The RHFSP Difference Maker of the Year Awards celebrate and recognize youth, youth groups, and classrooms from ages 5 to 18. Our award recipients are leaders in making a positive impact for inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities in their school community.
Nominations for 2023 are now closed. Congratulations to this year’s outstanding recipients! Individuals will each receive an honorarium of $500 to recognize their work, while classrooms and youth groups receive $1000 to share. Learn more about our recipients and get inspired with unique ways to make a difference in your community.
Celebrate This Year’s Recipients!
Congratulations to the recipients of the 2023 Difference Maker of the Year Awards.
Difference Maker of the Year Awards Starter Kit
All the resources educators need to inspire young difference makers, all in one place! This kit is designed to help classrooms and students participate in the Difference Maker initiative, and includes free lesson plans, posters, conversation starters, and more.
Nomination Eligibility Criteria
- Resident(s) of Canada.
- Youth between the ages of 5-18 (individuals or groups).
- Have positively impacted accessibility and inclusion in the classroom, school or community, benefiting persons with disabilities.
- The majority of the work has been completed between May 1, 2022-April 30, 2023.
- For nominating others: Nominee(s) have consented to being nominated.
- To nominate yourself, your reference must be an adult (not related to you) with direct knowledge of the positive impact you made.
So I’ve made a nomination, what happens next?
- Once the nomination period closes on April 30th, all nominations will be reviewed to ensure that they meet eligibility criteria.
- Eligible nominations will be reviewed by the Difference Maker Award Selection Committee, who will then select 3 winners.
- Our three winners will be notified by May 19, 2022.
- Each winner will receive an honorarium to recognize their work ($500 honorarium for individuals and $1000 for groups to share), an invitation to a virtual celebration, and public recognition from the Rick Hansen Foundation.
1. What if the Difference Makers are a group of students on a project or part of a club?
Nominees can be individuals or a group of students who participate in a joint project or start a club, for example.
2. What if the person has been nominated or received a RHFSP Difference Maker Award before?
There is no limit to the number of times a person may be nominated.
3. Why do I have to tell the person I am nominating before I submit my nomination to RHF?
RHF would like to celebrate the great work of all the Nominees and may share information about the nomination through emails and social media channels leading up to the award announcement during National AccessAbility Week (May 28- June 3, 2023) . For this reason, we require that the Nominator has the permission of the Nominee to submit the online nomination.
4. Can I nominate a teacher or my coach or youth group leader?
While we have awarded educators, coaches, and youth group leaders in the past, the 2022-23 RHFSP Difference Maker of the Year Awards will be awarded to youth between the ages of 5-18.
5. Can I nominate myself, my friend or a family member?
Yes, you are welcome to nominate yourself, a friend, or a family member! If you are nominating yourself, you will be asked to provide a reference from a non-related adult that knows you and has knowledge of the activity undertaken.
6. Any tips on submitting a nomination?
Your description should provide a well-rounded picture of the nominee and the positive impact of their actions. Concrete examples of the general and specific efforts and contributions the nominee makes in the school or community and their impact, the qualities that make the individual or group/class a worthy recipient, and how these have improved inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.
If you have any further questions about the Difference Maker Awards, please contact us at email@example.com.
Past Award Recipients
Discover stories from past Difference Maker of the Year award recipients. What inspired them, and what was their impact?