Ontario Girls Recognized For Contributions In Their Communities

    Ontario Government Presents Inaugural Leading Girls, Building Communities

    QUEEN'S PARK, April 11 /CNW/ - Three exceptional Ontario girls who have
made a marked difference in their communities are the first recipients of the
provincial government's "Leading Girls, Building Communities award," Minister
Responsible for Women's Issues Sandra Pupatello announced today.
    "These extraordinary young women deserve to be celebrated. And that's why
the McGuinty government is making them the first-ever winners of this award,"
said Pupatello at today's awards ceremony. "Our government is pleased to
honour their outstanding achievements and to support their leadership and
encourage it into adulthood."
    Pupatello was joined by Tonika Morgan, founder of the Medina Collective
and winner of the 2005 YWCA Toronto Young Woman of Distinction. "Part of
creating a world of equality for girls and women is documenting and honouring
their achievements. I am pleased that the Government of Ontario is furthering
women's equality by holding these awards and I am honoured that they have
asked to me to participate," said Ms. Morgan.

    The award recipients are:

    -  Sarah Dell from Toronto receives the award for her volunteer efforts,
       which include co-host and co-creator of the Easter Seals Scholarship
       Program and Provincial Ambassador for Easter Seals, and her
       involvement in the Communications Association for Riding for the
    -  Nicole Turner from London receives the award for her work as a peer
       facilitator at the Centre for Research and Education on Violence
       Against Women and Children, where she advocates on behalf of girls
       with physical disabilities;
    -  Jenna Lambert from Harrowsmith, who is the first female with a
       physical disability to swim across Lake Ontario, receives the award
       for raising over $170,000 to build a swimming pool for kids with
       disabilities at the Kingston Family YMCA.

    The "Leading Girls, Buildings Communities" award was launched on March 2,
2007 to recognize young women, aged 18 years and under, who demonstrate
exceptional leadership to improve the lives of others and champion issues that
lead to positive social change in their schools, communities or province.
Today's recipients, the first to receive this award, were presented with a
framed certificate recognizing their contributions to their communities.

    Other government initiatives that recognize and empower Ontario girls and
women include:

    -  Equality Rules public education campaign, which teaches youth ages
       eight to 14 about healthy, equal and respectful relationships to help
       break the cycle of violence before it starts. For more info, visit
    -  the Women in Skilled Trades program, which has provided $4.6 million
       since 2003, helps hundreds of low-income women develop new skills in
       the skilled trades, find employment and achieve economic independence
    -  the Information Technology Training for Women program, which has
       invested $2.7 million over two years to provide information technology
       training for low-income women
    -  Sport and Empowerment of Females provincial conference, which brought
       together leaders from all parts of the community to share ideas on how
       to engage and empower women and girls through sport
    -  Leading Women, Building Communities awards to honour women for
       exceptional community leadership, and whose contribution improves the
       lives of women and girls in Ontario.

    "These young women are making a difference in their communities," said
Pupatello. "My congratulations to today's recipients for the leadership they
have shown in making positive changes for the people and places around them."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Phil DeMont, Minister's Office, (416) 325-6706;
Karen Ras, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7012

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