Student receives award for civic engagement

Tupper Grade 12 student Hana Woldeyes has been presented with an award for being named the under 18 Everyday Political Citizen.

The national award from Samara Canada, a non-partisan charity championing civic engagement, was presented by Vancouver East MP Jenny Kwan.

Woldeyes, who emigrated to Canada from Ethiopia three years ago, said it was a great honour to be selected from 300 nominees.

She has been a Vancouver School Board Youth Ambassador welcoming newcomer youth, a My Circle facilitator engaging the voices of other youth, a Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House Youth Committee and appointed board member, and a participant and facilitator in Samara's Democracy Talks training.

"When I first came I felt really lonely," said Woldeyes. "There were people supporting me, but there was no one my age I could relate to. I thought my perspective could help newcomers feel more confident and welcome. I'm trying to help people to get out of that situation and engaged with their new life in Canada.

"It makes me feel good when people come up to me and say you inspire me and make me feel good about myself. I like to see people smile and I want to make a difference in people's lives because it is hard living in a new country."

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