2016-2017 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Recipients

Blaine Badiuk

Blaine is a passionate and talented youth leader in his school and the community of Grande Prairie. Blaine created the Maverick Leaders group in his school designed to encourage students to take action and get involved. As a key member of the group, Blaine led numerous projects, including Valentine Roses and Christmas Stockings for the local youth homeless shelter. Blaine created the Charles Spencer High School Facebook page and continually helped update and manage it over the years. He has also been a student representative on the school’s Parent Council, providing students’ perspective on school-related issues. Community has always been a focus for Blaine. He has been an active member of the City of Grande Prairie Youth Council working on numerous projects, including a project to improve the city’s transit system. Blaine also represents the students of Grande Prairie on the Minister’s Student Advisory Council with SpeakOut under Alberta Education. In this role, Blaine worked with district administration to set up avenues of student voices at the district level in addition to the work that was being done at the school level. This work resulted in a one-day leadership session for a large group of high school students to start building leadership capacity in their high schools.

Brandon Bosma

Brandon’s desire to make his life count defines good citizenship. Although faced with numerous challenges, Brandon has been able to rise above them and speak on behalf of those who might not be able or cannot speak for themselves. His condition, Trisomy 18, is labeled as “incompatible with life” but Brandon hopes to change that. Brandon is a talented and passionate speaker. He uses his voice to teach that children with Trisomy need to be treated like any other child. His thought-provoking messages about life with disabilities inspire those around him to think differently. In addition to numerous speaking engagements, Brandon regularly assisted young children in school with learning to read or other tasks. He helped organize youth events with his local Teen Council. Brandon also has participated in a Toastmaster Youth Leadership program. After being chosen for a prestigious Vimy Pilgrimage Award, Brandon attended the commemorative services in Europe with a group of Canadian youth and shared his experience with an audience of several thousand at the local Remembrance Day service. Brandon has received numerous awards for leadership in his community, including Great Kids Award, Enbridge Youth Leadership Award from the Famous Five Foundation, Pride of Strathcona, Yes, I Can International Award, and Panago’s Caring Kids Anti-Bullying Award.

Poshika Dhingra

Poshika is committed to making her community a better place. At Lindsay Thurber High School, Poshika helped guide leadership students in planning events that allowed the school to give back to the community. She also organized a school-wide clothing drive to help provide winter clothing for Syrian refugees, as well as fundraisers for United Way and Cystic Fibrosis. Poshika used her acting talents as a lead member in the cast of Butt Ugly, a program that travels to middle schools in Central Alberta giving performances with an anti-tobacco message. Poshika volunteers her time at the City of Red Deer’s Greater Downtown Committee where she helps make decisions about the future development of downtown Red Deer. Poshika promotes the spirit of feminism and gender equality as the Executive Member of the Youth Panel of the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association. Poshika is also the spokesperson for the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee, where she voices her opinion about issues affecting youth. Now, as a University of Alberta student, she is involved in Science FUNdamentals, promoting science to elementary school children and volunteers at VIDA, a university organization that helps provide better health care for the citizens in impoverished countries.

Chu Qian Li

Chu Qian has distinguished herself academically and through many activities in school and in the community. She has devoted a significant amount of time to making her school a better place. Chu Qian has actively promoted a number of school’s initiatives, such as Scarlett for Global Aid program where she helped organize numerous fundraising activities for the Alberta Children’s Hospital and Red Cross. She has co-founded a peer tutoring club and drafted a private session system that matched students with tutors, enabling them to tutor on their own time. Chu Qian has also been an active member of the Calgary’s Youth Central Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) since 2012 and has volunteered with numerous local organizations such as the Telus Spark Science Centre, Weaselhead Nature Preserve, the Calgary Zoo, and the Calgary Pride Festival to name a few. She has risen to the position of Student Leader with YVC responsible for creating and overseeing volunteer projects in her school. As a result of her dedication and hard work, E.P. Scarlett made a number of significant contributions this year, including fundraising for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, donating lunches for Calgary’s homeless population, and fundraising for Fort McMurray relief through a number of activities, with proceeds donated to Red Cross. Chu Qian is also actively involved with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Youth Action Committee.

Andrew Min

Andrew exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism, with a strong commitment to helping others. He has always been passionate about making his community a better place for everyone by contributing his time to a number of causes. Andrew is a co-founder of EquaLearn, a student-led, non-profit organization that focuses on providing educational resources to low-income, immigrant, or refugee families that need school supplies or free tutoring services. Andrew is also serving as a Co-Chair at the Mayor’s Youth Council. In this capacity he has led initiatives to engage youth in becoming more actively involved in municipal affairs. He is also a senior member of the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) steering committee at Calgary Youth Central. As a member of the YVC steering committee, Andrew helps run and direct Youth Central’s largest youth program providing these 3,000 volunteers volunteering opportunities with partner organizations. Andrew was an active member of his school’s Model UN team and was selected to be a delegate at Model UN conferences in Toronto, Montreal, and New York. Andrew has also served as a member of the Alberta Education Minister‘s Student Advisory Council which provided students’ perspectives on key educational issues in the province.

Srishti Shrivastav

Srishti is a determined, passionate and action-orientated individual who demonstrates maturity and dedication to a variety of initiatives. Three years ago Srishti recognized a need and created Youth Doctors of the Future (YDOF), a school club for students who wish to pursue medicine as a career. As president of the club, Srishti has worked with the medical community to facilitate site visits, guest speakers, and fieldtrips. Her volunteer work at the Peter Lougheed Hospital enabled Srishti to interact with the patients and medical staff and further enhanced her passion for medicine. In 2015, Srishti was the Plenary Director of the Operation Medical Conference in Calgary and helped coordinate guest speakers for the conference which attracted 150 students. As president of the Student Council, Srishti worked tirelessly to coordinate and facilitate successful learning experiences and community events for the students. Srishti has also actively volunteered for the Youth Action Committee of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and helped organize the annual CIBC Run for the Cure. Srishti’s thirst for knowledge, active involvement in advocacy, and dedication to community engagement made her the obvious choice for school valedictorian.

Emily Vilcsak

Emily is a compassionate, inspiring and ambitious young leader with big dreams and goals. She has been an integral member of the executive of her school’s Student Council. On council, she has been a lead organizer of school events and has been a tremendous mentor for younger students also passionate about student government. Emily also initiated a Coding Club as she saw a need for students to feel a sense of belonging. Beyond her involvement in school, Emily has also been a valued member of the St. Albert Children’s Theatre as an actor in 12 large scale productions and as a mentor to up-and-coming performers. Emily’s most incredible accomplishment has come through her journey through life with Cerebral Palsy. Emily has learned to overcome the challenges that have come with her (dis)ability and has used her determination to teach others how to maintain hope. Emily created a youth empowerment program called Mission I’m Possible that she has now presented to innumerable groups of young people. Emily was recognized at the We Day last year for the difference that her program has made for the youth in her community.

Emilie Xiao

Emilie is a compassionate, energetic individual that demonstrates leadership and energy with every project that she undertakes. Emilie has dedicated countless hours creating and leading projects that benefit recipients nationally and globally. Emilie served as the president of the Westmount Charter School’s Interact Club, a group which focuses on activities that globally impact those less fortunate. Some of the initiatives that Emilie has spearheaded include book drives, Christmas family sponsorships, and Clean Water and Global Health Awareness. Emilie was also the creator of Fastpitch, a social entrepreneurship contest requiring students to submit a business plan to allocate $2,000 to a cause they were passionate about. Emilie’s leadership skills were a distinct advantage when she co-founded The Ripple Initiative, a non-profit organization that promotes awareness about global clean water scarcity. In this role Emilie organized and promoted Water Walk events to raise money and awareness for the initiative. A talented athlete in her spare time, Emilie has demonstrated strength of character, leadership, energy, and passion in every task that she undertakes.

Last reviewed/revised: October 26, 2017
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