Guiding encourages each girl to be everything she wants to be. From Sparks to Rangers, girls in Guiding do amazing things to make the world better. Through community service, friendship, advocacy and so much more, girls are a collective force of change makers!
Girl Guides of Canada’s Change Maker Award celebrates girls’ confidence, resiliency, independence, open-mindedness and fulfillment as defined by herself. The award recognizes girls across all branches as they take actions, small or large, local or international, community based or far-reaching.
This year’s recipients demonstrate remarkable examples of selflessness, generosity and courage. Advocates for equality, the environment or their classmates, they’re true role-models for their community.
Self-nominated or nominated by a friend, each of the 20 girls will receive an award pin and a certificate. Their stories will also be featured nationally throughout the Guiding community. All girls who were nominated will receive a letter of recognition from the Chair of the Board of Directors.
Autumn let me look at her books and feel them. That was nice. She smiles. She shared two books with me.
Emery has been such an amazing friend. We recently moved to Provost where I became a new Spark in a small town where I knew nobody. Emery has been so nice and she’s there for me when I need a friend.
I love to keep the world clean. I always pick up trash when I see it and I encourage others to do the same. I also love to help my friends at school. I go to a special speech therapy school. When I am in therapy and my friends are having trouble saying their words, I will always tell them that they can do it and I am here for them. I encourage them to try and say the word again. When there is a new child at my school, I am the first one to hold their hand and play with them on the playground so they don't feel so nervous. I know I was nervous on my first day and another girl helped me. I am also learning sign language because there are a lot of friends at my school who can't hear. I want to be able to communicate with them. I feel sad when someone does not have a friend to play with and I always include them in my play.
I like people and plants. I make encouragement cards and treats for librarians and people in my community regularly; deliver cookies to people working in 24/h gas stations on Christmas Eve; give high-fives, hugs, and cards to gas station attendants; I really liked making a “baby box” (things needed for a baby) and giving it to an organization that helps families with babies. During spring, summer, and fall, I help tend to plants in the greenway to help prevent flooding when it rains and give greenery to our neighbourhood; help carry gray water jugs for my granny as we water our and our neighbour’s garden twice a day; and pick up sticks after wind storms. My dream better world is made of sweets but my real better world has a lot less garbage.
Alyssa has been doing a “Guess That Bead” competition at school and has raised $81 so far for equipment at the hospital.
I change the world by raising awareness about poverty and homelessness and how we can make a difference in the lives of others by doing things to help them. I volunteer my time at organizations in my city that collect, sort, and give food and clothing to families and people that need them. I also tell my friends, family and community about poverty here in Canada and in other countries across the world, where there are a lot of people who need our help just to survive. Everyone needs and deserves the same things like food, clothing, a safe place to live, and education, but poverty can stop people from getting these basic things, which I think is unfair. Last fall, just by talking to people and putting up posters, I collected 70 shoeboxes of things like soap, toothbrushes and school supplies, which I took to an organization who distributed them to kids in Congo and Nigeria. I also collected boxes of things for moms and kids who stay at a homeless shelter in our city, and I collected a whole carload of toys from my friends, community, and family for the Christmas Cheer Board, who give toys to kids at Christmas! I change the way people think about each other, the world, and poverty, by showing others that anyone, even kids like me, can bring happiness and make a difference in the lives of others by being generous and caring, and treating everyone as equals. Together we can reduce poverty by sharing what we have and helping each other. The world will be a better place if we care for each other and treat each other with respect and kindness.
Every year I ask my friends to make donations instead of bring gifts to my birthday parties. I donated almost 100 pounds of food to my local food bank one year, donated a van full of dog and cat food to a nearby animal shelter and also raised money for a donation of books to my school library. I asked my mum and dad for a little outdoor library for our front yard and have collected books for it and am the keeper of it so my friends can enjoy reading as much as me. I am on the Green Team (recycling program) at school and have done community clean ups around my neighbourhood. I help smaller skaters during practice times for SkateTara. I try to be the best me and friend I can be.
Moose Jaw, SK
She is polite and kind and cares about all animals. Xyra volunteers with her mom for Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and cares for all animals. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.
At school, I try to help and talk to the kids with less friends and help them make new ones. In grade four, with help from my friend Kayla, I created the Human Rights Club. It's been running strong for three years now, raising almost $2,000, with 35 members. Our largest accomplishments include: a bake sale, raising over $500, an entrepreneurship fair to spread awareness for Orange Shirt Day ($350), and a clothing drive that gave over 400 items to those in need. We also hold weekly meetings that I organize and run. By myself, I have created a petition against the Indian Act, raised over $700 for my local SPCA, $300 for Me to We, and keep in great touch with my pen pal in Honduras. In addition, I have participated in multiple fundraisers provided by my community, such as Cards for the Homeless (school) and Lunches with Love (Guides). My friends and I may be kids, but I've been helping out long enough to know that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference.
Campbell River, BC
I have known Charlee since Kindergarten and we are now in Grade 4. We are best friends and attend Girl Guides together. She is the reason I am a Guide as she knows me and knew how much I would love the program. Charlee loves all animals and helps care for our environment and our community, which is a big part of her and her family's lives. As an example, Charlee is a part of a local group called “Greenways”. Greenways takes care of waterways. Charlee is known in this group as a “Stream Keeper.” She does things like stream walks to make sure everything is flowing like it should, salmon counts and intakes which includes working with our local hatchery. Charlee goes to volunteer meetings with her dad. Charlee was recently recognized by our mayor as a result of her ongoing efforts as a Stream Keeper in our community of Campbell River, BC, known as the “Salmon Capital of the World”. I feel my best friend and fellow Guide Charlee should be recognized because she not only helps the environment but also our community with keeping water flowing freely. Charlee is also very knowledgeable and often shares valuable information with her friends and classmates. I am lucky to know Charlee and feel she should receive this award.
I am nominating Clara for the Change Maker award because she is very generous with her time and the people around her. She has done a lot of community service work including making valentines for veterans, donating to the local food bank, made gift bags with essentials for an abused women’s shelter, ran a book and toy drive for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and most recently sewed 45 comfort cushions for the breast cancer ward at the Ottawa General Hospital. She also competed in the Equestrian Bronze circuit, qualified for the regional championships and at the end of the year received the sportsmanship award. At the end of the day what Clara’s favourite thing to do is make someone’s day, even if she doesn’t know them, that little bit brighter.
From the age of 6, I have been running an annual fundraiser. In the summer of 2015, I came up with the idea of hosting a Lemonade Stand for Charity. With help of family and friends I was able to raise $300 in three hours by selling lemonade and home-made goodies for the Charity (DeltaView Life Enrichment Centre). Since then I have held annual charity events because I want to help sick children and adults. I use my own savings to make posters, flyers and buy balloons. I reach out to each organization and ask for donations. So far, I have hosted Sia's Lemonade Stand ($300), Sia's Ice Cream Shop ($1020), Sia's Sundae Bar ($1700), Sia's Galaxy HotDog Stand ($5000), and recently Sia's Burger Shack ($9200). All funds raised go back to Children's Hospital. Last year was my 5th year and I hosted Sia's Burger Shack. For the 4th year in a row, I joined hands with Save-On-Foods as my main food sponsor and donated all funds back to Children's Hospital (Neuromuscular Disease Department). Companies such as EW Group joined hands with me by giving generously. Recently, many organizations such as BC Lions, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Giants, and much more donated prizes to make my event successful. To celebrate my 5th year, I also put together a raffle trip package to Whistler. All proceeds went to Children's Hospital. These acts of kindness make me extremely happy when I'm able to provide support to those in medical distress.
I'm nominating Alexandria because she has been creating a better world through kindness despite any challenges she has faced. Through her years in Guiding, Alexandria has always been a happy and exuberant part of any unit she has been in since Sparks. She is helpful and kind to everyone even when no one else is looking, often offering the leaders help before being asked. She won her community humanitarian award for spending her lunch breaks with elementary students who needed a friend or had special needs and were not able to play with their peers. She's been previously chosen as a DARE speaker and has achieved all of these things despite her ADHD and dyslexia and sometimes poor health. She never complains about her challenges, just quietly works harder through things. This year she is a unit helper in Sparks and “Guider Sprinkles” is a girl favourite because she’s always ready to jump in to help, lead, do bathroom runs with girls or give hugs. She has logged hundreds of community service hours while not looking for any recognition, she has always just been happy to help others. I think Alexandria is an excellent example of a change maker because she has been quietly spreading her kindness and always chooses the path of kindness even when it hasn't been the easiest or most convenient to follow.
I have been doing Girl Guides since I was a Spark and I've had many amazing experiences and made many great memories! One of my favourite memories is Sea to Sky summer camp at Cold Lake where I completed the Bronze Star Lifesaving Course and received the award for 'best fire starter.' In my three years of Guides, I earned 39 badges from different program areas. Three years ago I started volunteering at Kids On Track Organization, helping set up and serving food at family fun nights and special celebrations. In grade one, I started having fundraiser birthdays for the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. Since then my friends and I have raised about one thousand dollars. My dream is to be a doctor and this is the first step to helping sick children. School is also very important to me and that is why receiving the Outstanding Achievement award, at the end of grade 6, meant a lot to me. In grade one, one of my classmates had little English knowledge and my teacher assigned me to help him with our studies, since then I've been considered a person who can help the other kids who are struggling. After school, I go straight to figure skating to achieve my goal of going to the Olympics. If I don't get into the Olympics as an athlete I will go as a volunteer. I have volunteered with my home club and at the national level 'Challenge Competition'. I enjoy my life and always try to make people around me happy.
I am nominating myself because I am committed to helping the environment and others. Two years ago, I started the Eco Club at my school. Since then, I have done many things: I organized a dead marker and battery drive and collected over 3000 markers, and 1000 batteries. I was the one who brought Earth Rangers to my school to teach kids about conservation. I helped organize and participate in clean-ups. I work closely with my school’s principal to monitor electricity and waste. I also participate in service and volunteer projects in Guiding, school, and my community. I’m a Girl Assistant with a Brownie unit, and I love planning activities for them! I’ve also made milk bag mats with them. At school, I always volunteer to help with carnivals, winter spirit day, and cultural night. I am always the one people ask when they need help or a hand. With student council, we sold Valentine loot bags, and all the money raised went to Sick Kids. As well, during my school’s Remembrance Day ceremony, I was the one representing Girl Guides. I had to make a speech and say a prayer for the veteran that came. I’ve also done many service projects: TD tree days (where I planted over 50 trees!), Operation Christmas Child, and the Terry Fox Run. Last summer, I volunteered as a Junior Camp Counsellor, and I help out with my city’s Canada Day Parade. I also did a 5 km walk with my school to feed the homeless. I give my time to tutor a child who is really struggling in school. I believe I am making a change at home, school, in my community, Guiding and the environment.
Bay Bulls, NL
Everybody wants to be loved, recognized, valued and appreciated. Kyrsten knows the importance to be a good friend, a positive attitude, volunteering in the community and value its citizens. She is always looking for new service projects or ones that she can get involved in. She volunteers with the local Girl Guide unit every week and looks forward to planning and teaching them something new. She has such great leadership qualities. I think her biggest quality is her heart and how much she values people. It doesn’t matter if you are her closest friend or a stranger on the street, she has this way of being in tune with how they are feeling, and she wants to make it better. She wants everyone to feel good about themselves and feel like they matter and to let them know that someone cares how their day is going and thinks that they are important and valued. At Christmas time she made about 60 little snowmen ornaments that were super cute, and she gave them out to everyone one she knew, teachers, janitors, friends, family, and people in the community. She loved how she feels by making other people feel good and I think over time it has just become her thing. For Valentine’s Day she made 70 origami hearts that opened, and she placed little chocolates and notes inside them. For Easter, she already has lip balm made that is strawberry scented and beautiful Easter eggs with chocolates inside to hand out. Kyrsten so deserves the Change Maker Award because she has touched so many peoples’ lives. She is what we all strive to be, a really good person with a super big heart that truly cares about everyone’s well-being. She promotes inclusion and spreads excitement and happiness of the Guiding movement.
I think it would be understating her passion to say she could change the world because Alyssa is a true role model who WILL change the world one day. She's an advocate for climate change and the environment and is continually spreading awareness for this cause. She co-founded both a local chapter of Fridays for Future and Sustainability Durham, which has organized and led shoreline clean ups, clothing swaps, and even more in our local community. Alyssa really stands out in our unit. She has the motivation and drive to inspire others to make a difference in our world. She's been an active leader within our unit with women in politics, helping to explain and lead the future voters challenge in fun and easy ways. She firmly believes we need to give a voice to ourselves and is an inspiring advocate to help us understand why we can make a difference by voting or showing how we can support our local candidates if we aren't old enough to cast an actual vote yet. I honestly think that everyone could be a little more like Alyssa. She takes pride in saving our environment, and the ground we walk on. She pays more attention to the harmful actions she can cut out of her lifestyle such as eating meat and eliminating single use plastics, that most of us don't give a thought about. She genuinely cares about the causes she takes part in, not to make it look good on an essay, or an application; but because it's what she believes in. Alyssa continually works hard to make an impact through her own actions and getting her message out.
Port Moody, BC
Growing up as an introverted female immigrant, I was led to think that I could never be a leader in my own actions. However, through community involvement, where I could help others going through the same struggles as mine, I realized that what I perceived as a weakness has a full potential to make a change in the society. With this realization, I have been actively contributing towards my community. At school, I currently run and facilitate the 'Kodiak Konversations Club', whose main goal is to help English as an Additional Language (EAL) students gain confidence in communicating in English through various activities. As a head executive, I feel devoted to this club as I have experience being an EAL student myself and thus I understand their hardships and the importance of providing assistance for them. Another project I initiated targeted a larger population of students; students struggling to plan for their future after graduation. I was also one of them, as I had felt clueless in terms of career choices as I ascended to my senior years of high school. Hence, in grade 11, I took on my own project to address such issues. Named the Pathfinder Project, it consisted of interviewing people with different careers in our community and sharing those contents on a website I generated for the students to view. Lastly, over the 10 years I spent with Girl Guides, I have been developing a wide view of the world with numerous volunteering experiences I shared with my unit. The hours I devoted towards volunteering led me to earn some Girl Guides Awards along with the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. Moreover, I have also been working as a Junior Leader to spread knowledge and to empower young Sparks.
I'm nominating myself for this award as I feel I have made a difference in and outside my community. I am a Lones Ranger in Saskatchewan. Inside and outside of Guiding I go out of my way to help others. Some examples of my commitment would be helping my friend that battled cancer raise money through her Cancer Sucks project for the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital and volunteering at the Estevan Humane Society. My hard work resulted in me getting a job at the shelter. I still go out of my way at work to help the animals in need. I have helped with the angel tree project, Christmas cookie parades, made numerous Operation Christmas Child boxes, I've played ukulele, sang and danced at hospitals and nursing homes. I love to see the joy it brings to them. I learned to read and type braille and have been in contact with the CNIB and the Braille Institute in the U.S to find a pen pal! I want to use this skill to help visually impaired people. I continue to dance at our community United Way every year since I was a little girl. I volunteer at the Cystic Fibrosis Ball to help raise money. I continue to volunteer at our local food bank, and I volunteer at my dance studio to help teach the little ones. I also continue to volunteer at an organization called Cut and Sew where we make feminine hygiene kits for girls so they can continue their education. Within Guiding I have been involved in many community clean-ups and Trefoil teas. I want to make a difference in the world around me and I will continue to put my best foot forward to help others.
Mary is creating a better world by assisting the 50 or more girls in the Oxford Mills Sisterhood at every event, and she specifically helps out the Guides nearly every week. She has initiated, executed and delivered more than 25 birthday boxes for a local charity last year. She always helps the community at the local food drives. She impacts the community with her volunteer hours, including at the Breakfast for Easter Seals society, the countless garbage pickups, and bottle drives, plus all the things she does at school too. Mary has run challenges for the Guides to follow: Be You last year and DeCode this year. She is helping plan the Guides’ year-end trip and she plays a big part in summer camp preparations, where she and leaders get ready for a 5-night camping trip; she is even First Aid and ORCKA certified. I like camping with Mary. She makes me feel safe and happy. At her school she is on the Student Council and will be graduating this year. I am happy she plans to come back as a Brownie leader next year!