Editorial — Outstanding youth

The nominees for the Pete Swensson award show that many young people today are highly motivated and ready to make a difference.

The five outstanding young people who were in the running for this year’s Pete Swensson youth leadership award should cause people who bemoan the values and commitment of younger generations to rethink their positions.

While there simply isn’t enough space to detail their impressive achievements in an editorial, all of which have occurred before they have even graduated from high school, Times readers can find out more about the nominees in a series of features in this issue.

Swensson award winner Keara Graham is representative of this group of young people.

A press release from the Township tells more: “A Grade 12 student at Walnut Grove Secondary School, Keara is dedicated to making an impact at her school, in the community, and in the world. Described as a “difference maker,” she is the initiator and leader of the school’s Me to We Club which has raised more than $10,000 to build a school in Haiti. Keara volunteers at Langley Gardens Retirement Community, Canadian Blood Services, and the Langley Vineyard, serves on Student Council, and mentors Grade 8 students.

“Having played hockey for 10 years, Keara is co-captain of the Langley Lightning Midget A1 team and was a member of the 2011 B.C. Provincial Championship Team. A cross-country runner, she also excels in track and field, earning a fourth place finish in the 200m hurdles at the 2010 BC Summer Games.

“An “A” Honour Roll and “Effort” Honour Roll student since 2008, Keara has received the WGSS Gator Award two times, was in the top three per cent in Grade 12 for the fall term, and has served as a member of her school’s Humanitarian Club and Special Event Planners and Activities Committee.

“A columnist for her school’s online newspaper, Keara is also a member of the Bilingual Debate Club who participated in the 2012 Provincial Championships and has served as a volunteer and referee with Langley Girls Ice Hockey.

“A recipient of the 2013 Global Citizen Scholarship, she was one of ten students chosen from across Canada who will take a trip to Costa Rica later this month for the Global Student Leaders Summit.”

She and many other Langley young people are already making a difference in this world.