May 15, 2020 – Youth Week 2020 wrapped up across the Tri-Cities on May 7 with an online awards event recognizing young people, adult mentors, businesses, organizations and youth groups making a difference in the lives of local youth.
Although the 2020 Youth REACH Awards were held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain an important way to recognize those working to significantly empower, celebrate and impact youth in the community. REACH stands for Recognizing Efforts and Achievements across Community and Home, and nominations for this year’s awards were accepted in March and April.
Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody each take turns to present the awards – typically, held in person with an audience – and 2020 was Coquitlam’s year to play host. Thirteen recipients were recognized this year.
“Although the world has changed around us, it’s important that we continue to recognize those who are making positive change in our community and in the lives of others,” Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said. “Coquitlam congratulates all of this year’s REACH award recipients and encourages you to keep up the good work.”
“Congratulations to all the award recipients and my heartfelt thank you for your hard work in making Port Coquitlam a stronger community for everyone,” said Mayor Brad West. “I’m very proud of the efforts of the PoCo Youth Crew and being this year’s recipients in the Youth Groups category. We appreciate all that you do and encourage you to keep making a difference.”
“On behalf of the City of Port Moody, I’d like to congratulate all the award recipients for their efforts to empower and inspire young people in our communities,” said Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov. “You are all invaluable leaders and mentors who are helping our youth to create a better future for everyone.”
Coquitlam’s youth team pre-recorded the 2020 awards show at Pinetree Community Centre, with multiple presenters announcing the recipients in the different categories while dressed up in their best, in the style of the Hollywood awards galas.
The 2020 Youth REACH awards video can be viewed at www.coquitlam.ca/youthweek and recognize the following recipients.
- Clare Provenzano, a hard-working and dedicated Coquitlam Youth Council member since 2018 who also helps international students adjust to life and school in Canada;
- Maya Uno, an active volunteer at Hoy Creek Hatchery’s salmon enhancement program whose dedication sets an example for the hatchery’s other youth volunteers;
- Emily Batty, who has volunteered at Port Moody Library as a Book Buddy, at the dog shelter, and as President of Heritage Woods Secondary’s Model United Nations;
- Chantelle Ward, who was recognized as one of Place Maillardville’s Star Volunteers in 2019 for her positive nature, work with children and other contributions; and
- Emelia Sinnott, a PoCo Youth Crew member who steps up to take on leadership roles and tasks that daunt other members, while also mentoring younger PYC members.
Adult Mentor category
- Amy Zanusso, an enthusiastic teacher who encourages students to engage in the community, including leading students to participate in Coquitlam’s Park Spark Light Brigade;
- Kumi Abercrombie, a caring teacher at Pinetree Secondary who helps connect her students with volunteer and work experience opportunities, including the Park Spark Light Brigade;
- Mohammad Asadian, who has engaged numerous Coquitlam Youth through his support of the Mundy Park youth pop-up lounge and the Park Spark Youth Committee he formed;
- Tania Pszonka, who has created long and lasting relationships supporting youth at The Getaway youth centre, where alumni youth often come back to visit her; and
- Duncan Crawford, who is dedicated to improving Coquitlam youths’ experience at The Getaway Youth Centre, including leading its decoration and redesign.
Business or Organization category
- Fraser Health’s Richelle Foulkes, who has led a vaping awareness campaign and poster contest for youth and provided vaping resources to local youth centres; and
- Access Youth’s Vishad Deeplaul, who plans events, volunteers on the Friday night youth outreach bus service, and also supports the Backpack Buddies to feed less fortunate youth.
- The PoCo Youth Crew, a dedicated group of youth volunteers and leaders who strive to make positive change in the community while planning events and activities for youth and residents.