Exceptional Oak Bay youth honoured

Winners of the 2011 Young Exceptional Star awards pose with their hardware Tuesday at the Sports View Deli and Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre. In back are Nadia Ghali

Winners of the 2011 Young Exceptional Star awards pose with their hardware Tuesday at the Sports View Deli and Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre. In back are Nadia Ghali

They are diligent students, talented athletes, dedicated musicians and artists.

Perhaps most of all, the youth honoured at the fourth annual Young Exceptional Star awards dinner Tuesday night at Oak Bay Rec’s Sports View Deli and Lounge are givers.

Story after story of the 14 recipients touched on examples of volunteerism and inspiring classmates to rally behind local and international causes.

“It’s such a warm feeling to know there’s so many kids in our community that do so many fabulous things,” said event organizer, Coun. Hazel Braithwaite.

Oak Bay High principal Dave Thomson said he is continually amazed at the engagement level of students.

“Within 11 hours of the earthquake and tsunami (in Japan), I had students emailing me wondering what it is they should be doing to help,” he said.

Six Oak Bay High students and four each from Lansdowne and Monterey middle schools were chosen from nearly 40 nominees. The awards recognize students in grades 6 through 10 who excel in school-based activities or studies, outside activities, or have overcome physical or mental challenges.

Most students excel in multiple disciplines. They ran the gamut, from two-time Island spelling bee champ and straight-A Grade 8 student at Lansdowne, Laura Weir to Grade 7 student Julia Young, who helped spearhead the child poverty initiative Me to We at Monterey.

The event ended with Grade 7 Monterey student Dalton Ferguson, who has cerebral palsy, being recognized for his sense of humour and willingness to push beyond obstacles to help get things done.

editor@oakbaynews.com