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

Just Posted

Kelowna community bike ride raises $120,000 for charity

Money from the Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride went to the Canadian Mental Health Association

More road closures planned due to construction in Kelowna

Hart Road and Grantham Road in Kelowna will be closed beginning Thursday

Okanagan College culinary students experience local Indigenous flavours

Traditional Okanagan-Syilx styles were taught by Westbank First Nation Elders

Multi-Generational Activity Centre is officially underway in Lake Country

Federal government provides an extra $585k to support the project

Kelowna’s homeless population doesn’t have much hope of finding a bed at a shelter

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society says 300 people waitlisted for supportive housing

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Penticton baby suffers injuries from fall

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fall at a residence at 4 p.m. on June 26

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Public tip leads to seizure of drugs and weapons in North Okanagan

Concerned citizen spots male sleeping in car in residential area

Still months of investigation left into South Okanagan murders

Penticton came to a standstill on April 15, when John Brittain allegedly shot and killed four people

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

Most Read