Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty, the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association (SWNA) and SaskPower announced the names of the recipients of the 2021 Junior Citizen of the Year Award, including:
• Megan Ebel, Weyburn
• Darshana Lanke, Saskatoon
• Michael Pelechaty, Prince Albert
• Ashya Siermachesky, Melfort
“I was super surprised,” said Megan of this award. “I knew I had been nominated, by (teacher) Margot Arnold. When she contacted me, she said I wanted to nominate you for this. I was surprised she thought I was someone who fit the criteria.”
Despite extraordinary personal challenges, Megan completed high school with high grades, and made outstanding contributions to her family, school and community.
She noted her Grade 11 year had a lot of challenges for her, as her father was being treated for cancer, then her mother, and she spent a lot of time helping out around the house. Sadly, Megan lost her father to cancer, and her mother underwent treatment for cancer as well. Megan, herself, had hip surgery and was in a serious car accident.
Despite these hardships, Megan served on the Student Representative Council in both Grade 11 and 12, and graduated from Grade 12 with a 90 per cent average. She served as co-chair of the SRC, and as Youth Mayor for the City of Weyburn Youth Council in her Grade 12 year, after she was recruited by Landon Field to be part of this group.
She also served as co-president of a highly successful Junior Achievement company, which chose to donate proceeds to the Canadian Mental Health Association and to a local family in need. In addition, Megan organized a COVID-friendly high school graduation “reverse parade” for the Class of 2020.
Throughout her family’s difficulties, Megan took on many chores at home, including assisting her younger brother when he was treated for a dislocated shoulder. Megan has been described as a caring and community-minded person, who inspires others to help make the world a better place.
Megan just completed her first year of a Bachelor of Science program at the University of British Columbia, and while it was all online, she said there are hopes her second year will be transitioning back to in-person learning. She is hoping to become an agrologist.
“The 2021 Junior Citizens of the Year are very impressive individuals,” said Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty. “Despite personal challenges, each recipient has made remarkable contributions to their family, school and community and is very deserving of this prestigious award. I am grateful to the Saskatchewan Weekly Newspapers Association for managing this award program and to SaskPower for encouraging youth through a generous bursary.”
“This year, as in all years, all recipients of this award are outstanding examples of Saskatchewan’s extraordinary youth,” said SWNA Executive Director Steve Nixon. “Choosing just four from a large selection of deserving nominations was incredibly challenging. It is an honour for SWNA to lead this long-standing award and to recognize such deserving recipients.”
“These four individuals are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “The passion and dedication of these youth serve as an inspiration and a reminder that the future in Saskatchewan is bright.”
Sponsored by SWNA (which includes the Weyburn Review and Weyburn This Week newspapers), in partnership with SaskPower and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the Award recognizes young people (8 to 18 years of age) for their ability to overcome challenges, their positive lifestyles, community and school spirit, and their caring and responsibility. Each award recipient receives a $3,000 bursary provided by SaskPower.
Visit www.ltgov.sk.caon Wednesday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m. to watch the virtual 2021 Junior Citizen of the Year award ceremony. For those unable to join at that time, the video link will remain available on the website.