Pickering College honours changemakers who are taking action locally and globally

by ahnationtalk on May 26, 202351 Views

NEWMARKET, ON, May 26, 2023 – Pickering College hosted a special celebration in recognition of the nominees and recipients of the Alumni Keystone Award and the Agent of Change Community Award, on Wednesday.

These awards recognize leaders who are innovative, courageous and compassionate global citizens in their efforts to take action in one of the following areas: community engagement, environmental stewardship, social justice, truth and reconciliation, advocacy, and other meaningful contributions to the community.

“This event aligns directly with our mission as a school – to instill in each individual the ability and responsibility to make the world greater, better, and more beautiful than they discovered it,” says Dr. Cinde Lock, Head of School at Pickering College. “Each of the award recipients, in their own way, live and breathe this mission in their daily lives. It is clear that we have a shared purpose to make the world around us better. The collective impact of the nominees, finalists and award winners on our communities is astounding.”

Pickering College was founded by Quakers in 1842 and while non-denominational, strives to uphold the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, integrity, compassion, equality and stewardship. Winners of the Agent of Change Award and Alumni Keystone Award have demonstrated these values in their work to make their community a better place.

Pickering College is honoured to announce following award recipients:

Alumni Keystone Award

Nico Macias ’14
Engineer, SpaceX
Nico’s impactful work as an engineer at SpaceX has focused on enhancing the launch rate and reliability of the Falcon vehicle. His work contributed to cost effective satellite missions and the first portion of the Starlink constellation to be placed into orbit. This technology is revolutionizing internet connectivity worldwide, forging new paths for rural and Indigenous communities lacking affordable internet and proving to be a vital tool for disaster relief efforts, demonstrated by its valuable use in Ukraine.

Agent of Change Award – Community, Individual

Gabriel Allahdua
Activist-in-Residence, University of Guelph
As the Activist-in-Residence at the University of Guelph, Gabriel brings activists and researchers to work together on migrant issues and amplify each other’s work. He provides outreach and support to migrant workers in Ontario and is the author of an eye-opening book on their living and working conditions. His work with politicians aims to change unjust immigration and labour laws and to grant migrant workers status upon arrival in Canada.

Megan Glanfield
Founder of Revolution Now!
Megan is a teacher and founder of Revolution Now!, a sustainable fashion venture established as a response to homophobia and performative allyship in schools. Their purple shirt was created to bring awareness of the lived experience of trans youth and to generate funding for The 519, providing services for 2SLGBTQ+ youth in the GTA. Revolution Now! has grown to provide the same platform for Black and Indigenous youth, spreading messages of inclusivity and social change. The award was graciously accepted on Megan’s behalf by Noah Wright, the designer behind Revolution Now!’s Black Excellence shirt.

Jerisha Grant-Hall
Founder, Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association
Jerisha is committed to moving our communities forward through partnerships and bold conversations. She is the founder and chair of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association which is a nonprofit organization that is focused on building community, supporting and strengthening Black families and empowering Black youth. She is driven by the desire to eradicate racial discrimination by cultivating and promoting an inclusive environment where social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity are realized for all.

Dr. Gaurav Mehta
Medical Director Psychiatry, Southlake Regional Health Centre
As a consultant addiction psychiatrist, Gaurav is dedicated to serving vulnerable individuals with serious mental illness and complex needs, many living in shelters or group homes. He sees patients in nine outpatient programs as well as his role as a Medical Director for inpatients at Southlake Regional Health Centre. He has a keen interest in Addiction Medicine, ECT and Diabetes. He holds an appointment as adjunct lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Agent of Change Award – Community, Organization

Blue Door
Blue Door has a long history of providing dignified housing support to vulnerable people in York Region. As the largest emergency housing provider in York Region, Blue Door is committed to addressing the root causes of homelessness, by providing access to innovative and collaborative housing, health, and employment programs and supports.

York Region Food Network
York Region Food Network is a small organization with a huge impact in York Region, where approximately 25,000 households experience food insecurity. Their programs include community gardens, food classes to develop skills and build community, drop-in breakfasts, and the Good Food Box. They build spaces where people can enjoy fresh foods, expand social networks and they advocate for the right to food for all.

To view the complete list of award recipients and finalists, please visit our website: https://www.pickeringcollege.on.ca/changemakers

About Pickering College

Pickering College is Canada’s only Quaker-founded independent day and boarding school for boys and girls from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. Founded in 1842 and established in its current Newmarket location since 1909, Pickering College’s vision is to develop innovative, courageous and compassionate global citizens who take action, true to Quaker values. The school’s international network of alumni includes prominent academics and scientists; lawyers and judges; artists, musicians and filmmakers; social entrepreneurs and business innovators; and government and public service members. Pickering College is a full member of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network (ASPnet).

About the Alumni Keystone Award

The Alumni Keystone Award recognizes the outstanding contributions our young alumni make through their professional, academic or volunteer achievements, to leave our world greater, better and more beautiful than they discovered it. A keystone is the wedge-shaped piece at the crown of the arch, something on which associated pieces depend on for support. Similarly, our young alumni are emerging community leaders who others depend on for inspiration, guidance and action.

About the Agent of Change Award

The Agent of Change Award honours individuals and organizations who are taking action in their community to make the world greater, better and more beautiful than they discovered it. It recognizes leaders who are innovative, courageous and compassionate global citizens in their efforts to take action.

For further information: Naomi Côté, Communications Manager, ncote@pickeringcollege.on.ca


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