Two Grade 12 students from Charles Spencer Highschool in Grande Prairie have some new hardware. Grace Stephenson and Kaydence Redding were given the Governor General of Canada’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at this year’s WE Day event on October 12th.
Both girls were nominated a few months back by their teacher. Grace says they found out the day before they left for the event that they had won.
“I was extremely shocked and overwhelmed with emotion. I just didn’t think that my contributions were enough to even win a medal this prestigious so it was very shocking.”
The medal is given to a person who has made an impact on their community through volunteering, Both girls are part of a club at the school called the Maverick movement. Since they joined in 2015, they have raised $30,000 for the WE charity to support education, water and food.
Through that club, they have also been to Nicaragua and Tanzania to build schools. Kaydence says she was inspired to get involved after she first heard about WE Day in grade six.
“I heard the story of Craig Kielburger, who is the founder of WE and it made me realize how lucky we are to have what we have. I just felt that if I have everything I need and more, it’s my job to be sharing that with other people.”
The WE movement was started over 20 years ago by Kielburger with the goal of freeing families and children in other countries from poverty. Since then, it has also expanded to offer support to young people in Canada and the United States who want to change the world. We Day is a yearly event that brings together those young people.
Moving forward, Kaydence is working on starting a food program at the school and Grace is working on a composting program using worms from Uruguay. Together they are also fundraising for a future trip to India in 2020 to help bring fresh water to a community there.