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TMMC’s GSA Pride Awards, By Washington Silk

We are proud to announce, in partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, three local youth from grade 7-12 received awards and $500 scholarships acknowledging the awesome work they were doing with their GSAs.

We had lots of great nominations and it hard to choose our Pride 2020 leaders! Thanks to everyone to participated and took the time to nominate a student.

The 2020 junior leadership award was awarded to Katelynne Bradley, a grade 8 student from Moffat Creek Public School. The 2020 leadership award was awarded to Ozzy Derouin, a student from Moffat Creek Public School. The 2020 diversity champion award was awarded to Llewellyn Robinson a student from Resurrection Catholic Secondary School.

Congratulations to Katelynne, Ozzy and Llewellyn! Check out this very sweet video of the student receiving their awards at our 2020 Virtual Pride Prom.

Lastly, a special thank you to our partners at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Employee Resource Group Spectrum!

 

Award Information

The Leadership Award ($500)
A student from any grade who strives for courage, boldness and acknowledges and learns from their mistakes. They are responsible and committed to the GSA. They have taken on a leadership role with one or more initiatives in their GSA. This award is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

 

The Junior Leadership Award ($500)
A grade 7 or 8 student who has shown that they are a strong member in their GSA and that they are invested in LGBTQ2+ equality. They have helped with one or more initiatives in their GSA. This award is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

 

The Diversity Champion Award ($500)
A student from any grade who actively works to make their GSA inclusive to all sexual, gender, racial and religious identities. This award is sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada.

 

Student Nominations

Kate Bradley nominated by Wendy Woodhall CYW from Moffatt Creek Public School

I would like to nominate Kate Bradley for the junior leadership award.  Kate has been a GSA member for long before I arrived at Moffat Creek.  Kate is a diminutive girl who thinks before she speaks, and is an incredible leader and friend to all members of our GSA.

I met Kate my very first day when she ran up to me to ask if I was still going to have GSA meetings.  I replied yes – and she was at the meetings every break after that.  Kate is a quieter person, she is very self aware, strong, thoughtful, kind and considerate.  She is a person that members feel they can go to to talk about tough issues, as well as be able to have a good laugh with Kate.

There was a member who had not come to GSA because they were previously friends with Kate but things had changed.  When I asked Kate about it, she was surprised and dismayed to learn that someone might not feel comfortable due to her.  Kate immediately asked if she could talk to the person and when the person came in, Kate told them in the kindest, most human way, that she wanted the person to come, that she valued them and their contributions and that the person was so welcome.  Because of Kate’s willingness to share GSA and her hope that ALL students would feel comfortable, our GSA from January to before March Break, grew from five members to nineteen!  And she welcomed them all.

Kate is an amazing writer and artist so when we started doing ‘Book Of The Queens’, she helped others so much she almost didn’t get her own letter written! The activity consisted of writing a letter to a fave queen and drawing a picture of the queen on the back.  GSAs in the region were also invited to participate and they did.

Kate was also involved in other initiatives that our GSA ran including announcements and posters for a week with a ‘kindness’ theme, culminating with Pink Shirt Day.  Kate was part of organizing stickers for members with the slogan ‘I’m a Proud GSA Club Member’ as well.

When our GSA started talking about Pride Month, Kate was very involved in discussions and topics about what we could do in our school to promote the Rainbow Community both inside the school and out in the community.

Kate has been involved with leadership in the GSA for a long time and has shown that she values equality, equity and justice.  She also values kindness, being supportive of others and accepting people for who they are.  I think Kate is a natural leader.  When she speaks, people listen, and its’ always a great message of hope and care.

Thank you for the opportunity to tell you about Kate as a leader in our GSA at Moffat Creek.

 

Ozzy Derouin nominated by Wendy Woodhall CYW from Moffatt Creek Public School

I am nominating a grade eight transgender student named Ozzy Derouin for the leadership award.

At the beginning of the new year, Ozzy came out as trans.  He lives with his grandparents because the rest of his family are not supportive of this change.   The stress gave Ozzy some mental health challenges and the members of his GSA missed his company for a couple of weeks as Ozzy, responsibly, sought help.

When Ozzy came back to school, he had shaved his head for a video.  This was very brave because it could have been a huge cause of bullying, however, Ozzy took the stance that he is who he is, and he will be who he will be and to heck with whoever didn’t agree!  Ozzy was able to show pride in himself, and his confidence in being himself influenced many GSA members.

Ozzy was instrumental in encouraging members while they worked on a project known as ‘Book of The Queens’.  This book consisted of GSA members writing a letter to a favourite drag queen from  RuPaul’s Drag Race and drawing a picture of the queen on the back of the letter.  Ozzy was the one to come up with the name of the book and we all voted on it.  Other GSAs in the region were also invited to participate in this event and we had other schools do that.  One submission was from a member who had started at Moffat and transferred to another school but still wanted to do it because Ozzy was involved

Ozzy is a natural leader and is very vocal and strong in his message of ‘be who you are!’ and ‘love who you are!’.  He inspires other members to be stronger, to care more for each other and to laugh together.

Ozzy was also involved with doing announcements for the week long ‘Kindness’ theme, culminating in Pink Shirt Day in February. Ozzy also wore stickers to school with other members that said ‘I’m A Proud GSA Club Member’

Ozzy also drew posters and had many ideas on what the GSA could do for Pride Month. Had Covid 19 not closed the schools, I know that Ozzy was preparing to lead members in many activities such as fund raising, chalk rainbows and posters.

Over the course of the time I spent with this group, Ozzy really stepped up and was a leader and a source of strength, compassion and laughter for every member of the group.  I have been impressed that, even with all the challenges working against him, Ozzy has come through so much and emerged as a person that other students could go to for help or support.  I hope that Ozzy is honoured for all the wonderful things he has contributed to our GSA this year.

Thanks very much for the opportunity to highlight a leader in our GSA.

 

Llewellyn Robinson nominated by Marianna Worth Chaplain at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School

Llewellyn has been a champion for students of a sexual minority within the Rez Community since grade 10. Llewellyn has always participated in the Safe spaces (Our Rez GSA) retreats, activities and awareness campaigns since they began in grade 10. In grade 11 and 12 Llewellyn has been a co-lead in safe spaces, and has spoken to staff at staff meetings regarding the importance of language, the use of pronouns and supports for our LGBTQ+ students. Llewellyn sends out weekly reminders to safe spaces members about the meetings, they support new students to the school to help them feel included and loved, as well organizes retreats and events in and outside of school. Even though Llewellyn has overcome many of their own obstacles, they show kindness, leadership, courage and pride in being a champion for our LGBTQ+ community.  In fact, Llewellyn is seen as the “go to Student” to consult with on matters of inclusivity and safety and they have become the LGBTQ+ student voice for the community. When Llewellyn presents to the entire staff, there is not a dry eye in the room, and leave the presentation feeling changed and moved and better informed. Llewellyn painted the very first Rainbow “R” in our safe spaces room and on t-shirts and posters for the school community! And when Llewellyn speaks to the students body in our “Building Schools of Mutual Respect”, they command attention and speak with confidence and pride…and students listen. Llewellyn is an incredible speaker, leader and champion in the Resurrection Catholic Secondary School Community!