Sault Ste. Marie's Jeremy Dias is one of 11 Ontario youth to be recognized this weekend by the Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
Dias went to high school in Sault Ste. Marie, serving as a volunteer with Stop Racism, the Algoma AIDS Network, Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Diabetes Foundation and many other irganizations.
He launched the Sault's first LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, Queer or Questioning) youth group.
More recently, as a psychology and political science at the University of Ottawa, he has founded the national youth diversity initiative Jer's Vision.
The following statement was released by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration:
************************* Role models for tomorrow's community leaders
QUEEN'S PARK - Eleven young people will receive Ontario's most prestigious award for young volunteers, the Honourable James K. Bartleman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, announced yesterday. The Lieutenant Governor will host the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers investiture ceremony on Saturday, June 9, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. at Queen's Park in the main lobby of the Ontario Legislative Building.
"Ontario's youth need good roles models," said Mr. Bartleman, "so it is really important to publicly recognize outstanding young people who have shown leadership, initiative, perseverance and vision. These are the qualities we all need in our leaders of tomorrow." The Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers was created in 1998 to recognize the outstanding contributions of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 to improve the quality of life in Ontario and internationally through volunteer activities. "The exceptional contributions of these admirable young people are truly deserving of recognition," said the Honourable Mike Colle, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "Their contributions have had a profound impact, not only in their own communities, but across the province and in some cases, around the world."
Recipients of the award on June 9 are:
- Maddison Babineau of Hamilton (posthumous) for raising thousands of dollars for charity and motivating her friends to help raise funds for a village in Kenya.
- Justin Lucas Beaver of Summer Beaver for serving as a role model for his schoolmates at the Nibinamik Education Centre and for volunteering in his community.
- James Binsfeld of King City for inspiring youth with disabilities to participate in sports.
- Jeremy Dias of Ottawa who has set up a scholarship awarded for combating discrimination, especially those affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered communities.
- Ryan V. Hreljac of Kemptville who at age six set out to raise $70 to build a well in Africa, and whose foundation went on to build 266 wells over nine years in 12 countries.
- Christine Kerr of Fonthill who during the past 17 years has demonstrated leadership in encouraging volunteerism in her school, church and community.
- Laura Konkel of Toronto for her idea and promotion of the 2005 Victory Europe 50th Anniversary commemorative watch campaign to link today's youth with Canadian World War II veterans.
- Derek Lawrence of Thunder Bay whose advocacy helped see that the full cost of insulin pumps and supplies are covered for 1,000 children aged 18 and under across the province.
- Rohit Mehta of Mississauga for his many volunteer and environmental contributions to his school and community, and for being the youngest person ever to receive the Mississauga Volunteer of the Year Award.
- Jason R. H. Slater of Bracebridge for dedication to helping the homeless on the streets of Toronto.
- Nomusa Taylor-Dube of Toronto for improving the lives of disadvantaged adults and children both in Ghana and Toronto.
Recipients are selected by an independent advisory council made up of seven members appointed by the premier.
The lieutenant governor is the honourary chair of the advisory council.