City of St. John’s Junior and Senior Youth of the Year’s
The City of St. John’s Junior and Senior Youth of the Year Awards were developed by the Municipal Advisory Committee on Youth (M.A.C.Y), and is open to St. John’s residents between the ages of 12 to 18 yrs. The Youth of the Year Awards are designed to honour young people in the City, who through their volunteer contributions, extracurricular activities and community involvement have helped to make St. John’s a better place to live.
Each winner will receive a recognition award as well as a cash award sponsored by The Ellsworth Group of Companies. The awards are presented during the annual Youth Week Luncheon.
Katherine Dibbon, is a grade nine student who attends Beaconsfield Junior High School. At the age of 14, Katherine has consistently demonstrated a tremendous level of dedication, commitment, and passion to help improve her community through her roles as student and volunteer. Katherine is actively involved and dedicates time to variety of initiatives including the Student Union, Breakfast Program, Choices for Youth’s “Coldest night of the year event,” Eastern Health’s “Friendly Visitor Program,” and the Cabaret Committee. In addition to this, Katherine has also remained actively involved as a volunteer with the Gathering Place, various Church related Children’s Programs, as a babysitter and a dog walker in her community. With her school’s Global Club, Katherine has travelled to St. Pierre, Quebec and most recently to Toronto to participate in a “We Day” event organized by the Charity “Free the Children.” A group who volunteers their time to organize various fundraisers.
Along with her volunteer experience, Katherine has been awarded Beaconsfield Junior High’s Achievement Citation, achieved Excellence in Music and awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries Story telling Award, all while maintaining a high academic record. Katherine consistently strives to develop herself as both a student and volunteer through training and education. She has completed a variety of Food safety courses through the Kids Eat Smart Program, First aid and CPR training, Novice Basketball Referee’s Course, as well as the Life Saving Society’s Bronze Medallion and Cross awards. Through Katherine’s student and volunteer experience, she continues to build on existing skills associated with public speaking, social awareness project management and coordination, French, while at the same time privately studying voice, piano and trumpet.
Katherine is a natural leader who inspires other young people. Katherine believes giving back to the community is a huge part of how we all should live and encourages that through her everyday life.
Senior Youth of the Year: Nitish Bhatt (pictured above- Left)
Nitish Bhatt is a 17 year old, grade 12 student at Gonzaga High School. Nitish has turned his passion into a reality and has had a significant impact on his school, the City of St. John’s, and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Nitish founded the United4Literacy Organization in an effort to create awareness around the importance of literacy and providing free, high quality, accessible and sustainable education to children facing socio-economic barriers. Over the last two years, United4Literacy has provided support to educate 21 children in rural India.
In addition to this, Nitish has been appointed as a continental ambassador to represent North America for the Tunza Eco Generation, an environmental networking platform for youth. He also founded the community based “InspireECO” environmental arts competition for middle School Students, elected as a minister for the upcoming 2016 Youth Parliament session, and also achieved the title of provincial champion at National Senior High school Championship Debate seminar. Nitish is actively involved in a variety of councils and committees. Currently he sits on the model United Nations Committee, is a youth development champion with Canadian Blood Services, the Co-Chair of his high school’s Social Justice Coalition, Student Leader for his schools STEM Engagement Initiative and part of the students on Ice Arctic Expedition. Along with this Nitish also finds the time to maintain his presidency with the EcoClub, stay involved with the NLTA’s School Math League, volunteer with the Association for New Canadians continue to play tennis and guitar.
With such astounding contributions under his belt, it is no wonder that Nitish has achieved a variety of notable awards for his achievements including the Loran Scholarship award, URock Volunteer award, Men and women for others award, Governor General’s caring Canadian Award and the Research inspired student Enrichment Award or RISE. Additionally, Nitish has been recently accepted into Memorial University’s concurrent studies program and is one of 20 young Canadians selected to attend an international Summer school for aspiring young Physicists. Furthermore, Nitish was awarded the Dr. Leonard Lye Scholarship which allowed him to attend SHAD Valley International and most recently been Awarded a national scholarship to attend the University of Toronto.
With all the being said, Nitish has been described as a person with compassion, understanding and a quiet maturity that is beyond his years.