Helping at school
Shannen is a peer tutor at her school and gives up her lunch hours to help other students with math. "It's a great feeling when one of my students shows me a test in which she has received a good grade," Shannen says. "I want to be a teacher, so tutoring students gives me the experience that I'll need in the future." Shannen also contributes to her local community by volunteering with other students and teachers at Out of the Cold, a soup kitchen that provides food for less fortunate families.
Teaching and helping in Dominica
Recently, Shannen took her passion for positive change on an international journey, helping at an elementary school and an alternative learning centre in the Caribbean island of Dominica. She taught and tutored students, helped out at daycare, and painted a mural at the school.
Showing her determination to contribute as much as possible, in the evenings Shannen took children to the park, or the beach, to give them a chance to play outside. She also provided enough school supplies to allow a Dominican student to study for an entire year, and often helped to buy evening meals for children whose families struggle to make enough money for food.
The value of volunteering
"Travelling to Dominica was one of the best experiences in my life," Shannen says. "Sometimes, we forget how fortunate we are to live in a place like Canada with a clean water supply and fresh food. I was so grateful to be able to travel to Dominica and help the citizens there."
Shannen is a fantastic example of the new generation of inspirational difference makers who are honored through the Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program. The Program is designed to inspire and celebrate young people like Shannen who use positive change to create a more healthy and inclusive world.
By empowering difference makers like Shannen, the Awards enable young people to volunteer and make a positive difference in their own communities. As Shannen says, "by volunteering to help those in need, you make the world a better place for everyone.
We congratulate Shannen on her work to make the world a better place, at home and overseas. We hope her story inspires others to get out there and volunteer.
The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more.
Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.