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 schools@rickhansen.com. We would love to hear your story.

Meet Susan Schmidt, 2018 Difference Maker of the Year

For over 35 years, Schmidt has cared deeply for the community at Pembina Trails. She’s worked as a classroom teacher, a resource teacher, reading recovery teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent. She is passionate about safe, caring, and inclusive schools.

Meet Ava Koldenhof, 2018 Student Difference Maker of the Year

Ava Koldenhof is making beaded angels to make a difference through local and international charities. Ava is the recipient of the Rick Hansen School Program Difference Maker Certificate of Excellence for her philanthropic efforts to make the world a better place.

Meet Jennifer and Jonathan, 2018 Educator Difference Makers of the Year

A Rick Hansen-named school in Aurora strives to live up to its namesake every day. Two of its teachers are being recognized as Difference Makers of the Year for leading a Wellness Day that promotes well-being and inclusion.

Meet Renai Moleman, 2018 Difference Maker Educator of the Year

Renai Moleman believes everyone has the ability to make a difference in their community and world. At Greater Gatineau Elementary in Gatineau, QC, she’s both a kindergarten teacher and member of an accessibility team implementing modifications to the built environment.

Meet Carolyn West, 2017 Difference Maker Educator of the Year

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.

Meet Jordan, Student Difference Maker

As someone who was born with cerebral palsy and a cognitive disability, Jordan has faced many barriers, but he tends to turn them into opportunities to create more inclusive communities. From a YouTube channel to volunteer work, Jordan's love of sports and his positive outlook have touched his classmates and inspired them to also make a difference.

Partners of our School Program

Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects, and Scotiabank Logos

Made possible by our Co-Presenting Partners Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects and Scotiabank and the generous support of CGI, Brian Hesje, The Gordon and Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation, The Honda Canada Foundation, PIC Investment Group Inc., and The Slaight Family Foundation.Gordon and Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation, The Honda Canada Foundation, PIC Investment Group Inc., and The Slaight Family Foundation Logos

Stay in Touch

Receive Foundation emails to stay up-to-date on our impact and programs.