Young Exceptional Stars continue to shine in Oak Bay, a full decade after they were first introduced to bring youth, business and seniors together in a positive light.
“When I first started on council in 2005 one of the things that became apparent to me was bad press around youth in our community,” said Coun. Hazel Braithwaite, organizer of the 2017 awards. To combat that she approached a way to showcase the many good things youth were up to. It appeared business and seniors were among those affected by the negativity, so she approached then mayor Christopher Causten with an idea to bring the three groups together under an awards program. Students from grades 6 though 10 who live or attend school in the community are nominated based on everything from volunteering to overcoming obstacles.
“It recognizes kids who’ve done something in our community. It could be academic or athletic as well, but it doesn’t have to be,” she said. “It’s just grown since then.”
Oak Bay has handed out 101 awards as the YES Awards celebrate 10 years in May, sponsored the entire time by Oak Bay Kiwanis, Coast Capital Savings and the University of Victoria.
“This year we’re going to make it a little special for the 10th anniversary,” Braithwaite said.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel stepped in to sponsor the venue for the awards gala and she’s invited Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon alongside other community leaders.
“We’ll see if we can make it special in other ways as well,” she said.
Oak Bay celebrates its 10th annual Young Exceptional Star Awards on May 10.
Find nomination forms at municipal hall or at oakbay.ca.