Lindsay student wins prestigious Terry Fox Humanitarian award
The 15 exceptional young Canadian recipients of the 2023 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award have been announced — and a Lindsay student is among them. The Award provides scholarships valued at up to $28,000 each to recognize young humanitarians who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and determination in overcoming an obstacle an positively impacted an area of critical need in society, while excelling in academics, athletics, and civic life.
Diagnosed with Lyme Disease at thirteen, Siobhán Marie faced challenges that made her believe it is essential to foster hope in other young people with disabilities. Although Lyme Disease affects her physical and mental wellbeing, she has learned to view her experiences as an opportunity for personal growth.
Siobhán’s advocacy for free menstrual products with the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association led to systemic change at the provincial level through a three-year grant. Acting as the Student Trustee for Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington District School Board, Siobhán has positively impacted over 15,000 students.
The COVID-19 pandemic limited everyone in different ways, but Siobhán viewed it as an opportunity to help the needs of marginalized people. She founded the healthy living program ‘Stepping Stones’, which promotes physical wellbeing, substance use prevention, and mental wellness. Siobhán has helped families in need by providing grant-funded recreational opportunities and donating to local breakfast programs.
Siobhán’s work in and outside the classroom is equally impressive. She maintained a 98.4% academic average in Grade 11 and 12. Her value for education is driven as well as exemplified by her goal to create educational inclusivity, which is evidenced by Siobhán’s extensive volunteering in the Special Education Resource Department of a local elementary school.
“My experience living with Lyme Disease, combined with my humanitarian efforts, has taught me that perseverance, empathy, and determination are instrumental in making a long-lasting impact. In honour of Terry Fox, I will continue to persevere and find positivity in my experiences to empower current and future generations of the world,” says Siobhán Marie.
Siobhán plans to pursue a career in education and looks forward to continuing her humanitarianism work while studying at Queen’s University.
“Each of these incredible individuals remind us of Terry Fox in some way. In them, Terry’s legacy as a humanitarian and inspiration to others continues to better this country. Like Terry, these students respond to the needs of others and commit their efforts to benefiting society. We are very honoured to contribute to their journeys as they pursue their first degrees and beyond,” shares Paulina Chow-White, the Executive Director.
The 15 recipients of the 2023 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award come from all walks of life, and all parts of Canada. Each has faced challenges that have shaped their worldview and driven them to help others in their communities.
Whether advocating for marginalized people, mental health, education access, refugee integration, child welfare, environmental action, LGBTQ2 rights, medical and health research or aboriginal rights, each young award recipient is dedicated to changing the world for the better and living a life of action and purpose.
“This year’s recipients were selected from over 839 applicants. More than ever, students need the support of programs like ours. For over 40 years, students coming from the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Program represent the best of Canada. We hope you will join us in celebrating their accomplishments and wishing them continued success” added Paulina Chow-White.