The Duke of Edinburgh Award ceremony May 25, 2019 at Government House in Victoria. (Duke of Edinburgh Award BC & Yukon Division/Flickr)

VIDEO: B.C. youth receive Duke of Edinburgh awards for public service, personal achievement

Ceremony held May 25 at Government House in Victoria

Thirty-eight young people in B.C. and the Yukon who have been volunteering, developing new skills, and travelling far and wide over the past year were recently awarded with the prestigious silver level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The awards are given to 14- to 24-year-olds, recognizing four areas: community service, skill development, physical recreation, and adventurous journey.

This year’s honours were handed out Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin on May 25 at Government House in Victoria.

Jennifer Lee of Burnaby recalls hiking the Chilkoot Trail in Yukon.

“One of my proudest moments was standing on the summit of the Chilkoot Pass,” Lee said. She remembered standing on the edge of the Canadian mountain range thinking, “Wow, I’ve come this far and I can see this huge expanse of wilderness in front of me.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award has encouraged Lee to continue trying new things and explore.

“My next big plan is to canoe the Yukon River and continue to be a better Canadian.”

Kevin Javanmardi biked from Victoria to Sooke on the Galloping Goose Trail, which he described as a challenging task pushing his limits.

Despite the rain, he recalled making noodles with his father on a hot fire and looked to his older brother for inspiration on completing the trip.

“I kept in my mind that my brother did the same thing and I should be able to do it as well,” he said.

Isabella Gonzalez Kaminski has been pursuing the award through high school, focusing on sustainability practises including recycling, working on awareness of invasive plant species in Greater Victoria, and playing on her senior basketball team.

She described the achievers as driven and “doing something bigger than themselves.”

More than 15,000 youth participate in the program in B.C. and the Yukon, mentored by almost 1,000 volunteers through schools, community centres, and youth groups. There’s a special focus on low-income youth, youth with disabilities, Indigenous youth, new immigrant youth, and rural youth seeking new skills, adventures and challenges.

“These young people accepted this challenge for the intrinsic value of achievement and we honour their leadership. They are the leaders of today, and tomorrow,” said Sushil Saini, executive director of the award organization’s B.C. and Yukon division.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

Laid-off hotel workers begin hunger strike demanding job protection

Laid-off workers not sure what they’ll do when government support programs end

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read