The 2017 BC Social Innovation Youth Awards are a celebration of the province’s extraordinary young leaders and innovators. RADIUS had the pleasure of co-presenting this year’s awards with the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation. A diverse array of individuals with a variety of project types were nominated from around the province. The panel of social innovation experts tasked with reviewing the nominations and selecting the winners had their work cut out for them!
Ultimately, from a large and impressive collection nominations, twelve winners emerged. It is our honour to share their names, faces and stories with you now…
Meet the 2017 BC Social Innovation Youth Award winners!
As Executive Director of YELL Canada, David Cameron has mentored hundreds of young entrepreneurs since the charity’s inception in 2013.YELL has expanded to serve 150 youth annually in BC, a number that is expected to double in 2017/18. David is investing deeply in Canadian education, youth entrepreneurship and social innovation, inviting community leaders to build a brighter future for Canada by equipping high school youth with the competencies, skills, attitudes and habits of great social innovators and entrepreneurs. Prior to YELL, David co-founded Radius Ventures, a social venture accelerator at Simon Fraser University and he was the Manager of Innovation at The Next Big Thing Foundation, an innovative youth fellowship co-founded by Ryan Holmes and Meredith Powell. David also represents the voice of young innovators to the BC and federal governments through the BC Partners for Social Impact and National Youth Innovation and Leadership Agenda.
In 2016, Colin noticed that many of his classmates could not afford to buy Christmas presents for their parents, so he created Santa’s Workshop. The fundraising campaign provided financial assistance to 20 of his classmates, allowing them to shop for their parents.
Colin is 12 years old and lives in Vernon, British Columbia. This is his first year attending the Vernon Community School. Colin moved with his family from Ontario in 2012. He has been involved with the Vernon Minor Football Association for five years and has dabbled with boxing as well. Colin’s entrepreneurial streak keeps him busy helping seniors in the community with their yard work in the summer and snow in the winter. He has also maintained a paper route for almost four years and volunteers occasionally at his church. Colin is a budding chef, helping his mother in the kitchen when there is a lull in the action.
In 2014, Albert was selected as one of the top 10 under 25 entrepreneurs to receive support from The Next Big Thing foundation. Five years later, his non-profit organization, Tech Easy, has provided technology support to over 1,000 seniors from over 40 senior communities.
Ever since he was young, Albert has been an entrepreneur at heart. Inspired by his grandparents, he decided to start Tech Easy at age 15 in order to provide free technology education for senior citizens. Currently, Albert is a 2nd year commerce student at the University of British Columbia. To Albert, innovation is all about taking an iterative problem-solving approach and he looks forward to tackling bigger problems in the future!
Since its inception in 2016, CANSave’s growth has been rapid, and the financial education program for primary students now impacts over 6000 students in 80 distinct communities across Canada.
Abbey Jones is a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration student specializing in marketing at Okanagan College. Along with several of her peers, Abbey identified that a lack of financial education was prevalent in the current school system. With faculty support from Enactus Okanagan College,
a non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher-education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their community, Abbey and her team created CANSave to teach primary students the importance of saving, both for themselves and for those in need.
In the three years since its launch, Mealshare has partnered with restaurants to provide over a million meals to youth in need. Mealshare places their logo next to a few menu items on a restaurant menu, and when a customer orders a ‘Mealshare Item’ they not only get their meal, they also provide one meal to someone in need! Buy one, give one.
Andrew Hall, the co-founder of Mealshare, received a BCom degree from the University of Victoria. After graduating, he worked in consulting with Deloitte for a few years before following his passion to create a business that makes a difference. When Andrew’s not growing Mealshare, he’s running, hiking, travelling or trying something new.
The Moose Hide Campaign, a national grass-roots effort to end violence towards Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and children, has distributed more than 250,000 of its pins to people across the country and secured support and participation from organizations such as the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the First Nations Health Society and the RCMP. The recent MBA Games, a competition involving 20 universities, focused its creativity and energy on the Moose Hide Campaign, ultimately attracting $300,000 in new funding.
Raven Lacerte is a proud member of the Carrier First Nation in northern B.C. and belongs to the Grizzly Bear Clan. She is the co-founder and Youth Ambassador for the Moose Hide Campaign. Raven is also a member of the National Steering Committee for the national 4Rs Youth Movement, whose goal is to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together to speak about reconciliation. She is a hunter and practitioner of traditional Indigenous cultural and ceremonial activities, and she recently completed the Indigenous studies program at Camosun College.
Brandon’s Social Media Safety and Digital Literacy programs have reached more than 300,000 senior high school students, including 132 who reached out for help because of self-harm or suicide attempts resulting from cyber-bullying or cyber-sexting incidents.
Brandon, a master’s student at Royal Roads University who specializes in professional communication, has a background in various academic and professional work placements but his current profession and passion is cybersecurity and privacy education. He travels across the province and North America with his family’s business, teaching students about the importance of online safety, including topics such as promoting respectable online citizenship and cyberbullying prevention. He makes a point to encourage students to continue utilizing the power that digital technology has to offer and helps them to develop the skills necessary in today’s online world.
Anna is the COO of Knack, a startup initiative of Potluck Café Society that uses digital badges (or micro-credentials) to create a clearer path between employers who are driven by a desire to affect positive change in their community and a labour force that is well-trained and highly motivated to work. Since its creation, Knack has awarded over 350 badges to more than 50 Knack Earners, giving them recognized credentials and ultimately increasing their weekly income from paid employment.
Anna has always been drawn to learning about complex social and environmental issues happening
in the world around her. As an MBA student, Anna joined the Local Economic Development Lab, a shared initiative of RADIUS SFU and Ecotrust Canada. Working directly with Potluck Café, she explored innovative ways to build a more inclusive local economy in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. After she completed her MBA at the Beedie School of Business, Anna was hired on as COO of Knack.
Carmen Moreira created SQx Dance Company in 2012 to promote anti-bullying and anti-racism for school-aged children. Since then, it has grown to become Canada’s most booked school tours program, engaging 120,000 people in 2016 and attracting investment from Boeing, Telus and Canadian Tire.
Carmen Moreira graduated from Mount Allison University in 2008 (BA (Hons) English) and London Contemporary Dance School (BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance) in 2011. Last year, she created “Over a Rainbow,” a contemporary dance and projection work that has been performed in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Canada. This year, she is working on another interdisciplinary work called “Coroner,” which is in the midst of creation in Canada, New York, Norway and Iceland.
In 2016, Fresh Roots supported 3,390 youth through two educational farms, hired 21 struggling youth to build job skills through youth empowerment programing, grew almost 4,000 kilograms of healthy food and provided 10 green-collar jobs.
Marc Schutzbank is the Executive Director of Fresh Roots, working towards Good Food For All by growing educational farms on school grounds. These productive farms provide Good Food for the cafeteria and school community. At the same time, they are outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning of science, drama and business. Fresh Roots employs struggling youth who learn to grow and provide healthy meals for themselves and those in need while managing schoolyard farms as a social enterprise. Marc is a Fulbright Scholar, receiving a MSc. from UBC by exploring the economic viability of urban agriculture. Marc’s background in genocide prevention policy and finance drives his focus on social justice. When Marc is not on the farm, you can find him running along the beach or checking out a new recipe.
Krystian created the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter, the first and only newsletter of its kind in B.C. It has a growing audience and is moving towards self-sufficiency from advertising revenue.
Krystian was born with intellectual disabilities, which he likes to refer to as diverse abilities, and from a young age wanted to give back to his community and reduce discrimination. He has taken online courses for internet safety and done presentations about them. As a 23-year-old, he became the first self-advocate to start his own newsletter, which focuses on disability awareness and success stories. Krystian is now 27 and runs his business with minimal support. He makes money from advertisers that go towards honorariums and his business. To learn more about his endeavors as well as to receive the newsletter, contact him on Facebook at Advocating for People with Diverse Abilities.
In its first two years alone, the Kwi Awt Stelmexw project, an arts and education non-profit organization, has engaged at least 200 Squamish individuals in supporting the growth of arts, culture and language through volunteering, paid labour, purchasing fundraising products or participating in events. In addition, the project has raised over $30,000 to support SFU students who are in a full-time language immersion program.
Khelsilem is a Skwxwú7mesh- Kwakwaka’wakw educator, non-profit founder, university lecturer and language rights activist. He currently teaches as a lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Indigenous Languages. In 2015, he founded Kwi Awt Stelmexw – a phrase that means “the coming generations.” Its programming is dedicated to creating a society of language speakers, artists and cultural producers within the Squamish Peoples for the world. In 2016, he designed an adult immersion program for the Squamish Language to train new generations of adult speakers of his people’s language. His work is focused on strengthening Indigenous ways of being, connection and identity through language and arts. He believes the challenges Indigenous peoples face will require diverse thinking, deep knowledge sets and a type of social cohesion that only language identity can create.