What is Youth Focus?

Youth Focus provides young people in the community with an opportunity to get involved in various programs and speaking events.

Youth Speakers:

In a tradition started in 1990 as part of our 90th anniversary celebration, we reserve 7 to 10 minutes on our agenda most months, to provide an opportunity for a young person to speak to our audience.

We encourage a variety of speakers, both male and female. Youth who have an exciting or inspirational personal story to tell, are invited to present to our members—over 700 currently—at Centennial Hall. Like our members, these young people are from the greater London area (including, for example, St. Thomas, Dutton, Strathroy). They vary in age from 5th graders to university students, who inspire us to realize that Canada has a bright future with this upcoming generation. We welcome recommendations from our members as to possible speakers.

Recent speakers include youth who:

  • completed a cross-Canada tour on the Peacebus, sponsored by Children’s International Summer Villages,

  • sang with the Amabile Choir for 5 years, highlighted by a gold medal performance in a choral competition in Greece,

  • travelled to Thailand to be a television reporter at the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament,

  • swam courageously across Lake Ontario, raising funds to send a young boy with cancer, to Disney World, and

  • attended an international school, with classes held in several major cities throughout the world.

Contact us below if you have an inquiry or would like to provide feedback on a youth speaker:

contact us

Emerging Leaders Awards

Women’s Canadian Club, London has established the Emerging Leaders Awards to encourage leadership skills in grades 10-11 students. Applications are available through the student services department at the local secondary schools, beginning in February each year.

From the applicants at each school, the awards committee will choose one student as the most worthy at his or her school. Based on enrollment, there are three awards of $250 for students in the Thames Valley District School Board and one award of $250 for the students in the London District Catholic School Board or the French schools: E.S. Gabriel-Dumont, E.S.C. Monseigneur-Bruyère and E.S.C. Notre Dame. Consult with the student services department for the deadline at each school.

Kiwanis Music Festival Scholarship

In memory of Kathryn Sells, a long-time pianist at our monthly meetings, we provide an annual award of $500, to the top pianist at the Kiwanis Music Festival. In November, the winners are invited to tell us about their own musical experience and about their favourite composer. We especially look forward to hearing them play a piece for us.

Recent winners include:

  • Alexa Vremar
  • Lili Ahopelto
  • Joanna Gorska

By entering several senior piano classes in the London Kiwanis Music Festival, candidates are eligible for consideration for all music festival piano awards and scholarships, as recommended by the festival adjudicators. Awards are presented to competitors who, in the opinion of the adjudicators, show the most potential for future musical development. Awards are not necessarily awarded to class winners.

Past Youth Speakers

Sydney Wakelin, 17 years old, attends Oakridge S.S. She has been a member of the Byron Believers for 9 years and recently fulfilled a surgical co-op placement at Victoria Hospital. She also worked as a literary facilitator working one on one with 20 children who struggled to read and she assisted in running community programs to promote literacy. Sydney is [...]

Youth Speaker Amal Aziz

March 14, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

Amal is a grade 12 student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School. She is passionate about reducing elderly suffering and has won awards for coming up with various solutions that she presented at regional and national competitions. Recently, she has received awards from the Thames Valley Science and Engineering Fair, the Sanofi Biogenius Competition and the Canada-Wide Science Fair. Apart [...]

Youth Speaker: Meriel Reed

February 14, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

Meriel Reed is a 17 year-old student at H.B. Beal Secondary School in London.  She suffers from a severe medical phobia and has had to learn how to cope with the debilitating fear that she undergoes with every medical experience.  Meriel loves to sing and act and has performed on stage for productions at the Palace Theatre and for the Grand Theatre’s [...]

Youth Speaker: Mustfah Madlol

January 10, 2019 @ 2:00 pm

Our Youth Speaker for January, 2019 is Mustfah Madlol. He is a driven and passionate grade 12 student at Oakridge secondary School, who plans on attending Western University to pursue a career in health care. He is the humble recipient of the Pillar Community Leadership Award, Thames Valley District School Board Award of Distinction, and the Ontario Volunteer Service Award. [...]

At our November meeting Tehatsistahawi (Tsista) Kennedy will be featured as our Youth Speaker. He is a self taught artist who was awarded one of the top honours in an arts and stories contest run by Historica Canada for his painting depicting the Anishinaabe Seven Fires Prophecy.  He is also the first Indigenous student to sit on the Thames Valley District [...]


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