Home » About » Awards » Ontario Student Voice Awards » Latest Winners

Latest Winners

The Ontario Student Voice Awards

The Ontario Student Voice Awards (OSVAs) are given annually to outstanding graduating grade 12 students across Ontario. OSVAs are a way for the Ontario Student Trustees to give back to the most exceptional students in our province, those who dedicate their time into passionately representing their community and advocating for the issues most important to them. Each award is valued at $1000 CAD. 

We are proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Ontario Student Voice Awards below. More information about the awards can be found in the accordion at the bottom of the page.

Devron Swaby

Devron Swaby

Commitment to Justice Award

George Harvey Collegiate Institute, Toronto District School Board

As a child growing up in Jamaica, Devron noticed that those with connections excelled, while those without connections had very difficult lives. These encounters fueled Devron’s desire to work towards a more equitable society. He was a member of the MPP Faisal Hassan Youth Council 2021. As a member of the youth council, he helped to voice the concerns of his community’s youth while also promoting mental health awareness and resources. Devron is also an active member of the non-profit Help A Girl Out, which fights period poverty through donations and educational campaigns. HAGO has donated over 60,000 menstrual products and provides menstrual product support to over 500 people on a continual basis. “As a male who was unaware of the issue of period poverty, educating myself has been a very large part of this role for me,” Devron explained. Devron plans to continue his outstanding community service as he looks to pursue a career as a physician.

Ewen Van Wagner

Ewen Van Wagner

Environmental Stewardship Award

Belle River District High School, Greater Essex District School Board

Enthusiastic about politics, climate change and the environment, Ewen Van Wagner has represented Ontario’s environment throughout his high school education. Ewen has volunteered with the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority for years, where he has helped at tree planting events, prairie restoration projects and public events where he released rehabilitated hawks and owls into the wild. The knowledge and skills he gained with the LTVCA permitted Ewen to be a member of the Ontario Youth Environment Council, where he had the opportunity to work with the Minister of the Environment and 11 other youth across Ontario on a wide range of environmental issues. Ewen is thrilled to continue advocating for Ontario’s environment as he studies business and political science.

Alyssa McDormand

Alyssa McDormand

Dedication to the Arts Award

Longfields Davidson Heights Secondary School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Alyssa McDormand uses art to bring a message of love and connection to others. Her favourite subjects are people, as she enjoys capturing their beauty, unique characteristics, and identities. 

Art helps her look inwards to her journey, trials, and identity, and prompts the viewers to consider their own identity and journey. Alyssa enjoys working through her art to help and support others. She created a colouring book for children in Nunavut, designed a logo for the BLG “Reads to Kids” reading program, and made artworks for her local Salvation Army church. Alyssa hopes to become an art teacher after studying visual arts and education so that she can help students learn about themselves and learn to love everyone through art, sharing her message represented in her art.

Finlay Johnson

Finlay Johnson

Sports Leadership Award

Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Through perseverance and enthusiasm, Finlay Johnson has modelled dedication as a leader in the sports community. She has played competitive soccer, including the Ontario Provincial Development League, and has thrived in the Phoenix Exceptional Athlete Program throughout high school. She was a member of the school volleyball and cross country teams, where she was a District 8 champion in 2019. Finlay volunteered with the Junior Leadership Program through Cambridge Youth Soccer Club, helping young athletes develop skills and a passion for the game of soccer. Additionally, she advocates for healthy lifestyles and active living through her participation on the school’s Athletic Council and volunteer work with the PEAT program. As an athlete and a leader, Finlay looks forward to inspiring others through sport as she starts a new journey next year at university.

Charles Yuan

Charles Yuan

Entrepreneurial Initiative Award

Bayview Secondary School, York Region District School Board

Charles’ entrepreneurial spirit is fuelled by his mindset to turn setbacks into comebacks. He was the President of Bayview’s Chess Club for 2 years during the isolating COVID-19 pandemic, in which Charles founded his school board’s first-ever virtual chess league involving 10 high schools. Amid the closures of official certified chess tournaments, Charles coordinated monthly virtual chess team tournaments to connect students from across Toronto to bond over their common interest in chess. Charles’ advice for anyone pursuing their goals or applying for scholarships is to always persevere, as OSVA became his first scholarship win after 20 other scholarship applications. Similarly, a true entrepreneurial spirit never gives up from setbacks!

Jaskamal Patti

Jaskamal Patti

Student Voice Award

Fletchers Meadow Secondary School, Peel District School Board

Jaskamal Patti, a Grade 12 Student at Fletcher’s Meadow Secondary School, is dedicated to further diversifying and strengthening our community, by advocating for the importance of student voice. As the Editor-In-Chief of her school’s newspaper, she focuses on highlighting current issues and topics important to the student body, as well as boosting student morale by publishing student works in the newspaper. Jaskamal is also the Founder and President of Ask-An-Arrow, her school’s first peer-mentoring program, which she started as an effort to help new students easily transition into highschool, despite the stresses of the pandemic. Here, she helped strengthen the school community and catered to student needs by hosting workshops, orientations, mentoring sessions, and community building events to help students improve their academic, social, and personal lives. Aspiring to be the first female engineer in her family, Jaskamal hopes to find greener solutions to harness energy, while simultaneously advocating for diversity in the STEM field as well.

 

Commitment to Justice Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Commitment to Justice Award is to honour the achievements of students who show immense commitment and enthusiasm for justice. OSTA-AECO recognizes the courage put into creating a just environment for all.
These annual awards are the best opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication, and caring nature of the province’s most exceptional students. They also promote excellence in advocating for issues that students feel passionate about across Ontario. This award also allows for the recognition of students who work towards creating equity to combat injustices all around the world.

Criteria:

    • Demonstrates a devotion to justice 
    • Advocates for an issue they feel is particularly in need of equity
    • Is committed and dedicated to creating a just society 
    • Shows courage in speaking up for their beliefs
    • Stands up for social injustices
    • Devotes their time regularly to volunteer efforts  
Environmental Stewardship Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Environmental Stewardship Award is to honour the achievements of students who frequently promote the conservation of the natural environment through sustainable practices and their activities. OSTA-AECO recognizes the threat and effects of climate change, and the importance of living sustainably. 

This new award is an opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication, and caring nature of the province’s most exceptional students. They promote excellence in advocating for and living sustainably to better our natural environment for years to come. This award reminds students to continue to be active within their communities and to advocate for long-lasting change to make the world a better place.  

Criteria: 

  • Demonstrates a devotion to environmental sustainability  
  • Is committed and dedicated to preserving the natural environment 
  • Leads peers into bettering the environment
  • Devotes their time regularly to volunteer efforts
  • Speaks up and calls for action surrounding issues such as climate change
  • One reference letter highlighting why you are a suitable recipient for this award (Note: reference may not be from a family member)
  • Must be a graduating student
Dedication to the Arts Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Dedication to the Arts Award is to honour the accomplishments and achievements of secondary students who participate in tremendous ways through the arts, whether that be in their school or community. OSTA-AECO recognizes the commitment of students to the arts across Ontario.

These annual awards are an incredible opportunity to acknowledge the dedication, excellence and achievements of our secondary students in the province.

Criteria:

    • Involved in the Arts (visual arts, drama, music, photography, film, dance, etc.)
    • Shows passion and dedication in their Arts area(s) of choice
    • Shows a strong leadership presence within their arts community
    • Has participated in a wide variety of arts related events
Entrepreneurial Initiative Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Entrepreneurial Initiative Award is to honour the achievements of students who participate in innovative activities in areas including but not limited to mathematics, business, science and technology. OSTA-AECO recognizes the initiative of students who have visions to make a difference in the present and future world.
These annual awards are the best opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication, and excellence of the province’s most inventive students. Additionally, they inspire youth leadership through their efforts to start up amazing projects across Ontario. This award is given out to support those students who go above and beyond to status quo to bring new ideas to the world.

Criteria:

    • Demonstrates leadership and creative thinking
    • Has established new projects, businesses, inventions, councils or challenged theory.
    • Dedicates their time to serve their community
    • Perseveres through disappointment and is willing to make sacrifices to achieve a goal
Sports Leadership Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Sports Leadership Award is to honour the achievements of amateur and competitive athletes. OSTA-AECO recognizes the excellence of leadership in sport.

These annual awards are the best opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication and victories of the province’s finest athletes. In doing so, they also promote excellence in leadership through sport across Ontario. The awards remind youth how sport lifts the human spirit while acknowledging the true champions of sport. They celebrate the athletes and leaders who compete yet inspire hope.

Criteria:

    • Being a good role model to other students
    • Inspires and engages others in sports
    • Exemplifies qualities of fair play and good sportsmanship
    • Demonstrates expertise, experience and leadership in a variety of sports 
    • Commitment to the overall school and/or community sport programs
Student Voice Award

The mission of the OSTA-AECO Student Voice Award is to honour the achievements of students who participate in diverse and outstanding ways to represent the student voice throughout their community. OSTA-AECO recognizes the passion put into ensuring student voice is heard.
These annual awards are the best opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication, and excellence of the province’s most understanding students in Ontario. In addition, the award reminds youth that being active in advocating for students can result in community growth that encourages long-lasting leadership initiatives.

Criteria:

    • Is involved within school and/or community
    • Demonstrates leadership and advocates for student voice
    • Actively encourages inclusivity
    • Develops meaningful relationships and thrives in social interactions
    • Stands up for the opinions, rights and beliefs of students