Staying healthy and finding joy in helping others - this year’s Healthy Youth Role Model award winner may have been surprised, but organizers found her to be the right choice.
Frontier Collegiate student Kateri Manoakeesick was the recipient of this year’s award.
“I was shocked, but also happy. I was a little nervous,” she said.
Manoakeesick was awarded the honour during a ceremony at Frontier.
Manoakeesick is from St. Theresa Point, one of the communities covered by Frontier Collegiate. During the school year, Manoakeesick stays, like many other students, in the on-site residences at the school.
A councillor at Frontier Collegiate’s residences nominated Manoakeesick for the award.
The award is given out by the local National Addictions Awareness Week committee, which hand it out to a deserving winner going to school in Flin Flon, Creighton or Cranberry Portage. The group takes submissions from teachers, students and staff for the award. This year, a record number of nominees came in from Frontier.
“You can tell in the enthusiasm in the person who nominated her and in speaking to the school staff. They were very enthusiastic about her name when it came up,” said committee member Amanda Link-Labarre.
To qualify for the award, a youth must show a commitment to school, community and personal health. Manoakeesick is part of several Frontier sports teams and finds joy in sports and exercise.
“In the evenings, I go to the gym. I don’t like the feeling of being lazy,” she said.
Mental health is also an important side of personal wellbeing for Manoakeesick. She said while she and other students can feel down or upset, she can help or assist in finding help for students.
“I can talk to my friends when I’m feeling down, or I spend time drawing or reading books and thinking by myself. It works for me. If I’m really down, I can see my counsellor for help and they’ll help me. Whenever I see someone down, like one of my friends, I can help them too,” she said.
After graduating, Manoakeesick wants to help her home community. She intends to pursue education and work as a teacher, possibly returning to her hometown in the future.