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The Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (EIYP) works with youth ages 15-19 years old to help them stay in school to pursue meaningful educational and employment goals.  Over the last four years, we have noticed that Engaged Immigrant Youth are thoughtful, insightful, forward-thinking, passionate, and genuine.  We would like to share the stories of Outstanding Youth with you through EIYP's Outstanding Youth Awards.

The first award is granted to Mary Antonnette who was a participant from 2011 - 2012 and who is now a youth leader with EIYP.  Antonnette was selected for her outstanding achievements including the development of "The Choice: Anti-Bullying video and workshop for youth by youth; being selected and trained as an active Youth Ambassador welcoming newcomer families with relevant workshops and activities; practicing inclusivity in all of her activities.  Antonnette is the kind of person who will go out of her way to make you feel welcome and included in any setting.  We are honored to work with Atonnete and would like you to meet her, too:

Interview with Mary Antonnette, EIYP Outstanding Youth Award Winner

  • Who are you?
    • Hi!  My name is Mary Antonnette P.M.  I'm 17 years old.  I'm the only daughter of Anita Anilyn P. Mejia and Roberto G. Tudlasan.  I was born on June 13, 1996 in Pnut-an, San Ricardo, Southern Leyte.  I have a Filipino cultural background.
  • Why did you join the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program (EIYP)?
    • I have a desire to do volunteering because that's what I'm passionate about apart from being in the kitchen, singing, dancing, and growing plants.
  • What inspires you?
    • I have an interest to learn as many languages as possible.  That's why I loved the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program -- not because I can get a volunteer opportunity, but because I can socialize with other cultures and widen the world of friendship through broadening my knowledge in helping my fellow newcomers in Canada.  I inspired myself to pursue my goal and to obtain grace because of the dedication about me.  That includes my family, friends, relatives and the EIYP.
  • How do you spend your free time?
    • In reaching my goals, I use my free time in doing valuable things that really help me, such as keeping myself busy whether it's in or outside of the house.  For example, whem I'm at school, I attend EIYP events.  In the community, I volunteer which helps me build my confidence.
  • What is your most memorable moment?
    • My most memorable achievement in volunteering is when it's over and I'm still willing to start working on the next project.  The most memorable moment in my life of volunteering is when I had the ability to help or assist people because I can feel that I'm contributing to the community.
  • What were you like when you first joined EIYP?
    • I was uncomfortable because I lacked confidence about my skills, talents, and abilities.
  • How have you changed?
    • I am able to use my talents due to the confidence I had built throughout the years.  20 years from now, I plan to complete my studies and work.  I'm going to visit my family and friends back home and maybe I will visit my aunt in Australia.  I still want to be connected to the community.