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Youth of the Year honours handed out to local students

The city handed out its Youth of the Year awards Monday to Ashlee Hick, (left) Qais Khan, and Sylvia Masich. Absent from photo is Juri Sudo-Rustad, who is currently on exchange in Japan. City of Prince George photo

During the Monday’s council meeting, the city honoured four outstanding young people for service and dedication to the community.

The Youth of the Year Award is presented by the city each year to young people of high achievement between the ages of 13 and 18 years who are attending school in Prince George. In order to be recognized, individuals must demonstrate a high level of school involvement (including average or above average academic standing, extracurricular activities, and volunteer committees) and significant contributions in the community (outside of school) through volunteering.

The 2019 Youth of the Year Award recipients are: 

Qais Khan – Qais Khan was admitted into the College Heights Leadership class a year early due to his outstanding record of volunteering at school functions. Soon after, he joined the Rotary Interact Program and made significant contributions to Smiles, a pediatric Pen Pal program, and other Rotary initiatives. His commitment was recognized by his peers who elected him Interact Club president in his first year. Qais has demonstrated academic excellence and is on the Principal’s list.

Ashlee Hick – Ashlee Hick has an impressive list of volunteer achievements both in and out of school, and is the valedictorian of her graduating class at College Heights Secondary. She was also recently selected to speak at We Day Vancouver, a celebration of youth empowerment attended by 18,000 people from across the province. Her speech was about the Independent Anti-bullying and Positive Mental Health (ARK) Program, which she co-founded at CHSS.

Sylvia Masich – Sylvia Masich has been a dedicated athlete, volunteer, and coach for the Prince George Track and Field Club for the past eight years. Sylvia is also particularly committed to the Special Olympics and worked to have special Olympians included in the regular track and field training program. Her efforts resulted in three Special Olympic athletes qualifying for the high school track provincial championships.

Juri Sudo-Rustad –  At 17, Juri Sudo-Rustad was recently the youngest person ever elected to the board of the Prince George Community Arts Council and is its first-ever youth advocate. Juri is an active advocate for youth and the arts in the community, and has won numerous awards for her own art. She is currently studying on exchange in Japan.

The honourees were celebrated during the “Celebrating Success” portion of Monday’s council meeting, which council often uses to mark the positive achievements of residents and organizations.