Difference Makers are people just like you - everyday Canadians doing amazing things. This page will tell you more about just some of the wonderful Difference Makers out there. We hope they will inspire and motivate you.
And if you've done something to make a difference, or know someone who has - tell us at email@example.com. We would love to hear your story.
“I sow a lot of seeds as a teacher that I know one day will flourish in my students’ lives. Susan and I hope to see these seeds of growth cultivated in our kids so that they are later able to harvest them.” - Shauna Stanyer, teacher at Holy Cross Secondary School, Surrey, BC; she and her teaching partner, Susan Sousa, are 2017 RHFSP Difference Makers of the Year (educators)
Shauna Stanyer and her teaching partner, Susan Sousa, believe most students are eager to receive opportunities to bring about awareness and change for people with disabilities, and enhance the quality of life for all people.
“Most kids are really nice, empathetic, compassionate young people and sometimes they just need that little push to become more aware and insightful,” says Susan.
"Even if someone has a disability like me, they are actually able to do anything".
Five year old Hannah Taylor set out to make life better for homeless people in her community.
"I believe we should all stand up and speak up when we see someone getting hurt."
"I show that it is possible to have an amazing life. Even if I can't walk."
Shannen wants to be a teacher and has made a difference by teaching in Canada and Dominica.
Nicole volunteers with the Kamatsiaqtut Help Line, a source of support and inspiration.
"I felt good because I was helping other people"
Emily spent a day in a wheelchair to help people learn about accessibility.
"I really enjoy connecting with other visually impaired students and helping out in any way I can."
Two boys who have changed people's perceptions of autism and each other's lives.
"Rick reminds us to turn the obstacles we face into something good"
Like Rick, Gareth, who has cerebral palsy, overcomes obstacles with a positive attitude
Carolyn, a student from PEI, used music to take a stand against bullying.
Sierra inspired her class at school to raise funds for the Rick Hansen Foundation through a Significant Objects Experiment.
Jill Martens, an inspirational young woman from Boissevain, Manitoba, is the proud recipient of the Atsede Hobbs "Living out Loud" Rick Hansen Difference Maker Scholarship for 2014.
Rachel is involved in many charitable activities from food collections to relays.
Diagnosed with cancer in grade 11, Manraj now volunteers to support young people with cancer
Katie is in Grade 5 and already a dedicated fundraiser, participating in the MS Walk and zumbathons.
In 2015, the Rick Hansen Foundation School Program named Maura Del Medico of Ontario as our Difference Maker of the Year for her efforts to enhance the social environment of her school and help her fellow students.
With his new initiative Run 4 the Health of It, Luke is an athlete turned advocate – he’s encouraging high schools across BC to include students with special needs in both Cross Country and Track & Field teams.
In 2016, the Rick Hansen Foundation School Program named Hayden Kalelest of Williams Lake, BC as our Difference Maker of the Year for his perseverance, courage and leadership.
Carolyn West, a resource teacher at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba, believes it’s educators’ responsibility to mold their school into a community where all students can experience life to the fullest.
Eleanor Norman remembers how proud she and her family were to root for Rick Hansen during his Man In Motion World Tour over 30 years ago. An Occasional Teacher at Chapman Mills Public School, Eleanor is connecting with this Canadian hero in a different way.
Averill Huxter is an elementary and high school teacher in Escuminac, in rural Quebec. “I want my students to recognize that everyone has value, everyone has something to contribute. That differences make us better – they don’t take away from people,” says Averill.
The main focus at educator Janet Dunec’s school, with grades from kindergarten to grade 8, was community building. When the school’s special education resource teacher suggested trying RHFSP’s Difference Makers, Janet was quick to register.