Outstanding dedication builds stronger communities 

Photo: 2022 Community Award recipient, David He

The 20th anniversary of BC Achievement’s Community Award program gives reason to consider the many people in this province who lift up their communities through commitment and service. For two decades, BC Achievement has been honoured to showcase the accomplishments of over six hundred British Columbians for their skill, strength and courage and tell the story of the province’s community engagement. 

The annual Community Award celebrates the spirit, dedication and outstanding contributions of British Columbians. We encourage everyone to join in us in telling the remarkable stories of the people who inspire others through their actions.  

Take for example David He of Burnaby. As a high school student David founded The Global Spotlight Foundation, an international student initiative that transforms youth into changemakers through stories and mentorship. Since then, David has led numerous community projects, including human libraries, conferences, and town halls.  

Last year, David was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to provide policy advice to the Government of Canada through his Youth Council. As one of its leaders, David successfully advocated for the national conversion therapy ban and for increased funding for marginalized communities in the federal budget. His contributions and his leadership are helping communities throughout the country and are the reason he was nominated and awarded the Community Award in 2022. 

Photo: 2022 Community Award recipient, Charissa Tonnesen

Charissa Tonnesen, also a 2022 Community Award recipient, was recognized for her extensive commitment to her Tumbler Ridge community. As a practicing pharmacist in a rural community, she has shared the challenges and rewards of working in a non-urban setting through her volunteer work as a preceptor for UBC Pharmacy students. Charissa has served on numerous boards, inspired youth as a karate champion, and is involved with the local Arts Council. In addition, she now runs the Flatbed Loops for the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society. Community activism and youth engagement are two of the numerous reasons Charissa’s nomination stood out to the independent jury who selected her for the award. 

Stories of individuals who work hard and are committed to the betterment of their communities help steward the strength of our province. While these individuals do not seek recognition, it’s important to highlight that the work they do matters, and, in doing so, inspire others to follow their lead. 

You can nominate such a deserving individual for the Community Award at bcachievement.com. Nomination forms are online and BC Achievement staff are available to answer your questions. Deadline to nominate is January 31, 2023. 

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change.    

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