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Congratulations to all the 2016 YMCA Power of Peace nominees

On November 17, we celebrated peacemakers in our community at the 2016 Power of Peace Awards at the Norman Rothstein Theatre.
It was an evening to highlight those who are working hard to make positive change and to recognize those who are making a tangible difference in our community. Keynote speaker Michele Landsberg focused her speech on the ways feminist causes have evolved in the past quarter century and musical guests Twin Bandit added their unique voices and earthy musicality to the night.
Above all, it was a time to honour some remarkable people who are reaching out to others to help, to inspire and to transform how we see ourselves and those in need.  Congratulations again to each and every changemaker. Below is a summary of the work of the nominees and the chosen winners.
2016 Group Award Recipient 
BC Student Alliance: student alliance advocating for more representation in the BC education system.

2016 Group Nominees:
Artquake: providing the space and opportunity for young artists ages 13-29 to showcase and share their work.

Bumpin Bakery: volunteer bakers who provide free muffins to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

SIDEWALK Supper Project: best friends who feed the homeless and the hungry with wholesome, home-cooked meals.

Street Thug Barbers: Free outdoor barbershop for the city’s most vulnerable. Hugs included. thug barbers

YouthCO: A youth-driven organization dedicated to reducing the stigma of living with HIV & Hepatitis C.

2016 Individual Award Recipient:

Patrick Oleman: founder of the 2010 Homeless World Cup Team Canada soccer team and captain of Woodwards FC – a street soccer team based in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

2016 Individual Nominees:

Lauren Johnson: a clinical counsellor dedicated to raising awareness and reducing stigma of mental health issues in distant corners of the world.

Michael Schratter: a teacher who founded the Ride Don’t Hide movement: cycling to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Teesha Sharma: a mental health worker with a passion for providing at-risk youth with mentorship opportunities.

2016 Youth Award Recipient

Roshan Gosal:
Roshan promotes inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities through his initiation of the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.

2016 Youth Nominees:

Kaylin Dhaliwhal:

Through her volunteer work, Kaylin has become an important role model for young, South-Asian females to stay healthy through physical activity.

Kindlers Society:
Kindlers Society was founded by high school students in Vancouver, with a mission of promoting universal education and English literacy on both local and international levels.

Shivani Mysuria:

Noticing the lack of engagement and access to physical activity opportunities for kids with autism and other cognitive disabilities, Shivani founded the Positive Leisure for Autistic Youth (P.L.A.Y) program.

Yo Bro yo Girl:
Yo Bro Yo Girl’s unique strength-based programs are designed to motivate and equip youth with the tools and resiliency to avoid drugs and violence, pursue education, and set positive goals for the future. Founded by a former gang member.