The Town of Sylvan Lake recently upheld their tradition of paying tribute to young leaders in the community at the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Ceremony.
According to Krista Carlson, FCSS Youth Services Supervisor, the event recognized 101 youth nominees and six different youth-oriented groups.
“All the nominees are invited to the Leaders of Tomorrow Award Ceromony, which took place on May 5,” she said. “We have a celebration for the awards and we bring all the nominees up on stage. We have three different age categories: we have 6-11; 12-14; 15-18 and then we also have a group category – meaning someone could nominate a group like the Girl Guides, for example. We have an excellence award winner in each of those categories, as well as recognizing all the nominees.”
For Carlson, being able to recognize all the nominees is what is most important and the excellence award is a way to inspire others.
“It shows that their good deeds don’t go unnoticed, and it inspires others to follow suit,” she said. “I often hear things like ‘I didn’t win this year but I am inspired by what that winner did do, and I am going to go out and do even more.’ It is a great way to recognize these young people; we often only hear negative things about young people, so this is a way to show off all the good stuff they do.”
By recognizing leadership at a young age, Carlson believes that the Town can groom the future leaders of Sylvan Lake.
“These kids are going to hopefully be the future leaders in our community,” Carlson said. “They will be our business leaders, our doctors, our lawyers, Town employees and journalists. We hope they stick around in our community, and be the future for our community.
The Awards Ceromony changes its theme every year in order to provide a one-of-a-kind feel for the award recipients and nominees, according to Carlson.
“Every year is unique, I feel,” she said. “Every year we have a different theme. It is always very youth friendly and we keep it not so formal. It is a really important event and we want these kids to feel it is about them and not about the adults in the audience. It was a hip hop theme, so we took it back old-school. We had bright neon colours and we had DJ Sabatoge, who goes to Mother Teresa School. I always like to involve youth in every part of the event – both of our emcees were former recipients. It was really all about the young people.”
Carlson added that “we really want to pay tribute to the nominators. These adults are looking out for all those good things young people are doing and they are the champions for the youth.”
The Excellence Award Recipients in each of the categories were:
Jordyn Temoshawski – 6-11 category
Jessica Routhier – 12-14 category
Stuart Penman – 15-18 category
Bethany Peer Volunteer Team – Group category