Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Jan. 20


Posted Jan. 10

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Posted Jan. 7


Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney



The 2014 Orleans Online Outstanding Youth Awards recipients


Sabrina Chan, 16

Sabrina Chan is a Grade 10 student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School where she is expected to make the Honour Roll for the second year in a row for maintaining an average of more than 90%. While Sabrina has worked extremely hard to achieve her academic success, she has also made time to pursue her many other interests. Sabrina is working towards her RCM Grade 8 certificate in piano and plays flute in the high school concert band. While also teaching piano, she has taught herself to play guitar and ukulele, and was awarded a Grade 9 Academic Achievement Award in vocals. She is also a member of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier girls’ volleyball team and was selected as one of about 80 delegates from across Canada to attend the National Student Commonwealth Forum in May. Sabrina is also a member of the Orléans Young Players Theatre School and has appeared in a number of productions over the years. In 2012, Sabrina was approached by a modeling scout thus starting another chapter in her young life. In the past year she appeared in a bevy of fashion shows and took part in the Canadian Model and Talent Convention in Toronto where she met with 32 talent scouts. She will soon sign with a modeling agency in Montreal and will be able to model internationally when she turns 16. Even in modeling Sabrina has found a way to carry out community service; by donating her image to a variety of charity advertising campaigns and she’s modeled in a number of charity fashion shows for a variety of causes and organizations including the Do It For Daron Foundation, the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s Maplesoft Centre. For combining academics with her many other interests at such a high level, Sabrina Chan has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Kevin Yang, 13

Kevin Yang is a Grade 7 student at Henry Larsen Elementary School where he is enrolled in the school’s gifted program. Born in Cologne, Germany, he began studying music at the age of four and began playing the piano at the age of five after moving to Canada. Under the tutelage of piano teacher Heather Norian, Kevin has progressed through the Royal Conservatory of Music exam system at a dizzying pace. While most students don’t complete their Grade 10 exam until their late teens, Kevin passed his Grade 10 exam when he was just 12 years old and he is currently working on his ARCT exam which is the upper most level in the RCM exam system. During the past five years, Kevin has won a trunk load of scholarships and awards. This past year, Kevin won one silver and three gold certificates at Kiwanis Music Festival, and was the runner up for a trophy playoff. He was also the 1st runner-up at the ORMTA provincial competition and received six scholarships from both Kiwanis and ORMTA, totalling over $1,000. For his exceptional abilities and musical talent, Kevin Yang has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Meghan Bryson, 17

Meghan Bryson is an inspiration to her peers and adults alike. The 17-year-old Cairine Wilson student lost her father to cancer when she was just seven-years-old. As she got older, she was determined to do whatever she could to honour her father's memory by raising money in the fight against the deadly disease. During the past four years, Meghan has personally raised over $6,000 as part of the school’s Relay4Life campaign. For this year’s relay, she raised nearly $3,000 as the leader of the Dream Team which together raised over $7,900. Meghan is an active student who takes part in a number of clubs and plays three different sports. She was captain of the school's co-ed volleyball team that won the board championship and was named the tournament MVP. She was captain of the school’s senior girls soccer team that recently won a bronze medal at the provincial championships and she played on the school's basketball team. She is a member of Cairine Wilson’s VOICES Student Leader-ship program and last year she took it upon herself to organize the school leader-ship camp during the teachers strike. She's also been a peer mentor and has tutored other students in her spare time while managing to maintain an 89% average. For her selfless fundraising efforts and for being able to maintain a high academic standing while pursuing her many other interests, Meghan Bryson has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Audrey Matheson, 16

Audrey Matheson is a Grade 10 student at École secondaire catholique Garneau where she achieved the second highest mark in her grade level last year with a 90%. She is active in her community as both a volunteer and an actress. A member of the Orléans Young Players Theatre School for the past eight years, Audrey’s first love is the stage. This past May she received rave reviews for playing the lead role in the OYP production of “Anne of Green Gables”, but what many people in the audience didn’t know is that she was also in a French language high school production a week earlier. In fact, she ended up filling in for the lead role in that play as a last minute substitute. The lead actor had fallen ill a week before they were to perform the play at De La Salle high school and Audrey volunteered to take his place. She somehow managed to memorize all his lines and delivered a flawless performance – in French! In recognition of her passion for the theatre and her tremendous talent, Audrey Matheson is a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Cassandra Lavigne, 16

Cassandra Lavigne is a Grade 10 drama student at École secondaire catholique Garneau where she has made the Honour Roll the past two years. Cassandra’s love of the stage began at a very young age when she first joined the Orléans Young Players Theatre School. As she grew older her involvement with OYP expanded to include the Theatre School’s student club and as a student representative on the OYP’s board of directors. She’s also taken on additional responsibilities as a teacher’s assistant and a stage manager for the younger students. While Cassandra has expanded her theatrical horizons, she loves nothing better than to act and perform in front of an audience. This past year she appeared in the OYP production of “Anne of Green Gables” in which she played Anne’s best friend Diana Barry; the OYP production of “The Wizard of Oz”; and the Beechwood Historical Walk. For her many accomplishments both on and off the stage and for her willingness to share her time and talent with others, Cassandra Lavigne has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Online Outstanding Youth Awards.


Chantal Prouse, 15

Chantal Prouse is a Grade 9 student at École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges where she is enrolled in the enriched Optimax program designed to develop students’ study habits and leadership skills in preparation for post secondary studies. Chantal currently maintains a 90% average in her studies and is also enrolled in the school’s Programme spécialisé en arts. She plays the french horn in the junior band which this year won the gold medal at the Ottawa Secondary School Music Festival. Although Chantal is doing well at school, it is on the ice where she really excels. A member of the Gloucester Skating Club since 2005, Chantal was crowned the Skate Canada Eastern Ontario Section Champion at the 2014 Bronze Triathlon competition. Chantal also enjoys sharing her love of skating with younger skaters and this past year she received Skate Canada's Volunteer Program Assistant of the Year Award for Eastern Ontario. For her achievements both on and off the ice and for her willingness to pass on her love of skating to others, Chantal Prouse has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Michelle Treacy, 17

Michelle Treacy is a talented young singer who has been performing since she was six years old. She has an unmistakable passion for music and has performed in her school choir, coffee houses, memorials and many charitable fundraising events throughout the years such as the CHEO Telethon. 2013 was and especially busy year for Michelle. After attending an audition in Toronto she signed with a management team that sent her on a song-writing tour across the U.S. Since then she has recorded music and performed at the legendary club The Bitter End in New York City. This past May she headlined her own show at Zaphod Beeblebrox and recently signed a recording contract with an small label affiliated with Universal Music. During the past year Michelle added professional modeling to her resume. She modeled for Ottawa designer Richard Robinson during Ottawa Fashion Week and she appeared on the cover of Fave magazine on three different occasions. To top things off, Michelle is also an excellent student. Her message to everyone is never to give up on your dreams and stay inspired. For never giving up on her own dreams and inspiring others to follow theirs, Michelle Treacy has been selected as one of the recipients of this year’s Outstanding Youth Awards.


Madison White, 9

Madison White is an amazing young lady who believes in giving back to a worthy cause. In her case, the cause is the fight against cancer. The young cancer survivor underwent a liver transplant at the age two. Ten years in remission she takes every opportunity she can to support the fight against the deadly disease. One organization that’s near and dear to her heart is the Children’s Wish Foundation which sent her and her family on a trip to Disney World when she was four years old. For Christmas, Madison received a Rainbow Loom which makes rubberized bracelets and other jewelry out of small, multi-coloured rubber rings. It didn't take long for the enterprising young girl to come up with an idea to use the loom to raise money for Children's Wish. After joining forces with her best friend Abby, the two girls started turning out bracelets which they sold to family members and other friends. Together they made over 40 bracelets and managed to raise more than $270. For her selflessness in raising money for a good cause and for setting an example for her peers, Madison White has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Award.


Brianna Clarke, 16

It’s been a busy 12 months for Grade 10, St, Matthew High School student Brianna Clarke. A tremendously gifted dancer, Brianna was accepted to the Alberta School of Ballet last summer where she was able to learn from some of the best in the business. After returning to Ottawa, she continued her training at Leeming Danceworks where she has been a student since she was a youngster. This past spring she won the Miss Teen Candance title in Montreal where she received the top senior high score for the second year in a row. Like her teammate Ashley DeAlmeida, Brianna was also a member of Leeming’s hugely successful senior dance group which won every major competition they entered. When she’s not dancing, Brianna is busy mentoring the studio’s younger members, helping them with their choreographer and dance technique. Despite the demands of competitive dance, Brianna has managed to maintain a 90% average. She is also a member of the school council and leadership camp. Whenever possible, Brianna likes to give back. For the past three years she has asked her friends to make a donation to the St. Joe’s Women’s Centre in lieu of birthday gifts. She has also canvassed for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and raised funds for the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Program, among other causes. For her accomplishments on the dance floor, in the classroom and in her community, Brianna Clarke has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Jacinta DaNova, 15

Jacinta DaNova is a Grade 10 student at St. Peter High School where she has managed to maintain a 94% average. Her best subject is math in which she received a 96% mark and placed second at her grade level in the school math contest. She also tutors several Grade 7 and 8 students in the subject in her spare time. While math is her best course, her favourite subject is French. Jacinta won a French-speaking competition at the school and school board levels and went on to represent the Ottawa District School Board at the "Concours et Festival d'art oratoire", an annual province-wide French public speaking event in Toronto. Besides her academic pursuits, Jacinta also finds time to pursue her love of photography and video editing, and was selected to help design and produce the school yearbook. For managing to maintain a high academic standing while pursuing other interests Jacinta DeNova has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Ryder Peterson, 8

Ryder Peterson was diagnosed with autism at the age of four. He is now eight years old and attends Grade 2 at St. Clare Catholic School in Orléans. He has had many obstacles in his short life but has overcome almost all of them through hard work and many hours of therapy. Throughout his many trips to CHEO he has developed empathy for children with special needs that many adults will never display. He continually advocates for children with autism and other special needs. He entered the Toonies for Tuition contest held across Canada with his submission “Accepting Everyone For Who They Are” and received an honorable mention. In recognition of his efforts, Ryder has been invited to Parliament Hill twice and has attended receptions with Senators, MPs and Ministers to talk about his life with autism. He continually participates in Autism on the Hill for World Autism Awareness Day and tells everyone he meets about his super autism powers. Ryder has demonstrated that showing empathy and understanding for children with special needs can and will make a difference in their lives. He believes that no one should be limited by their disability and should be giving the opportunity to pursue their dreams no matter how big. For being a vocal advocate for special needs children, Ryder Peterson has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Victoria Powell, 16

Victoria Powell is a gifted singer and an active student at École secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde where she recently graduated from Grade 10. As a member of the student council, Victoria was instrumental in convincing the school board to install a water fountain in the school gymnasium which allows the students to fill up their water bottles and avoid having to use disposable ones. But it is as a singer and songwriter where Victoria truly excels. A former victim of bullying, Victoria often draws inspiration from her life experiences when writing new material, such as the loss of her best friend to leukemia when she was just eight-years-old. From these raw beginnings, she learned of the healing power of music. And now, at 16 years of age, she uses the power of music to educate, empower, and advocate for change. It is for those reasons that Victoria Powell has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Braeden Clements, 7

Braeden Clements was only four when his grandfather was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He wanted to help in some way and came up with the idea of opening a lemonade stand. He hand delivered flyers and spoke with neighbours at each door. The first year he raised $300 and then went and hand-delivered thank you flyers to all his neighbours. The second year when he was five, Braeden added free cookies to the event, hand-delivered the flyers and spoke to people explaining his cause. He raised $600 for the Ottawa General Hospital cancer unit. The third year, in May he was told that his grandfather had been transferred to palliative care. As a result of this information, he decided to have the fund raiser early in May so that his grandfather could be there, previously it had been held in August. His grandfather saw him deliver the flyers for the lemonade stand that was to be held the next week. However before the date of the lemonade sale, his grandfather passed away. Braeden held the sale in memory of his grandfather and at the age of six raised over $1600. As you no doubt will agree, Braeden is special little boy. For his selflessness in raising money in the fight against cancer, Braeden Clements has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Ashley DeAlmeida , 16

Ashley DeAlmeida is a Grade 7 student at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest Enriched Science and Arts Program and consistently has maintained a 90% average. But it is on the dance floor where Ashley truly excels. During the past year she won a number of awards both as a soloist and a competitive team member at the Leeming Danceworks studio. During the most recent dance season she won the Miss Junior Candance title in Montreal where she received the top overall high score; she was the JUMP Dance Convention Junior High Score Winner and V.I.P. Winner in Syracuse, New York; and she was the MOVE Intermediate Solo Champion in Ottawa. Her senior group at Leeming Danceworks also received top marks at basically ever competition they entered. Ashley enjoys sharing her love of dance the younger students at Leeming as a teacher’s assistant and she participated in the 2014 Dancer’s Give Back charity event for the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Program. For maintaining a high academic standing while pursuing her passion for dance at such a high level, Ashley DeAlmeida. has been selected as a recipient for this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Nicolas Cosenza, 14

Nicolas Cosenza is a dedicated hard-working and disciplined Grade 9 student, athlete, volunteer, and musician at St. Peter High School where he has been an Honour Role student each of the past three years having maintained a 90% average. Besides being the only Grade 9 student in the senior band, Nicolas is also a member of the Red Maple Reading Club, Artists Anonymous, the Chess Club and the Science Club. Out-side of school Nicolas has been playing piano since he was five years old. He completed his Grade 1, 3, and 5 Royal Conservatory of Music examinations all with First Class Honours and he is currently working on his repertoire for the Grade 7 examination. Nicholas is also an avid athlete. Among the many sports he has shown a proficiency in are volleyball, track and field, Ultimate frisbee, table tennis, Tae Kwon Do and golf. He has played competitive soccer with the Cumberland Cobras for the past five years and is also a competitive tennis player. As if all that wasn’t enough, Nicolas also volunteers his time at the Ottawa Athletic Club to teach younger kids the art of tennis. For balancing his love of music and sports with his school work while maintaining a high academic standing, Nicolas Cosenza has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Amesh Parameswaran, 16

Amaresh Parameswaran is a Grade 11 student at Cairine Wilson Secondary School in Orléans. A regular fixture on the school’s Honour Roll, Amaresh recently received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award. He is an enthusiastic volunteer for a number of charities including the Relay for Life, the CHEO Train-a-Thon. He is fluent in French, English and Tamil and enjoys playing a variety of sports including basketball, rugby and volleyball. He guided his school’s rugby team to a city championship in 2014 and was invited to try out for the provincial rugby team. He also holds and an advance brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu and is learning how to play the mridangam, a double-headed south Indian percussion instrument. Last, but by no means least, he possesses a Grade 7 certificate in piano and plays saxophone in his school band. For balancing his love of sports, music and volunteerism while maintaining a high academic standing, Amaresh Parameswaran has been selected as a recipient for this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Lindsay White, 17

Lindsay White is a Grade 11 student at St. Peter High School and an aspiring vocalist. She first began singing at the age of nine and has been pursuing her dream of becoming a performing artist ever since. An honor roll student she is currently enrolled in St. Peter’s Specialist High Skills Major program in Musical Theatre. This past year, she performed the female lead of Fiona in the St. Peter Musical Theatre production of “SHREK: The Musical”. Lindsay has been an active member of the St. Peter Showchoir for the past three years and was named best female vocalist at the National Showchoir competition in Toronto. Outside of school, Lindsay has won several major competitions including the 2013 Ottawa Idol contest and the Musical Theatre category at the 2014 Kiwanis Music Festival. She has also performed at a number of fundraising and charitable events, including the Ottawa Kids Marathon for CHEO, and she has been the official National Anthem singer for the Cumberland Bandits Junior C hockey team. For the success she’s enjoyed as a singer and her willingness to share her talent with others, Lindsay White has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Ashley Mbwa, 9

Ashley Mbwa is a Grade 3 student at École élémentaire Le Prelude in Chapel Hill South. She is also the younger sister to her severely autistic older brother Kevin. Despite the challenges faced by herself and her family in caring for her brother, Ashley finds the time to support the fight against autism by volunteering at social activities organized by the Autism Ontario. As a member of the support group, she regularly provides ideas for programs and activities that meet the needs of autistic children and their families. In June 2013, Ashley came up with the idea to organize trampoline outings to Spring Action Trampoline Acrosports for autistic children and their siblings which has proved extremely successful. Ashley also loves to dance. After joining École de Danse Louise last summer, she was selected for the school’s competitive team for the 2013/2014 season and won several gold medals for which she was named “Rookie of the Year” and best teammate. For being such a wonderful little sister to her older brother Kevin, and for her work in developing programs for autistic children and their siblings, Ashley Mbwa has been selected as a recipient for this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Sara Siddiqi, 15

Sara Siddiqi is a 15-year-old, Grade 10 student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School where she has managed to maintain a 90% average after transferring to the school from Gloucester High School last summer. Sara’s favourite subject is science, proven by the fact that she recently received a special award for finishing in first place in the intermediate environmental category at the 2014 Ottawa Science Fair. Sara is also an ardent champion in the fight against autism and the stigma that is too often attached to it. She and a friend were the subject of a recent article for their work in raising awareness and understanding about autism. She has also volunteered more than 40 hours at the Virtual Ventures Summer Camp and Children at Risk, a program that supports autistic children and their families. For her work in raising awareness of children dealing with autism while maintaining a high academic standing, Sara Siddiqi has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Amanda Collie, 16

Amanda Collie is the epitome of a well-rounded student. A Grade 10 student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, she is a member of the school's senior girls basketball team. She sings alto in the school choir. She is an active member of the school council. She acted in the school's production of "My Fair Lady" and she also created and designed over 100 costumes for the play for which she won a CAPPIE Award for best Costume Design. Amanda also started the school’s first ever Sewing Club. Outside of school she pursues her passion for photography and fashion design and she maintains her own YouTube channel called "WhatAreYouDoingAmanda" where she records and edits all of her own videos or 'vlogs'. For her efforts, Amanda Collie has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Alexia Lamothe, 17

Alexia Lamothe knows a thing or two about moving. Her father is a member of the RMCP who served in a number of communities across Canada including the far north. Before the family finally settled in Orléans five years ago, Alexia had been to eight schools in eight years. The one common thread throughout the many moves was Alexia’s love of running. In fact, Alexia was one of those kids who started running before she could even walk. She ran in her first race, a 1km Fun Run, when she was just two years old. But it wasn’t until her family moved to Orléans and she started going to Cairine Wilson Secondary School that her true potential began to really shine. Soon after she arriving she was introduced to the hurdles, a very unforgiving apparatus that is not for the feint of heart. Remember Perdita Filicien. Alexia has made it through to the OFSAA provincial championships in both the intermediate and sprint hurdles in each of the past four years, but she never managed to make it onto the podium until this past season. Despite a shortened outdoor training season, Alexia was young woman on a mission. After running a personal best time in the 100-metre hurdles at the East Conference meet, she broke Anne Lebel’s long-standing record at the Ottawa city championships. A record the former Lions Track Club member set when Alexia was barely a year old. Alexia would go on to win another gold medal at the OFSAA East Regional meet in Ottawa, before travelling to the provincial championships in Mississauga where she accomplished her dream of winning an OFSAA medal by finishing third in the 100-metre hurdle final. Away from the track, Alexia has managed to attain an 85% average in her final year of high school despite having a learning disability that was only recently diagnosed when she was in Grade 10. Alexia will be attending the University of Windsor next year where she has been given an athletic scholarship. For overcoming the various obstacles placed in her path, and for excelling both inside the classroom and on the track, Alexia Lamothe has been selected as one of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Grace St-Germain, 15

Grace St-Germain is a resident of Orléans and a talented young golfer who is attracting attention across Canada. Just 15 years old she recently played in her first professional tournament in B.C., placing 39th out of 71 golfers, many of whom were more than twice her age. She won the 2013 Ottawa Sports Award for her winning the Golf Association of Ontario’s girls match play championship and the GAO's under-17 juvenile girls championship in the same season. Grace also won the 2013 Graham Cooke Junior Invitational by eight strokes over the rest of the field and was the only golfer under par for the two-day event. She also finished fourth at the Canadian Junior Golf Association’s national junior championship. Grace is currently enrolled in the high performance sports program at John McCrae High School in Barrhaven, which means she must spend 2.5 hours a day on buses in order to get to and from school. Despite the obvious challenges, Grace is hoping to finish the year with an 80 per cent average. When she’s not golfing or sitting on an OC Transpo bus, Grace helps her mother teach figure skating to special needs children in the Gloucester Skating Club. For her outstanding accomplishments on the golf course, Grace St-Germain has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


Carolyn Williams, 17

Carolyn Williams is a student athlete at St. Peter High School in Orléans where she has managed to maintain an 88% average. Known as “Big Red” to her teammates for her flaming red hair and her six foot frame, Williams strikes fear into the hearts of her opponents and causes fits for opposing coaches whether its on the rugby pitch, the soccer field or the ice surface. She helped lead her respective high school teams to the city rugby championship and the Tier 1 hockey title. Last summer, she lead the Gloucester Hornets U13 team to the ERSL championship and she played an integral role in helping her hockey team win a Provincial Women’s Hockey League bronze medal and a Midget AA Final Four finish at the Ontario Women's Hockey Association provincial championships. She managed to accomplish all this despite having type-1 diabetes since the age of two. A teacher once told Carolyn that she has diabetes because God must have thought she was a very special person. Carolyn has always looked at it as a blessing, and that she is unique. In 2009, Carolyn lost her thyroid function and more recently was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease for which she has undergone Chemo-therapy. Carolyn plans to pursue a medical career after she graduates from high school so that she can give back to CHEO which has been so good to her. Carolyn has given back to her community by raising over $23,000 in donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association. For overcoming her various medical conditions and for epitomizing the definition of student athlete, Carolyn Williams has been selected as a recipient of this year’s Orléans Outstanding Youth Awards.


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