Celebrating Youth Leadership
Innovation. Transformation. Opportunity.

The CWY Youth Leadership Awards recognize the outstanding involvement of young CWY alumni in transforming communities through projects and initiatives that directly contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This year, we are pleased to offer three awards to young leaders who exemplify CWY’s mission: to increase the ability of people, and especially youth, to participate actively in the development of just, harmonious, and sustainable societies.

We are truly inspired and honoured to have received so many nominations this year and we applaud the incredible work CWY alumni from around the world are doing to better their communities. The Jury, chaired by the Honourable Christian Paradis, was tasked with the challenging task of selecting the Award recipients this year. Mr. Paradis highlighted that he “was particularly impressed by the quality of the nominations, and the level of commitment of the candidates, as well as the diversity of the projects and their impact on the target groups “.  Click here for the full video message from the Honourable Christian Paradis.

Two of the CWY Youth Leadership Awards are in the name of Mr. Guy Bordeleau, former Director at CWY, who saw Canada World Youth as a vital springboard to further youth engagement globally. We would like to thank his family for their continued support and commitment to Canada World Youth.

We are pleased to present to you the 2017 Award recipients!

Outstanding Indigenous Alumni Award


Indonesia 2014
Member of the University of Victoria Indigenous Initiative Committee, Canada

As a Coast Salish woman from Snuneymuxw, First Nations, Stephanie has recently found her voice and is acting to create change within her community through the health care system. Growing up on a reserve, Stephanie noticed the significant social issues that First Nations people face, and throughout her school years and even as a nursing student she has faced discrimination.  It is in this context that Stephanie decided to take action and leadership by participating in the University of Victoria Indigenous Initiative Committee.

The Indigenous Initiative Committee is focused on staff and faculty development and training to increase cultural safety for Indigenous people.  This committee recruits and seeks to retain Indigenous students by providing specialized support.  The committee’s work has also impacted curriculum development by adding a mandatory Indigenous course into the 2018 academic semester for Nursing (the first of its kind for the UVic Nursing program). Stephanie provides her unique perspective as an Indigenous person and student to improve the quality of support for students and ensure that culturally appropriate protocols are in place for the presentation of First Nations content in classes.  She has also provided leadership to other Indigenous students through mentoring and support. This has included volunteering for weekly circles with other Indigenous students to provide a safe place to study and discuss issues they may have faced in health care settings or the classroom. This support has helped in the retention and success of Indigenous nursing students.

Stephanie’s commitment to the committee is deeply rooted as she sees this as an avenue for addressing the inequalities that indigenous people face in the health care system.  Stephanie believes very strongly that this committee is a positive step toward improvement in the delivery of health care to Indigenous people across Canada. The health and well-being of Indigenous people in Canada is a deeply important issue for Canadians, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and Stephanie will continue to work toward this positive change.

Guy Bordeleau Outstanding Overseas Youth Alumni Award: 


Nova-Scotia/Indonesia 2009-2010
Founder of Sahabat Pulau, Indonesia

Coming from the coastal area of Bulukumba, South Sulawesi, Hendriyadi saw first hand how limited access to education and poverty can limit the potential of youth and children.  Working in collaboration with other CWY alumni, Hendriyadi founded Sahabat Pulau in 2012.  In 2014, he even resigned from his job at the CIMB Niaga Bank to commit fulltime to the mission and work of Sahabat Pulau.

Sahabat Pulau is a non-profit organisation focused on education and youth empowerment.  By working alongside Indonesian youth, the organization mentors Indonesian children, acts as a motivator and fosters brotherhood/sisterhood in the community. The organisation created thirty mini-libraries called Ramah Baca Harapan (RUBAH) that have impacted more than 1,000 children in rural and coastal communities across Indonesia. In 2013, in collaboration with Econotural Foundation & Bina Insan Hayati Foundation, Sahabat Pulau launched a new program called DESA-preneur. This program educates and empowers young women in rural areas through social entrepreneurship. At the end of 2014, two digital learning centers were also launched in Selayar, South Sulawesi and Taskmalaya, West Java. Currently Sahabat Pulau has more than 300 youth volunteers involved in facilitating programs for children and managing these rural libraries.

Hendriyadi proudly proclaims that “Born to be a volunteer” is his life mantra. He believes that by empowering youth and harnessing their energy through the work of Sahabat Pulau, illiteracy can be reduced thereby creating a brighter future for children across the coastal areas in Indonesia.

Guy Bordeleau Outstanding Canadian Youth Alumni Award


Quebec/Benin in 1999 and 2000
Room to Grow Children’s Foundation, Thailand

Since Jennifer’s CWY experience, she has lived and worked in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos and Taiwan, and she currently lives in Yangon Myanmar where she works as a project manager and social worker. The inspiration to found the non-profit organization Room to Grow (R2G) came when Jennifer was working in Umphium Mai Refugee Camp in Thailand and noticed that the children she worked with didn’t have many of the basic necessities of life.

Room to Grow’s mission is to alleviate poverty among un-parented children from Burma who have sought refuge in Thailand. R2G’s work includes providing direct support to children in the areas of nutrition, infrastructure and through the supply of basic necessities like blankets and underwear. To build institutional capacity, R2G provides training and support in donor liaison, small grants to groups to build their management skills, financial accountability, and stronger child protection mechanisms. R2G teaches and mentors young leaders in the project management cycle, assisting them to design and implement projects that benefit children in the community. The organization provides training and support for sustainable agriculture programs while also funding programs that provide undocumented children access to formal education opportunities in Thailand.

Having participated in community development in Mae Sot for more than 10 years, Jennifer has seen the needs and abilities of the community change a lot over that time. One of Jennifer’s key takeaways is that positive change happens one person at a time, on a daily basis, person to person, little by little, and everyone of us can be part of making that happen.

 In the lead up to the announcement of the award winners, alumni from around the world have been sharing their thoughts on leadership. Take a look at our videos and photos in our Series on Leadership here.

Award Laureates 2015

Award Laureates 2013

Cet article est également disponible en FR.