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

Katzie paddled together in honour of a fallen family member

More than 30 members of the Katzie First Nation reserve took part in the canoeing event

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

$29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge, but no start date

Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Maple Ridge group has been fighting to keep drive in bookings

Maple Ridge council will be asked to declare climate emergency

Vancouver, London and Los Angeles have already done so

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Most Read