TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - October 06, 2016) - Today, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Prince's Charities Canada and WE, a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world locally and globally, are pleased to announce that award applications for The Prince's Youth Service Awards are open. Now in their second year, The Prince's Youth Service Awards honour exceptional young Canadians who are taking positive actions both here at home and in the global community. The Prince's Youth Service Awards encourages young Canadians to realize their potential, lead their communities through service and take action on local and global issues.
Made possible through the support of RBC, the awards will be given to youth who have distinguished themselves through community service and social action. The national awards are divided into four categories that celebrate unique achievements: Local Community Development, Global Action, Social Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability. Winners will receive their awards onstage at WE Day Toronto 2017 in front of 20,000 of their peers, to celebrate their amazing achievements and inspire others to take action on causes that are important to them.
"I could only encourage you to apply for the award or nominate a friend who is leading in your community, or who is a leading edge example of an innovator or an advocate for sustainability," said His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in a special video message to young Canadians. "I hope the awards will encourage you as well as inspire others." Watch a special video message from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales encouraging young Canadians to get involved here.
The Prince's Youth Service Awards encourages educators, family and friends to show their support by inspiring young people who are dedicated to making positive change in the world to submit an application. For more information on how to apply please visit: we.org/theprincesyouthserviceawards.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Prince's Charities Canada to bring the Prince's Youth Service Awards to young Canadians for a second year," said Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE. "This award program recognizes some of the brightest and most innovative young Canadians who are leaders in their communities and prove that anyone, no matter their age, can be a force for change. We're honoured to join together to celebrate all the inspiring actions that young people in this country have taken to make a difference both locally and globally."
In spring 2017, Award winners for each category will be selected by a panel of judges made up of notable Canadians including Spencer West, WE ambassador, motivational speaker and author; Amanda Sherrington, President and CEO of Prince's Charities Canada; Barry Avrich, Partner, BT/A Advertising; Matthew Corrin, Founder and CEO of Freshii; Joe Mimran, Founder, Joe Fresh and Dragon, Dragons' Den; Mike "Pinball" Clemons, CFL Hall of Famer, Vice Chair of the Toronto Argonauts; David Martin, President Horizon Capital Holdings Inc.; and Maureen Dockendorf, BC Ministry of Education Superintendent of Early Years.
"Last year's winners have all made an incredible impact in their communities with their amazing work and I think it's so exciting that this awards program has been able to support and recognize these young people as they work towards their goals, and redefine what is possible," said Spencer West, WE ambassador, motivational speaker and author. "I'm humbled to be part of the panel of judges again this year and be part of this awards program that is helping young people take their passion for change to the next level."
Along with a wood turned statue, the winner in each category will receive an invitation to participate in a transformative leadership development program and a bursary towards bringing their ideas to life.
Award categories include:
- WE Are Community Leaders Award
- Change can start at home. The recipient of this award is taking positive action in their community.
- WE Are Global Leaders Award
- Changing the world is possible. The recipient of this award is taking action on important global issues.
- WE Are Social Innovators Award
- Changing the world starts when you think outside the box. The recipient of this award uses innovative solutions to tackle social problems.
- WE Are Agents of Sustainability Award
- Taking charge of our planet's future is possible. The recipient of this award is dedicated to environmental stewardship and creative solutions to issues facing our environment.
Winners from last year's Prince Youth Service Award include:
- WE Are Community Leaders Award - Faith Dickinson, 13, Douro-Dummer, ON
At 9 years old, Faith Dickinson discovered a way to help comfort others through her blanket making initiative, Cuddles for Cancer. In the past three years, Faith has made over 2,000 "Cuddle blankets" for friends and people in need, near and far. Faith is passionate about social justice and shares her Cuddles journey with students across Toronto in an effort to inspire community action.
- WE Are Global Leaders Award - Ashley Murphy, 18, Ajax, ON
Ashley Murphy has lived her whole life with HIV AIDS. Ashley turned her struggle to strength by spreading awareness about the realities of living HIV positive with the hope of breaking the social stigma and one day ending mother to child AIDS transmission.
- WE Are Social Innovators Award - Brennan Wong, 18, Richmond Hill, ON
In 2013, Brennan Wong founded Pledges for Change, an organization empowering young people to step up and pledge to take action and create change around the world. Brennan's website is an online community where youth from across Canada and the world can make their pledge, share experiences and create awareness of issues with peers.
- WE Are Agents of Sustainability Award - Jessica Mayes, 17, Pierson, MB
Jessica Mayes is passionate about the environment and determined to improve her school's Eco footprint. Since founding her school's Sustainability Group, Jessica has helped create a greener community for her peers by replacing plastic recycling bags with reusable burlap bags, implementing a compost program in all classrooms, and updating recycling bins with a new water tight collection bin.
These youth will receive their awards on stage at WE Day Toronto on October 19, 2016, in front of 20,000 of their peers, celebrating their amazing achievements and inspiring others to apply for the awards.
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About The Prince of Wales support for young people and service
The Prince of Wales has long believed in the potential of young people and in the benefits of service. In 1976, His Royal Highness founded The Prince's Trust in the United Kingdom, which this year is celebrating 40 years of supporting 13 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school or at risk of exclusion. The Trust's programmes give vulnerable young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives, helping them develop self-esteem and skills for work. Three in four young people supported by the Trust move into work, education or training, and last year HRH's desire to help went global, with the launch of Prince's Trust International.
About Prince's Charities Canada
In Canada, a dedicated office, Prince's Charities Canada, was established in 2011 to expand and enhance The Prince's Canadian charitable work. Prince's Charities Canada currently has 12 initiatives including those focussed on help for veterans who want to start their own businesses; engaging corporate leaders on youth unemployment; revitalizing traditional Aboriginal languages and the promotion of wool as a sustainable fibre. Working from coast to coast to coast, their initiatives touch on one or more of His Royal Highness's charitable priorities including: the built environment, education and young people, global sustainability, and responsible business.
WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world. A unique family of organizations, WE is made up of two divisions: WE Charity and ME to WE. WE Charity is the charitable division that empowers change with resources that create sustainable impact through the charity's domestic programming like WE Schools and internationally through the sustainable development model, WE Villages. ME to WE is a social enterprise that creates socially conscious products and experiences that allow people to do good through their everyday choices. Join the WE movement today at www.we.org.
As one of Canada's largest banks, RBC is committed to providing the foundation, resources and guidance to help kids believe in themselves, become leaders and be inspired to take action to make the world a better place. Since 2012, RBC has been a National Co-Title Sponsor of WE Day and a National Premier Partner of WE Schools, reinforcing their position as a leading corporate citizen committed to empowering and enabling youth to become local and global agents of change. Through RBC's focused support of programs like We Create Change, We Act Financial Literacy curriculum resources and their own employee engagement efforts with WE Day events from coast to coast, RBC brings their commitment to life and helps kids from across Canada create the change they want to see in the world. Find out more about RBC and WE Charity's partnership here.