AUSU’s Student Service Award is ?designed to recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to their community,? including ?members who volunteer their time to AUSU, AU or to any other community or organization.? Three winners were recently chosen for this award: Tyler Nagle, Lorie Craig, and Sarah Beamish. All three were kind enough to discuss their contributions as a volunteer.
Tyler Nagle is an AU program student who is ?only four courses away? from completing his Bachelor of Commerce. Nagle serves as ?the student representative on the School of Business program council,? and also as the Vice President (Canadian Region) for the International Graphic Arts Education Association (IGAEA).
?I’ve held this position since 2006,? says Nagle. ?This year, I was awarded the President’s Award for Exceptional Service to IGAEA?in recognition of my work in creating a new content-managed website for the organization, supporting hundreds of users.?
Nagle says, however, that his largest volunteer time commitment is his work with the WorldSkills organization. WorldSkills is an international not-for-profit association that aims to promote vocational education and training, and holds a biannual international competition to showcase incredibly skilled tradespeople. Nagle served as the Canadian National Expert for Offset Printing in the 2009 WorldSkills competition.
Nagle is also highly involved with Skills Canada, WorldSkills? Canadian subsidiary. He is the Chair of the National Technical Committee for Offset Printing for Skills Canada, and has been a judge of the Skills Canada National Graphic Design Competition for the last three years, as well as a committee member for the Provincial Graphic Design Competition.
?It is a wonderful feeling to have my contributions recognized in a formal way,? Nagle says. ?Thank you to AUSU for honouring me with this award. I appreciate the recognition.?
Lorie Craig, meanwhile, is both an LPN and a single mother of three children aged 24, 21, and 19. ?My 19-year-old son was involved in an alcohol-related car crash in 2004 at the age of 13,? Craig says. ?He sustained a very severe brain injury.?
Seven months after her son’s accident, Craig decided to begin caring for him at home. Through her daily struggles ?living in a small rural community with a severely disabled family member,? Craig became an advocate for the disabled.
?I am dedicated to turning my son’s personal tragedy into a strong voice for youth safety,? Craig says. ?I have been actively involved with teenagers in my community and have a deep concern for their need to make safe, sensible decisions with risky activities and to stop drinking and driving.?
Because ?the only cure for brain injury is PREVENTION,? Craig has ?made focused and targeted efforts to assist communities throughout southwest Saskatchewan to increase youth safety in key injury areas.?
Most notably, Craig initiated and coordinated ?a well-respected, nationally recognized Prevention of Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program? in her home community. She has worked to extend P.A.R.T.Y. programs to several other communities throughout southwest Saskatchewan.
Craig has also advocated for handicapped parking access, wheelchair accessibility to stores and recreation, appropriate handicapped public transportation, and special educational resources and advancements. Craig has furthermore ?raised community awareness to the needs of people with disabilities? and ?assisted teachers, school children, and youth to understand and include students with disabilities,? as well as challenging her local ?school and health programs to deliver programs in a seamless, coordinated client-centred manner.?
Craig says that she is ?thankful that this award is available to recognize the hard work of volunteers.?
Sarah Beamish’s volunteer work, finally, ?has spanned a number of organizations and themes,? but for the past 10 years has primarily been with the human rights non-governmental agency Amnesty International.
?I began as an individual member writing letters,? Beamish says, ?then became the coordinator of a high school group, and since then have worked at a number of tasks on the national and international levels.?
Beamish says that highlights of her work with Amnesty International have included ?sitting on a number of national committees, monitoring the Ipperwash Inquiry into the police killing of indigenous land rights protester Dudley George, [and] attending the International Council Meeting (Amnesty’s highest decision-making body) in Mexico as Canada’s first voting youth representative.?
Beamish also serves as a ?coordinator for Amnesty’s Colombia file,? a position she has held since 2006. ?In this role, I develop and support activism on this file by our members across Canada,? Beamish explains. ?Recently my work has been particularly focused on pushing for a human rights impact assessment of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.?
?This spring I was also elected to Amnesty Canada’s Executive Committee (board of directors), and I am now completing a two-year term as director, with a particular individual focus on international strategy, finance, and planning and evaluation of our long-term work.?
Beamish describes her volunteer work as ?a fundamental part? of her life; one that is both ?intensely challenging and intensely rewarding.? She says that to her, this award is ?particularly meaningful,? and proves that ?good marks and paper achievements are not the only important thing or the most important thing. Awards like this are an act of recognition that we can achieve and contribute in many ways, and that learning and leadership should happen simultaneously.?
AUSU and The Voice congratulate the winners of the Student Service Awards, and thank them for all of their volunteer contributions!