Across U-CAN Youth Awards 2023 - List of Awardees
Introduced in 2023, Across U-CAN Youth Awards endeavours to acknowledge the modest yet inspiring journeys that underlie the development of our future leaders. By shining a spotlight on the frequently untold stories of young individuals who have experienced significant life transformations, contributed to their communities, and embarked on a voyage of self-discovery and cultural identity, these awards celebrate their achievements.
Young people represent the future of a country, their creativity and fresh minds could become the main driving force of change and progress. Across U-hub has always believed in the youth’s ability to learn and grow from challenges, this year the very first Across U-CAN Youth Awards with three categories was created with the theme “I Believe You Can”.
The Awards Presentation was held at the Across U-hub annual Celebration and Fundraising Gala on November 12, 2023 (Sunday), with more than 520 friends and supporters of Across U-hub to witness the inspiring journeys in life of the five future young leaders.
Across U-CAN GROW Award
Presented to individuals who have overcome a life challenge, demonstrated significant personal growth, and made an impact on others.
Seungwon (Jay) Woo
Jay, a high school student, has had ongoing experiences with memory-related challenges. His journey highlights his passion for learning and underscores the significance of pursuing one’s interests despite facing difficulties. Jay acknowledges the value of regret in motivating his personal growth. He is determined to continue learning despite suffering from memory loss.
Judy’s upbringing fueled her determination to escape poverty through education. With three degrees, she found a deep passion for teaching and community engagement. As a medical laboratory technologist, she contributes to patient care, and her part-time research explores indoor environmental quality’s impact on social housing residents.
Across U-CAN BUILD Award
Presented to individuals who have made a meaningful, transformative impact on the community.
Natalie, an international student, recognized the challenges faced by special needs children during the pandemic. She co-founded an initiative for inclusive education in marginalized communities. Leading a team of young volunteers, they provided music therapy sessions, engaging over 200 volunteers and collaborating with schools in multiple cities, earning recognition and awards for their dedication to inclusive education and personal growth.
Eddie volunteers with a community initiative in Hamilton, serving hot meals, sandwiches, clothing, and books to those experiencing homelessness. The initiative has grown from serving 35 to 400 people weekly. Eddie finds deep fulfillment in witnessing kindness and forming connections with fellow volunteers. Despite challenges like increasing demand and limited resources, he remains committed to supporting the organization’s mission.
Across U-CAN BRIDGE Award
Presented to an individual who has undergone a journey in the understanding of their cultural identity, leading to cultural contributions to the community.
Sylvia, journey began in a Hong Kong immigrant family, received special education support during her elementary years. She pursued a teaching career in her undergraduate studies and opened three art studios by 2023. She also founded a non-profit organization empowering children with disabilities and marginalized communities through art, driven by her passion for the arts’ transformative power in transcending language and cultural barriers.