OCDSB Students and Alumni Recognized at 2023 RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards

OCDSB Students and Alumni Recognized at 2023 RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards
Posted on 06/19/2023
OCDSB Students and Alumni Recognized at 2023 RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards

Nine current and former OCDSB students were announced as recipients of the 26th Annual RBC Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards for their achievements in academic perseverance, entrepreneurship and innovation, arts and culture, and more. Presented by RBC and hosted by Youth Ottawa, these awards recognize youth who are making our community, and the world, a better place. This year’s recipients will be celebrated at a ceremony at the Shaw Centre on June 29th, 2023.

Here is a look at the OCDSB students and alumni who are being recognized at this year’s awards. To read the winners’ full stories and learn more about their amazing accomplishments, please visit the Youth Ottawa website.

Academic Perseverance

  • Jocelyn B. (Nepean High School): Despite receiving a cancer diagnosis a year ago, Jocelyn continues to be a model student. She has pushed past a leg amputation and a full year of chemo while maintaining a high degree of academic excellence with bravery and a positive outlook on life. Many staff at CHEO have said they had never seen someone with such a positive spirit and have connected her with other oncology teens to support them. 

Arts & Culture

  • Fatimah K. (Gloucester High School graduate): Fatimah is a dedicated volunteer who has made a significant impact in her community by helping newcomers, providing tutoring, serving meals at the soup kitchen, and empowering youth. She expresses her creativity through her paintings – primarily using watercolours – which exhibit exceptional creativity, inspiration, and a distinctive style. Fatimah’s artwork often has a narrative quality, using symbolism and storytelling techniques to communicate difficult concepts and feelings. 

Entrepreneurship & Innovation

  • Innostation – Gabriel B., Aayush G. (Earl of March Secondary School), and Lina N.M. (Merivale High School): Gabriel, Lina, and Aayush founded Innostation: a non-profit organization that connects like-minded students and provides resources for academic and research pursuits. They have served as mentors and teachers, inspiring and empowering the next generation of leaders and change-makers. Their commitment to accessibility and providing resources at no cost to students has made a significant impact on the community. 

Max Keeping for Personal Courage

  • Tabarak A. (Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School): Tabarak is dedicated to elevating the voices of underrepresented communities. She founded the Muslim Student Association in high school; organized equity-based events to celebrate diversity and combat stereotypes; and worked with mosques and Muslim non-profits on advocacy goals in Ottawa. As an OCDSB Student Trustee, she works with other elected trustees, staff members, and various community groups and councils to introduce motions to further equity within the District. 
  • Raissa A. (Colonel By Secondary School graduate): Raissa is the Co-Executive Director and Project Lead for the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health. She also serves on the youth advisory council with the Knowledge Institute for Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions and Kids Help Phone; an advisor with the Mental Health International Youth Advisory Committee (G1G) and CAMH; and a Groundbreaker with Frayme. Raissa also founded ConnectSTEM, an organization that connects marginalized youth in Ottawa with STEM opportunities. 

Service and Caring

  • Anousheh S. (Earl of March Secondary School graduate): Anousheh co-founded Voluntunity, a youth-led non-profit that focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion by bridging gaps in the community through community service. With her leadership, Voluntunity has completed seven incredible projects, and they are currently working on community aid in preparation for the Ottawa flood season. Anousheh has also organized a potluck to celebrate neurodiversity and volunteered with DEEN services to uplift and empower disabled individuals.
  • Darya L. (Canterbury High School): Darya is a passionate and dynamic individual who works tirelessly to improve the world around her. She felt compelled to share the story of her father, a child soldier in Iran, and the struggles of her home country. She worked to raise awareness of these issues, volunteering for various charities and programs. Darya is involved in various clubs, worked on benefit events and fundraisers, and participated in 5k walks to support various charities. 

Take a Stand

  • Naomi G. (Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School): Naomi uses her voice and leadership in the Black 365 Student Union to advocate for Black and biracial students. From murals and button-making, to writing a collaborative letter to Black parents on behalf of Black youth and through her spoken word, Naomi engages her peers in youth advocacy. Her work has inspired other students to get more involved in social justice staff members to better understand the impact of microaggressions and racism on students.
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