Every year students who distinguish themselves in the Town of Petawawa receive an Outstanding Student Citizenship Award. On June 6, seven students were given their award. From left are Mayor Bob Sweet Brandon Cliché, Mitch Brooks, Grace Williams, Kaitlyn Hambleton, Preston Brouillard-Gallant, Josh O’Connor, Danielle Hawthorn and Awards Coordinator Bev Bimm. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

Seven Petawawa students receive Outstanding Citizenship Award

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Monday July 10, 2017

The youth of Petawawa continue to be a shining example of community involvement, with seven teens receiving an Outstanding Citizenship Award.

Having made an impact on their schools and communities, these very special young people were given their awards on June 5 in front of a large crowd of friends and family members.

This group has become part of a special 13-year legacy that celebrates the achievement and leadership of young people in Petawawa. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mayor Bob Sweet. “We feel very fortunate to live in this community where these young people are working to make it a better community.”

The list of achievements the students have under their belts is impressive. “I don’t know how they get through their studies with all the volunteering they do and yet somehow, they do,” said Sweet. “The cream rises to the top as they say.”

Awards coordinator Bev Bimm chose the winners based on merit, a task that she always finds difficult due to the number of deserving students in the area.

Recipient Fellowes High School student Mitch Brooks has demonstrated excellence. He is always soft spoken and polite, always available and never puts himself first. He has demonstrated hard work and perseverance to achieve his goals. Since Grade 9, he has participated in several sports including basketball, badminton, football and hockey. He also plays the guitar. Brooks was a leader on a camping trip to Algonquin Park with students with special needs and has provided occasional after school care for a teenage boy with autism. He plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Ottawa.

Danielle Hawthorn is a student from Centre Scolaire Catholique Jeanne-Lajoie. She is well liked by all and has been described as a dedicated, optimistic and well organized young woman. She is a member of the student council and is also part of a group of students working to bring about positive change at their school. She has helped organize food drives and volunteers at The Grind Coffee House in Pembroke, where she prepares and serves a free community dinner twice monthly. She dances and plays piano, guitar and ukulele. She will go to Carleton University where she will study Psychology with a concentration in Forensics, confirmed Bimm.

Grace Williams goes to Bishop Smith Catholic High School. She has been said to be an open-minded young woman with an outgoing personality who takes advantage of every opportunity, said Bimm. From this, she has been taught tolerance and respect for others while learning and maturing as a person. Grace has been an active member of the Student Athletic Society beginning in Grade 9. In Grade 11, she served as Public Relations Officer, and in Grade 12, she became the Co-President. She has played soccer and rugby and is often found organizing tournaments for fundraisers. She also volunteers in countless situations. She plans to study Global and International Studies at Carleton University.

Brandon Cliché is also from Bishop. He is an outgoing, well-liked young man. He engages himself in activities at school and in the community. As a spirit advisor on the student council, it isn’t uncommon to see him get dressed up to get spirit days rolling. Bimm said that he helps organize school assemblies and other functions and helps with Nangor Day. He has also gotten involved in the Dominican Republic Experience Team, helping raise about $12,000 as well as medical supplies and clothing. He is continuing his education at Queen’s University in Environmental Studies.

From l’École Secondaire Publique l’Équinoxe, Preston Brouillard-Gallant has made his mark. He is a personable young man who relates well when it comes to students of all ages and grades. He is respectful and is always happy to help out. He was the go-to person whenever technical help was needed for school activities at Festival Hall. He has represented l’Équinoxe as a distance runner and is a Reservist with 42nd Field Artillery Regiment (Lanark and Renfrew Scottish). He was even chosen to represent his community and country at this year’s Vimy Ridge Celebration, presenting the ceremonial Boot to Prince Harry. He works in Montreal as he awaits his formal call up to full-time service in the Canadian Air Force, said Bimm

Josh O’Connor, from Valour JK-12 School, volunteers for everything and often works behind the scenes and never seeks recognition. He is always quiet and reliable, asking what he can do to help out including staying to the end of events and ensuring everything is finished and cleaned up. As a member of the Link Crew, he always goes the extra mile. He attended the Leadership Conference in both Grade 11 and 12 and has volunteered at the annual Regional Hospital Christmas Party and the Turkey Trot in Pembroke. Bimm confirmed that he is a time keeper for hockey and enjoys playing badminton, soccer and tennis. As part of the Reach For the Top team, Josh appeared with his teammates on local television. He plans to continue his education at Queen’s University where he will study Engineering.

Also from Valour is Kaitlyn Hambleton. She gives a lot of her time to different causes, is very involved in her school and community and has earned many volunteer hours over those required. She is part of many sports teams including soccer, volleyball, basketball, badminton, cross-country and track and field. She also coaches volleyball. As a member of the Student Council, she was involved in organizing school dances and the “Reindeer Hunt.” She also offered childcare during parent/teacher interviews. She regularly volunteers for community events including Spring Showcase and Fall Showcase, AECL’s Social Club’s children’s Party and a spaghetti dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion in Petawawa as a fundraiser for the Kinder Konnection Nursery School. She wants to study physiotherapy at the University of Guelph, said Bimm.