The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Canada - Saskatchewan Inc.

http://www.dukeofed.org/sk

My name is Olivia. I am 17 years old and currently finishing my Gold Award. I want to share my story with you today about how The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award helped me find my passion, purpose and place in today’s world. 

Shy. Timid. Introverted. Those are three words that describe me before beginning my Award journey. At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, obesity and depression. I was a victim of bullying in high school, I wouldn’t go out, I didn’t have a lot of friends, my grades were bad, and I had low self-esteem. I wasn’t physically active or involved in my community. Life before the Award was very different for me. 

The Award helped me become more comfortable with myself. It opened my eyes to who I wanted to be, who I always had been. The Award helped me discover how to be involved with my community, discover my passions, and how to maintain my physical and mental health. If it wasn’t for the Award, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I would still be stuck in my shell.

Confident. Outgoing. Extroverted. Those three words describe who I am today, because of the Award. Completing my Bronze and Silver Award allowed me to connect with peers, make new friends, go on amazing adventures and more importantly connect with my community. Through the Award I became a mentor and I organize sport camps for young girls from at-risk communities. By empowering them through sports, I am helping this next generation overcome hurdles that I faced at their age. I am currently writing my SATs with a goal to attend Brown University next fall. I want to continue my education in sports recreation to continue to make a difference. 

There are thousands of young Canadians just like me across Canada. That’s why I am reaching out today. I need your help to support Canada’s greatest resource, our young people. This year the Award in Saskatchewan has a goal to receive 50 donations of $50, where 100% of the proceeds will go to ensuring the Award program reaches young people from a wide variety of backgrounds across our province. The Award believes in equipping young Canadians with the skills and confidence to face their challenges, giving them the opportunity to take hold of their destiny and plot a course to discover their passion, place and purpose in today’s world. 

The Award enabled me to believe in myself and for that I am grateful. 

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