YCMHS student Janell Stewart has been selected as a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award. She is pictured here during a used clothing/swishing project she undertook earlier in the school year. CARLA ALLEN PHOTO
By Tina Comeau
A student at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School says she was surprised to be nominated for a Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award given that, she says, there are many other deserving students who could have just as easily been nominated.
But when Janell Stewart was selected as one of the recipients for the award, she says she was honoured and thankful to have been nominated.
“I feel it is very important for young people to feel valued within today's society, as the feeling of value produces respectful, productive citizens,” she says. “I strongly believe this generation of youth should have knowledge regarding respect, leadership and self-esteem, as we are the upcoming decision makers, leaders and mentors of the world.”
Students from across the province will be at Government House on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to receive the Lieutenant Governor's Respectful Citizenship Award.
"I was impressed by the recipients' passion and dedication to making their schools, communities and the province safe and accepting places," said Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant. "These students are the leaders of tomorrow, but they have started to make a difference today. Their work is to be commended and they are very deserving of this honour."
The recipients of the Respectful Citizen The award recognizes students who demonstrate leadership and commitment to creating safe and inclusive spaces, where bullying behaviour is not accepted, and respectful and responsible relationships are promoted.
In a description on award’s website, it states, “There are few things in the world more powerful or more life-changing than a good deed.”
YCMHS student Janell Stewart was nominated for the award by Jeremy Dease, a guidance councilor at the high school, who wrote in his nomination letter: “She is very involved in many aspects of the school community. Her outgoing personality is matched by her demonstrated leadership abilities and professional attitude concerning the betterment of her fellow students, and the school community as a whole.”
Dease noted that Stewart’s involvement in such endeavors as Free the Children, organizing a successful school/community-wise used clothing exchange and her involvement with Restorative Justice in the school community are examples of her level of engagement and dedication to service.
“I am confident she will continue to be a successful ambassador of justice, good-will, and concern for the betterment of her community in her future endeavors,” Dease said.
For her part, the student says her involvement in these groups is based upon her favourite quote: ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ She says the groups she is involved with don’t always garner a lot of attention, but they are doing important things.
“These groups are involved in many small projects, which are all based on bettering the world, one step at a time. Projects include small book collections for Attawapiskat to Restorative Justice circles to resolve community problems within youth,” she says. “This helps provide many with a sense of security and the feeling of value.”
Stewart is one of 68 students (both as individuals and parts of groups) that have been selected to receive the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizen Award. There were 126 students nominated for the award.
Two awards are presented within each school board in the province. The other Tri-County Regional School Board recipient is Mikya Francis of Digby. She is an active member of the her school and community, and sits on multiple committees, including the Gay-Straight Alliance, Me to We committee, Sexual Violence against African Nova Scotian Women and the SHYFT youth board.
The full list of recipients of the award are:
-- Janell Stewart, Yarmouth
-- Mikya Francis, Digby
-- Trenton Ward, Glace Bay
-- Riverview High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Coxheath, Cape Breton
-- Caleb Talbot, Port Hawkesbury
-- The Green Team, Guysborough
-- Ella Webster, Bible Hill
-- Riley MacEachern and Allison Ellis, Truro
-- Grace Whebby, Dartmouth
-- Erin Brown, Dartmouth
-- Douah Shakshuki, Wolfville
-- Stephen Bennett, Middleton
-- Robyn Whynot, Liverpool
-- Lunenburg County RCMP Youth Advisory Committee, Lunenburg
-- Adele Orovec, Halifax (CSAP)
-- Lauren Ead, Halifax (CSAP)
For more information about the award and the recipients, visit http://antibullying.novascotia.ca/ns-lieutenant-governors-respectful-citizenship-award .