On Thursday, April 25th, several Huron County students along with their family members and the award sponsors gathered at the Bayfield Town Hall for the 2019 YMCA Celebration of Youth Awards.

These awards aim to recognize the youth in the county who have demonstrated compassion, innovation, academic responsibility, development of personal talents, and active leadership within their school and the broader community.

Virtual High School was honoured to sponsor the Excellence in Leadership Award. The purpose of this award is to recognize the hard-working young leaders in our community who often put others before themselves and demonstrate exemplary leadership and communication skills.

John Smallwood represented Virtual High School at the awards ceremony this year: “It was an honour to be chosen to represent VHS in this year’s Huron County YMCA Celebration of Youth Awards. The recipients demonstrated not only strong capabilities as leaders in so many areas but also a genuine awareness of others’ needs. The recipients, who have all decided to take up post–secondary studies, have demonstrated the potential that so many thousands of students have all across the province of Ontario, and VHS was happy to contribute to these students’ success in the future.”

The 2019 Celebration of Youth Award recipients (left) and John Smallwood of VHS with Ashlee Heipel-Bolger (right).

As a high school, we have the privilege of working with young people who are dedicated to both succeeding in their education and improving their communities, and we see their hard work pay off as they transition to post-secondary school or the workforce. VHS has long promoted local initiatives as well as youth programs, and contributing to the Celebration of Youth Awards is a perfect way to continue showing our support.

Congratulations to Ashlee Heipel-Bolger, recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award. We are excited to see where your hard work, dedication, and positive attitude bring you in the future!

Check out this video for a message from Ashlee about receiving the award and her advice for other students in the community: