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Kelowna teen helps make a difference

Local student Elicia Withers, 16, is one of eight leaders under the age of 30 from all over B.C., who are being recognized by the B.C. Council for International Cooperation as global citizens and models of civic engagement.

BCCIC is profiling eight youth from BC through videos, podcasts, and written profiles, which are available on BCCIC’s website (www.bccic.ca).

The profiles are part of International Development Week, Feb. 6 to 12, an annual campaign that highlights the work of Canada’s development community. This year’s theme is “I Am Making a Difference.”

Withers, a Grade 11 student at Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna, is fiercely proud of her Aboriginal heritage.

She is part Scottish, Peguis First Nation (Non-Status), Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, and Ukrainian.

Withers’ pride in her heritage, and her dedication to fight for the culture and language of her people, clearly runs in the family: She is the great-niece of Tommy Prince, an Ojibway World War II and Korean War veteran, who received prestigious awards for his courage and advocated for the rights of Aboriginal people in Canada.

She is also active in the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society. “I enjoy the Friendship Centre because when my family was struggling, they helped us out, and when I was taken away from my mom, they found me a safe home where I couldn’t be any happier to live.

“It makes my spirit more powerful if I know what I believe.

“And I believe I can make a better Canada.”

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