A few weeks ago, we blogged about an extraordinary high school student named Sheliza Kassam. Here, she shares her own perspective on what it means to be one of the recipients of this year’s Leaders of Tomorrow Award.
On April 17th, I received the amazing opportunity of attending the Volunteer Calgary Leadership Awards. It was truly a remarkable experience where I got to meet Alison Redford, Darrel Janz and several other famous individuals living in Alberta.
I, Sheliza Kassam, received the Leaders of Tomorrow Award from the Senior Category. I truly believe that this award will change my life. The title “Leaders of Tomorrow” has allowed me to accept the fact that a youth at age 15 can change the world. When I went onstage to accept my award, at first I wasn’t sure if I should give an acceptance speech because I was extremely nervous. However, as soon as I stood in front of the podium, the words just came naturally to me. Every youth has the power to make a difference, I did and so can you. No matter what age, race or height, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
I grew up as a pessimist, but as soon as I became a volunteer, my mind set changed. I find it amazing how the smallest things can change a person’s life. In my opinion, the satisfaction wasn’t receiving the award, but being able to encourage youth to make a difference.
When I was giving my acceptance speech, I was completely aware that there were youth in the room that didn’t feel as if they had the capability to make a difference. This is the reason why I kept on restating the fact that even youth at age five are getting involved in their community, which means you can too. Even Riley Beatty, the Elementary School winner raised $25,000 for the Diabetes Association. This shows that if you are passionate and committed to make a difference in the world, you can do it.
~Sheliza Kassam, 2012 Leaders of Tomorrow Award Recipient
Congratulations, Sheliza! You truly deserve the title, “Leader of Tomorrow” and are an inspiration to people of all ages!
We hope that Sheliza’s story inspires more Calgarians to start giving back to the community.
Do you know an outstanding youth volunteer? You can nominate them for the next Annual Leadership Awards.