Leaders of Tomorrow Awards
Originally founded by Leadership Vancouver Island participants in 2013, the Cowichan Valley Leaders of Tomorrow Awards is a volunteer recognition program recognizing youth age 6-24. The award gives individuals or community organizations the chance to publicly recognize the contributions of their youth volunteer leaders and commend them for their contributions. Today, the purpose of the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Program remains the same: to encourage award nominees to continue their involvement in volunteerism and leadership activities and acknowledge that all voluntary contributions are valuable to the community!
Goals of the Leaders of Tomorrow Awards
- publicly recognize youth who demonstrate outstanding leadership through volunteer efforts in the Cowichan Valley,
- to affirm the value of their actions to the community, and
- to create role models for other youth.
How it all started…
by Anne-Marie Koeppen
“After comparing notes, thoughts and ideas our LVI Group decided to run with the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Awards. We all agreed we wanted a project that focused on youth, leadership and volunteerism. I brought the idea to the group having been involved with 5 LOT event startups in Alberta and through my involvement with Volunteer Alberta connected with another 150 across the province.
The original model recognized youth in 4 age categories with a 1st place “winner” in each category. We all agreed we were not comfortable with that notion as it would imply losers and that is not at all what we wanted to project. The event is all about the nomination! Each and every individual is recognized equally for their leadership and volunteer efforts. We all agreed we wanted to encourage great leadership and community role models. Our community partner organization was (and remains) Volunteer Cowichan, local volunteer centre.
I would say that Team ALOT was made up of truly solid leadership material. From the beginning we learned to trust each other and work together in a collaborative, meaningful way. Recognizing that each member brought their own voice of experience and had their own thoughts and ideas on the shape and direction of the project. At various points throughout, we agreed to disagree on various elements of our project, however, at the end of the day we always walked away in thoughtful respect of each other. We all agreed that the whole point of LVI was not about the project success or failure but the personal learning that we took away. While a couple members of our team are not able to continue to participate we still remain in contact. The event continues today with support from LVI.”
Team A.L.O.T. Members:
• Charlie Clappis
• Anne-Marie Koeppen
• Lisa Brinkman
• Byron Neubauer
• Julia Ellison
• Sheila Walmsley (coach)
Below is a video about the 2013 Leaders of Tomorrow Awards:
LVI Participant Testimony
“I wasn’t sure what I was volunteering for when I agreed to help out with Leaders of Tomorrow Cowichan Awards. I was sold on the idea of recognizing youth volunteerism. I was sold on
the idea that it wasn’t a competition, that all participants were equally worthy of recognition. And I was happy to volunteer a little of my own time to make the event happen.
What I wasn’t expecting was the joy and satisfaction I received from the happy faces of the participants, and the gratitude in the eyes of the parents at the event. It is just a feel good event. A way to say thank-you for helping out.”
Byron Neubauer, Leaders of Tomorrow Team Member
Community Partner Testimony
Back To Our Impact
“The depth of dedication shown by the youth nominees also reflects the commitment and passion of those on the annual planning committee; it is my honour to support this grassroots community initiative in support of our young leaders.”
Jenn Georg, Community Leader and Awards Ceremony MC