To the editor;
A teen’s life is busy: dealing with the pressures of “growing up,” going to school, devoting many hours to homework, and often working a part-time job. Despite these demands, young women in Kamloops and area are setting time aside for volunteering – to make a difference in their community.
One such inspiring volunteer is Karina Pelayo. Just 17-years-old, she has worked hard to make a change in the lives of many of her young peers.
Karina is active in volunteer school programs at Barriere Secondary School. She is Team Commissioner to the Student Working Actively Together Program, organizing and facilitating learning activities for the junior students; and is the school delegate to the School District Leadership Council.
She has successfully performed her role as peer mentor, facilitated seminars and assisted in hosting activities for the new grade eights. Karina works outside the school in the community of Barriere/McLure. She is a teen mentor for Big Brothers and Sisters, an elementary volleyball coach, a talented musician with grade 10 piano and grade six opera certificates, and Karina volunteers as a conductress for the Barriere Elementary School Chorus.
In the broader world community, Karina participated in the Free the Children program to introduce students to thinking about the global village; she followed that up with a summer trip to Ecuador to assist Free the Children with the construction of schools and clean water systems, and taught English in a small rural village. Karina also put together a proposal to support an orphanage for children with disabilities in the Philippines.
Kamloops Soroptimists recognize Karina with the Violet Richardson Honouring Youth Award. The program recognizes young women who make the community and world a better place through volunteer efforts.
Soroptimist International of Kamloops is one of about 1,500 clubs that make up Soroptimist International of the Americas, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women whose mission is to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.
Karina will now advance to the Soroptimist Western Canada Region award level. The winner from a field of 22 receives a $1,000 award, which is matched with a $1,000 contribution to the recipient’s volunteer organization. The Western Canada Regional Award winner’s name goes on to compete for the International award, which includes a $2,500 contribution to the recipient’s volunteer organization.
Karina Pelayo has been lauded by her schoolmates, teachers and broader community for her many contributions.
These days we often hear negative stories about young people. I think readers of your newspaper would find Karina’s story to be a refreshing change of pace.
Shirley Sanderson, Soroptimist International Awards Committee Chair