The first ever Youth Spark Awards celebrated around 150 individuals on May 31.
Family, friends and the nominees gathered in the Community Centre for a night of recognition and desserts.
The Youth Spark Awards, formerly the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards, featured six categories to be nominated in, five for youth and one for adults.
“I think that it recognized a whole different group of kids,” said Krista Carlson, FCSS Youth Services Supervisor, of the new format.
She said some of the nominations were the same from past years, but the categories rather than age groups, provided the opportunity to see all the different things these kids are doing to create a richer community.
“This year we really focused on the categories being about the activity that they were doing and not the age that they were,” explained Carlson. “So you would see elementary kids nominated for Athletic Ambassador with high school kids because they’re both doing great work in that area.”
Carlson added the format allowed more people to nominate, whereas in previous years most of the nominations coming from schools.
“Although we still had a large number from the schools, we had more sports organizations, more arts organizations, more community members nominating as well, so it was good to see a variety of nominators,” Carlson said.
The biggest challenge with the event was letting people know they had been nominated and extending their invitation, said Carlson, who says next year they will have to work on the way they communicate to the nominees to stress the importance of attending and being recognized.
“We are just so proud of all of these kids,” Carlson said. “They are just so amazing… these kids are going places.”
Every nominee was recognized on stage with a certificate, but only one from each category received the Excellence Award.
Good Deed Service Award – HJ Cody Interact Club
Arts and Culture Award – Gracie Mack
Service and Caring Award – Brynne Takhar
Athletic Ambassador Award – Sadie Jeffries
Inspiration Award – Tirzah Walter
The sixth category, Spark Champions, did not have an Excellence Award. All 46 nominees were recognized on stage with a certificate to celebrate the work they do with the youth in the community.
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