Hana was selected as the recipient of the Everyday Political Citizen Award -- Under 30. Congratulations Hana!
When Hana Woldeyes arrived in Vancouver from Ethiopia just over 2 years ago, she was shy and unsure about what she could expect when starting school. Today she is regarded as a leader in the community and has been short-listed for the Samara Canada Everyday Political Citizen Project (EPCP).
Selected by a jury of 19 prominent Canadians, including nationally recognized figures Rick Mercer, Shad and Hon. Peter Milliken, Woldeyes is one of 21 finalists out of over 300 entries for the EPCP Award.
"Hana is an outstanding example of the many newcomer youth leaders we have here at the VSB," says Jennifer Reddy, Community Connections & Youth Coordinator for the VSB Settlement Workers in Schools Program. "And she exemplifies the very humble and necessary work they are doing to demonstrate leadership in our communities."
Upon her arrival to Vancouver Woldeyes was connected with the VSB's Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (EIYP), where she worked on a weekly basis with staff-who quickly learned about her passion for rights and responsibilities, the rights of youth, youth voice, women's issues and global political issues.
Recently, Woldeyes returned to EIYP as a Youth Ambassador to welcome newcomer youth to the district, and helped adapt Samara's Democracy Talks workshop materials for ELL audiences, and has also embarked on a story-telling project to forge positive relations between youth and their parents' migration stories.
Today, Woldeyes has overcome her fear of public speaking and gained confidence to share her knowledge and experience as an "everyday political citizen" from her life in Canada and in Ethiopia.
She has educated teachers and principals about the experiences of newcomer youth, and has educated governmental delegates from Denmark about how to welcome and include newcomers.
"Who can't be inspired by Hana Woldeyes?"asks Alison Loat, co-founder of Samara. "[She's] a newcomer to Canada who within just a few short years is more involved than many who have lived their lives here, and who is helping those around her better understand how politics works and how to connect to it."
Winners of the Everyday Political Citizen Project will be announced on December 3rd by Rick Mercer.