Newcomer Champion Awards Presented to Outstanding Community Leaders

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The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration today presented the Newcomer Champion Awards, for the fifth year in a row, to recognize individuals and groups in Ontario who make a difference by encouraging volunteer activity, actively supporting newcomers, and working for the continued increased of inclusion in our province.

Here are the 2011 Newcomer Champion Award recipients:

Community Leaders:

Mei Huei Grace Chen of Cambridge, community health worker for immigrants and refugees, mentor, and advocate for low-income families

Julie Ling Ma of Hamilton, senior student, Hamilton Youth Advisory Council volunteer and advisor on newcomer youth issues

Paul Nguyen of Toronto, community leader in the Jane and Finch area and advocate for at-risk youth through

Mitra Salarvand of Guelph, co-founder of the Iranian Canadian Community of Guelph, respectfully building bridges between diverse communities

Karen Thorpe of Toronto, community worker coordinating the Women and Family Programs at Yonge Street Mission

Newcomer Champions:

Changer ma communauté of Ottawa, group integrating newcomer students at Collège catholique Samuel-Genest into the Franco-Ontarian education system

Helping With Furniture of Ottawa, volunteer-run organization collecting and delivering furniture and household items for refugee claimant families

Parkdale Community Legal Services of Toronto, community-based legal clinic helping immigrants and refugees achieve status in Canada

ChangeTheWorld Youth Ambassadors:

Jocelyn Bovay of Belleville, who organized her peers to participate in the ChangeTheWorld campaign for two years, helping causes such as food banks and cancer research

Kelly Ann Lovell of Kitchener, who helped the Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteer Centre develop Passion for Progress, an inter-school volunteer competition, for the 2011 ChangeTheWorld campaign

Saquib Mian of Mississauga, who engaged more than 100 youth to volunteer in four events during the 2010 ChangeTheWorld campaign

Znak Ovenden of Welland, who helped organize Welland Spring Clean-up events involving youth with disabilities, during the 2011 ChangeTheWorld campaign

Michelle Vecchione of Thunder Bay, who helped organize fundraising events to send kids with disabilities to Easter Seal Summer Camps during the 2010 ChangeTheWorld campaign

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