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Houle, a Grade 12 student at Technical Vocational High School, was virtually
honoured by the Manitoba Indigenous Youth Achievement Awards on Jan. 28.
are annually presented to Indigenous youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who
have excelled in a variety of categories, from cultural to academic.
in the Academic Junior category. She is a star student at Tec Voc. Currently,
her academic average is an astonishing 99.2 percent.
I’m just working hard and this award has helped me realize that I’m going in
the right direction,” Houle said.
Houle is almost
acing all her courses, which include many science-based subjects. After
graduation, she hopes to study medicine, specifically psychiatry.
want to make mental health resources accessible for youth all around the
country,” Houle said. “I think mental health should be a more open conversation
and I really want to work toward achieving that.”
annual MIYAAs will be held in online in five sessions on Jan. 28, Feb. 25,
March 25, April 29 and May 27. The 2020 award ceremony was scheduled for the
fall, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
On Jan. 27,
Tec Voc held a small, physically-distanced ceremony in its school store to
honour Houle. Shane Bostrom, the school’s Indigenous Grad Coach, presented
Houle with a $1,000 cheque from the MIYAAs, money that she plans to put toward
her future studies.
the monetary compensation, I feel just being told that you’re doing very well
is important, especially in academics which is very important toward medical
school,” Houle said.
this award has helped me realize that I do have a good shot of making medicine
my future and that I can dedicate my life to it.”
Houle’s success in school isn’t just about academics. She’s a member of Tec
Voc’s Fair Trade and Sustainability team and the co-chair of the school’s Youth
in Philanthropy committee.
also a part of the WSD Student Advisory Committee, which provides student voice
to the WSD Board of Trustees.
She’s a tutor
for Frontier College, a national charitable literacy organization. Houle is
also a budding communications professional, serving as communications director
for Revamp Youth Foundation and an events director for Project Pulse Winnipeg.
The latter organization aims to make health sciences opportunities accessible
to all students.
Mira, an Applied Commerce and Technology teacher at Tec Voc, said Houle is the
Sasha, there’s way more beyond academics,” Mira said. “She’s so giving with
everything. That’s why I’m so in awe of her, just her ability to prioritize and
her giving nature.”