Tireless volunteer named Youth of the Year
Hundreds of hours of community service and volunteer initiatives such as the Relay for Life, the Canadian Cancer Society, Special Olympics and the Canadian Red Cross.
© David Newell photo
Danielle Cole was named the 2011 Grand Falls-Windsor Youth of the Year at a ceremony Tuesday evening. Seen here are Grand Falls-Windsor Councillor Roger Barnett, Mayor Al Hawkins, Danielle Cole, Supervisor Deanne Lynch and Manager Lisa Power, both of McDonald's Family Restaurants.
A list like this one usually follows the name of a person who might be retired and dedicates their free time to others.
But in this case, it is a small part of the resume of the 2011 Grand Falls-Windsor Youth of the Year, Danielle Cole.
The 18-year-old student at Exploits Valley High was thrilled to be named the winner of title, especially since she was up against four other strong nominees.
"It feels wonderful," she said. "I am very excited. I have worked hard this year trying to keep all of my schoolwork and volunteering on track and it went really well. I am honoured to have been chosen to represent this town."
Ms. Cole said it is a struggle to juggle all of the activities she takes part in and maintain good grades, but she does it with good organization.
"I have an agenda, that is very helpful. I write everything down," she said. "I try to keep everything balanced and keep it all on track."
Perhaps the biggest challenge for her this year, she said, was serving as the captain of her Relay for Life team. Organizing the 38 members of the squad and the funds they raised was "crazy," she said.
That experience in dealing with money may come in handy for Ms. Cole.
In addition to having her name added to the plaque for the youth of the year, a $500 scholarship for post-secondary education went to Ms. Cole, who is planning on attending the College of the North Atlantic to complete a university transfer year. After that, she intends to complete a degree in primary education.
Until then, she is preparing for final exams this week at EVH, where she has been involved in the Social Action Committee, clothing drives, Christmas shoe box projects and helped to create and organize a female empowerment day earlier this year.
Danielle is the daughter of Carol-Anne and Danny Cole.
In Mayor Al Hawkins' address to the gathering, he noted this is the twentieth year of amalgamation of Grand Falls-Windsor and the Youth of the Year has been going on the same amount of time. It has been co-sponsored from the start by the Town and McDonald's Family Restaurants.
He remarked that it is obvious that the town's future is in good hands with youth such as those in attendance to take the reins.
"Often, young people get a bad rap," he said. "We see here tonight some of the great things our youth are doing."
Also nominated this year were last year's winner, Sabrina Andrews, Jennifer Beson, Melissa Blackmore and Vanessa Power.