There may only be one person surprised that Aliece Angell has received the 2016 Healthy Youth Role Model Award.
That would be the soft-spoken teen herself.
“I am thrilled. I did not expect this,” Angell, 16, said last week after accepting the award from members of the local National Addictions Awareness Week (NAAW) Committee.
“My one teacher said that she was nominating me for something, but I had no idea what it was for.”
The Healthy Youth Role Model Award is presented annually to an area student who demonstrates a commitment to school and community while abstaining from drugs and alcohol.
Angell, a grade 12 student at Creighton Community School, certainly fits the bill.
At school, she is a strong student, a member of student council and founder of the school’s branch of WE Charity, which supports children in underdeveloped countries.
“This was one way that I knew I could help,” Angell said of the charity, adding that she believes in assisting other people.
In the community, she performs with the Ham Sandwich theatre troupe and is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, where she is a chorister and mentor for younger girls.
She has never drank alcohol, used drugs or smoked cigarettes, saying she values her mind and wants to live without regrets.
Angell was one of six nominees for the award, which includes a gift basket, a keepsake plaque for her and a plaque that will hang at her school for the next year.
“She just really stood out amongst the crowd,” said Marlee Milley, youth counsellor with the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and a NAAW committee member. “She’s very active within her community as well as obviously very active within her school life, and she has a really good head on her shoulders. All the [nominees] were great, but she’s kind of gone above and beyond what a normal teenager would do, so she really stood out for us.”
Angell, whose parents are Gerald and Henrietta Angell, will graduate from high school in June. She then plans to attend Edmonton’s University of Alberta, majoring in English with the aim of becoming an English professor.
“It’s a lofty goal with lots of schooling, but I’m excited for it and I’ve been working hard,” she said.
Lori Stevens, a community addictions worker with Addictions Foundation of Manitoba and a NAAW committee member, gave kudos to Angell as well as the committee, community and those who donated toward the award.
The NAAW committee includes representatives from Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Kids First North, Youth Centre, Play It Safer Network, Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre, Creighton Recre-ation and Parks, Women’s Resource Centre, RCMP, Creighton Community School, Ecole McIsaac School, Ruth Betts Community School and Northern Health Region.