Sixteen year old Tatyanna Stoesz has been nominated for a Women of Excellence Award due to her volunteer work in the community.
Stoesz says she was honoured to receive a nomination, but hadn’t heard of the awards before being nominated.
“I wasn’t expecting it, so I was definitely shocked… I also thought why me? I could think of 20 other people who could have been nominated,” Stoesz said.
She said her drama teacher at H.J. Cody, Jacqui Renwick, nominated her for the award in the Young Woman of Excellence category based on the volunteer work she does at the school and around the community.
At the school, Stoesz volunteers with the breakfast program and as a kitchen manager. She says she likes being able to help people and bring a smile to their face.
That is something she gets to see when volunteering at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library, she says.
“I’ve always been the type of person who wants to help a person if I see they are in need,” she said.
On top of that, Stoesz has spent time volunteering at the Sylvan Lake Archive and Klassic Kennels in Red Deer.
“I believe that everything has a meaning to it. I use empathy when I volunteer, and put myself in someone else’s position to see how they feel,” Stoesz said adding, “I think I’m showing people that someone cares.”
Stoesz has met a number of the other 56 women nominated for an award this year through the Red Deer and District Community Foundation’s Women of Excellence Awards.
She said the women nominated are all amazing and inspiring.
“The other young woman in my category [Ola Zein Alabdin] is just amazing… She volunteers at the refugee centre in Red Deer, and is wonderful.”
Stoesz says she is also greatly inspired by the women nominated in the Women of Excellence in Construction category.
“Normally when you think of people in construction it isn’t someone who wears high heels on the weekend. They are challenging gender norms and that is really inspiring,” said Stoesz.
She said moving forward one goal she has in mind, other than to continue volunteering, is to help others begin the process.
In particular, Stoesz says she would like to help educate other young women about volunteer work, its importance and how to get started.
Winners of the awards will be announced at the gala event at the Cambridge Hotel in Red Deer on June 19. Tickets are available to purchase at www.ticketsalberta.com.