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Youth Awards 2023: A Night to Remember

It was amazing to be back hosting our annual in-person awards ceremony to honour and celebrate incredible young people we are so lucky to have in our community!

We'd like to congratulate al our nominees and award winners for all their efforts. A big thank you to our MC's, award presenters and all of YOU who support our youth in the community!

A special shout-out also to our entertainers The None of Us band (from our Music Scene Program), Royal City Sound (from our Youth DJ program) and guest performers Sunset Kid and Marcus de Lima!

We would like to send a huge thank our generous sponsors for their support and for helping us reward our New West Youth Award winners with generous honorariums this year. THANK YOU:

2023 New West Youth Award Winners

Leadership – Winner: Niki Kalketenidis, NWSS, Grade 12

For the last four years she has taken a leadership role as a volunteer at drop-in services at Fraser River Middle School location. She has taken her volunteer role very seriously and has shown up on Fridays since her grade nine school year, building relationships with the younger generation and helping set up activities and program. In grade eight she participated in the Leaders in Training and worked hard at coming out of her shell. Niki is now a confident leader, and she now helps to support programs for the younger generation. She is great at pulling in kids who are sitting on the sidelines and getting them involved.

Community Service – Winner: Porya Dashtipour, NWSS, Grade 12

Despite being a new immigrant student at New Westminster Secondary school, Porya was actively involved in various school-based activities to learn about the school, he was studying in and the community he had moved into. Through his involvement in Student Voice and BC Teacher-Librarians' Association, he has gained a deeper understanding of people from diverse backgrounds' desires, thoughts, and mindsets. This experience helped Porya to develop solid cross-cultural communication skills. As a result of his dedication and hard work, he earned the position of District Student Trustee. In September 2022, Porya's leadership and people management skills helped him to take the initiative to apply for Neighborhood Small Grants to form the Peer Help Homework Club (Coursework Association). Porya aimed to help newcomer students with their assignment challenges in English, Math and literacy. Managing the club has not been without challenges. Porya's biggest challenge was the number of attendees each day with a limited number of mentors (Porya & his friend, Hyrad). Porya divided the students by their grades into two groups on different days (grades 5-12 on Mondays and grades 1-5 on Tuesdays), so he could better focus on the attendees and maximize the support. I am proud of his positive impact on the 30 diverse newcomer students during the past six months. I can attest to his ability and patience, management skills, and deep commitment to helping others and the community. Porya is a confident, well-organized, diligent, and capable leader. He has proven to be generous, kind, enthusiastic, and helpful in and out of school.

Arts & Culture – Winner: The None of Us (NWSS Students: Vitoria Gizele Cecilio da Silva, Lara Carvalho Ferreira Gomes, Beatriz Ganymede Frede, Daniel Tina Itokazu, Andrew Canil)

The None of Us was born within the walls of the Youth Centre at our Music Scene program. A talented group of students helped to create the band and they now perform for the Abbotsford Pilot hockey games as well as other gigs in and around New Westminster.

Athletics & Sportsmanship – Winner: Levi Tuura, NWSS, Grade 12

Levi is an outstanding young man in many areas. He is on the executive of his school's Canadian Cancer Society, as well he has maintained a 93% grade point average his high school career. Levi has a passion in track and field, specifically high jump. Last year after a difficult break forced by Covid, Levi came back to win the BC high school championships with a jump of 207cm. Then went on to win the Canadian U18 Nationals and was selected to represent BC at the U25 Canada Games. While he is the ultimate competitor he always takes the time to welcome and console his opponents. Respect is paramount ending each competition by shaking the hands of all athletes and officials.

Sustainability – Winner: Maggie Violet Arellano, NWSS, Grade 12

Maggie has been involved with Girl Guides of Canada since she was 4 and has now achieved the rank of Ranger. She and her troop-mates have donated many hours to community service, visiting local care homes (where she developed personal relationships with some of the seniors there that lasted beyond the Girl Guide Program), raising funds to help those in our community who are less fortunate, and mentoring younger Girl Guiders. She has participated in shoreline cleanup and has attended rallies fighting for government action on climate change. Social justice is very important to her, and as part of the LGBTQ community, has supported the greater-Vancouver drag community, attended Pride parades, and fostered acceptance and celebration in the day-to-day lives of those whom she encounters

Adult Ally – Rotary Clubs of New West

The two Rotary Clubs in New Westminster believe in developing the next generation of leaders. Our youth programs help New Westminster students build their leadership skills, expand their education, develop a global understanding and learn the value of service. Rotary provide $45,000 in youth programs every year to the youth of New Westminster. We support and fund local, provincial, national & international Rotary youth programs that are all offered every year to the students of New Westminster.

Youth Programs: You Wear in Well Just for Grads, NWSS Hot Lunch Program, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, International Youth Exchange

Neighbourhood Ambassador – Winner: Sai Kondreddy, NWSS, Grade 9

Sai recently moved to New Westminster from Seattle, and has quickly become New West's most popular youth. Sai is known far and wide, from staff at the Youth Centre, Queensborough Community Centre, the Fitness department, and many more places. Sai attends drop-in at the Youth Centre, Fitness Centre, and is regular at Queensborough Friday drop-in as well. Sai is always on the basketball court and always has something to say. Sai is very good at including others, standing up for what is right, and shows patience and understanding. He is out-going, positive, and funny.

Youth Centre Ambassador –David Zhang, Grade 11

*The Youth Ambassador awards are special category without nominations. Winners are chosen by New Westminster Youth Services staff to recognize youth we see in our programs and spaces the exemplify the skills, behaviours and spirit that we strive to cultivate with our services.

See you next year!!

Have questions?

Contact Youth Services Coordinator Silisha Ali:, 604.515.3775.

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