Sylvan Lake is full of youth who will be leading the way in years to come with determination, resourcefulness and passion.
Nearly 300 young people from Sylvan Lake were recognized on May 4 with the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards.
Each youth were presented a certificate at the awards and had a moment on stage where family and friends had the chance to take their photos.
Individuals and groups were recognized before the Excellence in Leadership Awards were presented to three individuals and one group.
Krista Carlson, FCSS youth services supervisor, said she was very happy with how the night progressed and the number of people in attendance.
“This year we had more youth nominated than ever before,” said Carlson. “I think we had around 100 more nominees than last year.”
The gym at the Sylvan Lake Family and Community Centre was full, with standing room only.
Carlson estimates there was about 420 people present at the ceremony.
“If we keep growing like this, we are going to need to find another venue,” said Carlson.
Though a new venue wouldn’t be a bad thing, according to Carlson, as it would show how amazing the youth of Sylvan Lake while showing how much the adults appreciate the youth in the community.
The adults of Sylvan Lake have really gotten behind the awards, and took the time this year to celebrate 293 youth between the ages of six and 18.
Carlson says she loves the awards because it shows the youth of Sylvan Lake they are appreciated and thanked for all that they do.
Many of the youth nominated take time to volunteer in service groups, through school activities and in the community.
“The awards, I think, shows we appreciate what they are doing and encourage them to continue.”
While the awards night is wonderful, Carlson says her favourite part is actually what comes after the night.
In the aftermath of the Leadership Awards, many youth come forward more motivated and determined.
“We see a new passion in a lot of kids. I’ve had some come up to me after and say they were inspired by one of the kids who won the excellence award, and that is amazing,” Carlson said.
The winners of the Excellence in Leadership Awards are:
Age 6-11 Category: Zayna Rogers
Age 12-14 Category: AJ Sandulac
Age 15-18 Category: Starla Fifield
Group Category: H.J. Cody Interact Club
Coun. Teresa Rilling acted as emcee for the night and thanked each of the youth present for their hard work and continued efforts to make Sylvan Lake a better place, no matter the age.
“There were so many… who were worthy of the Excellence in Leadership Award,” said Rilling. “Thank you for all that you do.
“Thank you for making a difference in our community and in our future, because you are making the decisions you need to make today.”