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WSD students excel at MAYAA 2017

Photos courtesy of Tec Voc Photography

Winnipeg School Division students/graduates made an outstanding showing at the 2017 Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards (MAYAA), capturing 11 of 16 categories.


Students were presented with their awards at a gala event on Nov. 23 at the Victoria Inn.

 “We’re extremely proud, for both the students and the people who directly supported those students,” said WSD Aboriginal Education Director Rob Riel. “That includes the hard work of parents, teachers and other WSD staff to provide support.

“The evening was both inspirational and emotional. Some of these students have had many challenges that they have been able to overcome with the support of WSD staff and their families. That partnership was really exemplified at MAYAA.”

Mr. Riel said some of the credit for this year’s impressive MAYAA showing was due to the WSD Aboriginal Grad Coaches program and the Aboriginal Youth Leadership Program (AYLP), which has grown from 32 students to 200 in the past two years.


“To put it in perspective, just a few years ago, we had no award winners and very little involvement in MAYAA as a division,” Mr. Riel said. “Our grad coaches are working with students in four high schools and offering support to other schools. They worked hard to support students and schools in making MAYAA nominations. We had 30 nominations this year for our students, which is also a record for us.”

Leadership students also served volunteers with the event, helping to make MAYAA 2017 a smash success. It was a night to remember for students, their families and all of those who helped along the way.


“These students were thanking their schools, principals, teachers, their graduation coaches, as well as their families, which was also nice to hear,” Mr. Riel said. “The recognition of success is important, but the process is just as important. ”

Congratulations to this year’s MAYAA award winners:

• Janelle Bear, Tec Voc High School – Artistic (Award One)

• Clara Bird, St. John’s High School – Artistic (Award Two)

• Carver Cariou, Grant Park High School – Health (South, Male)

• Jessica Ducharme, Churchill High School – Community Involvement

• Melissa Harper, Children of the Earth High School – Health (South, Female)

• Maria Herrera-Grisdale, Tec Voc High School – Business/Entrepreneurship

• Ernestine Mousseau, St. John’s High School – Culture (Female)

• Joel Redsky, Argyle Alternative High School – Culture (Male)

• Rain Slater, St. John’s High School – Athletic (Junior)

• Tyson Spence, Grant Park High School – Athletic (Junior)

• Thaegwan Thundersky, Churchill High School – Personal Achievement



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