineering team. Following her third and final placement this summer, she will write Part B of the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) exam.
Grade 12 student Angela Maki will be recognized for Academic Achievement in the junior category. Angela achieves high marks and completes her school work in a professional and timely manner.
Donald Moberly, who was due to graduate from PWA this year, will be recognized posthumously at the senior level of the Ahkameyimok category. Donald was determined to complete high school and set a good example for his younger siblings. He was known at his workplace as a go-getter who accepted feedback and worked hard to prove himself.
"I believe in my students and I want them to believe in themselves as well," adds Ms. Logan. "I tell my students, 'You need to know where you come from in order to know where you're going.' These awards go a long way in helping our students to believe in themselves and define where they are going."
The event will also include the annual $200 bursary presentation in honor of Hayley Gardner, a former PWA student who passed away in 2013. The Spirit Seekers Youth Conference is hosted by the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre in partnership with GPRC. For more information about the awards, visit https://spiritseekersyouth.wordpress.com.
Photo Caption: PWA students Leighton Alook, Brian Bohler, Janine Willier and Angela Maki have been selected for 2016 Aboriginal Youth Role Model Awards. Donald Moberly will be recognized posthumously.