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Local changemakers recognized with new Pickering College awards

‘You live and breathe what we are trying to instill in the hearts and the actions of our young people,’ recipients told

Local organizations and individuals are being recognized as changemakers in the community with new awards from Pickering College. 

Award recipients gathered at the Newmarket private school May 24 for the inaugural Changemaker Reception. 

"This celebration directly aligns with our mission as a school, which is to instill in each individual the ability and responsibility to make the world greater, better, and more beautiful than they discovered it,” said head of school Cinde Lock. 

She said the nominees, finalists and winners of these awards speak to the astounding impact people can have in the community. 

"You live and breathe what we are trying to instill in the hearts and the actions of our young people and this is what shapes society for the future,” she said to the recipients. 

There were two different award categories: the Keystone Award, which was given to Pickering College alumni, and the Agent of Change award that was given to four individuals and two organizations in the community. 

Noah Wright accepted the award on behalf of Revolution Now founder Megan Glanfield.

"Changemakers is just doing something, anything you can to change your life and other people’s around you for the positive,” he said. 

Wright designed Black excellence shirts for Revolution Now and the proceeds from the shirt sales went toward a scholarship for Black students in YRDSB. 

"I think that you can make a change in your own reality and other people around you. This shirt may not have made a big difference in the grand picture of the world and what we’re facing in the world, but I think that for me it made a difference and for other people seeing the shirt it made a difference,” he said. 

Jerisha Grant-Hall, founder of the Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association, was also recognized as an agent of change.

"It feels good to be recognized but at the end of the day you want to see what you’re doing really manifest in the community and I think the greatest reward is actually seeing the manifestation of the work that you’re doing," she said. 

She added that receiving this award is "an opportunity for a platform to amplify the work that’s being done in the community to make our community better than we found it. For that reason, the amplification, it’s well received and very grateful." 

The following individuals and organizations were recognized as agents of change with the awards last night: 

  • Jerisha Grant-Hall - founder, Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association
  • Dr. Gaurav Mehta - medical director psychiatry, Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • Gabriel Allahdua - activist-in-residence, University of Guelph
  • Megan Glanfield - founder of Revolution Now
  • Blue Door
  • York Region Food Network 

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Elizabeth Keith

About the Author: Elizabeth Keith

Elizabeth Keith is a general assignment reporter. She graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2017. Elizabeth is passionate about telling local stories and creating community.
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