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Social Justice Network awards R. Maxine Awedalla with the Social Justice Educator of the Year Award on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
January 18, 2021

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA, January 18, 2021 /EINPresswire.com
Social Justice Network, presents R. Maxine Awedalla with the Social Justice Educator of the Year Award for 2020 – 2021.
R. Maxine 
Awedalla was nominated by students from the University of Toronto’s Mental Health Association.

Maxine Awedalla, an Educator, business woman and humanitarian was lauded for being an innovative educator, a pragmatic curriculum developer and compassionate visionary who inspired students ages 8 to 30 to advocate for the underdog and dream big in their studies, volunteer work and in life. Sarah Smith remembers Awedalla for her long hours of volunteer work and never saying no to a meeting with students. Mrs. Awedalla taught me that charities are desperately needed but are at risk every day from closing because funding is scarce and there is a great deal of competition for funding, Ms. Awedalla said the only way to address this is for the charity to deliver the best services to its clients in an exemplary, reliable and authentic way.”

David Schwartz said Awedalla would frequently take calls and texts from students late at night and was committed to finding balance between the demands of family with two kids, a full time job and volunteering for various humanitarian organizations. Steve Bell, a student gained inspiration and caught the humanitarian bug from Awedalla and credited her for helping him find full time employment for when he graduates in April 2021. “Maxine Awedalla, I call her ‘Prof’ would answer my text messages at 2 a.m. in the morning if I was completing an assignment and task and had a question. That’s dedication. The biggest thing I learned from her was to believe in myself. I took big risks within the job description of what I was supposed to be doing and reached incredible goals which I did not  think were possible”. Laura Brown said Maxine Awedalla was tough and had high standards but always took the time to explain the decisions she made and to work alongside her with every task she delegated. 
“Maxine had very high expectations for herself and all of the students, but she was always joyful and gave compliments to others. 
In the end I cannot even begin to communicate how much I learned and the levels of success she prepared me for. I am nineteen years old and I feel ready to run my own company or to enter a middle management position. I could never have learned what I did with any other teacher.“

The winner of the Social Justice Network’s Educator of the Year award receives fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to donate to the Charity of their choice. Maxine Awedalla chose to donate her prize money to the National Collaboration for Youth Mental Health  (www.ncymh.com) who provides race-specific counselling services to diverse and every youth from all races, cultures and orientations within two (2) hours. Awedalla was overjoyed. “It has been a passion of mine to work with children and youth, first as a parent, then an educator and now as a mentor who seeks to neutralize learning environments and corporate/government offices though Equity and Inclusion Education so all students and communities can succeed. 
It’s a very difficult time for BIPOC charities which serve all races because these charities receive 1% of all donations because of systemic discrimination”. I have confidence in NCYMH’s services because they always go above and beyond the norm in meeting the needs of youth, families and communities.” Maxine Awedalla will receive her Award prize money on Martin Luther King Day on January 18, 2021. Other educators who were nominated along with Maxine Awedalla and made the semi-finalist list were from across Canada and included retired teacher June Girvan, Camille Williams-Taylor, Melinda Daye, Sylvia Smith, Casey Litto, Aaron Osowiecki, Juliet Sesanker Daniel, Aiman Flahat, Cheryl Ann Samuel Graham and Jacqueline Spence.

Nominations for the 2021-22 Social Justice Educator of the Year open on March 1, 2021.

Contact: Sarah Williams
Email: awards@socialjusticenetwork.ca
Website: www.socialjusticenetwork.ca 


College Students Choose NCYMH National Collaboration for Youth Mental Health as 2020-21 Charity of Choice

TORONTO: Algonquin College students pitched NCYMH’s diverse and inclusive Safe Space Project aimed at “Saving Lives” as the 2020-21 Charitable Project to support. R. Maxine Awedalla wants all youth to know they are not alone in mental health challenges or obstacles they face, we are in this together and NCYMH is a safe inclusive welcoming place for them. www.ymhconference.ca & www.ncymh.com

Algonquin College and university students discussed mental health challenges in middle school, high school and post -secondary. Students stated they wished schools worked with NCYMH and referred them to NCYMH because of its multi year record of holistic inclusive approaches and their diverse youth staff. R. Maxine Awedalla referenced June Girvan’s focus on generational traumatic family dysfunction and gave real life examples of humans who were abused and then abused others. Awedalla is an advocate for individualized counselling to break this generational cycle and legislated training for all Judges in childhood trauma and anti-discrimination. Kyrstin Dumont, (20) an indigenous woman and Director at NCYMH spoke about mental health challenges youth face: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, etc. Marie Remy spoke about sleepless nights spent worrying about her sister returning home safely because of her mental health challenges. Alex Emmanuel (15) spoke about challenges as a youth caused by discrimination within school systems.

FAMILY FOCUSED: Students applauded NCYMH as the charity of choice citing the staff’s lived experience and its holistic use of a variety of approaches for helping students, parents and families.

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: NCYMH is a By Youth For Youth charity employing diverse youth with lived experience and engaging them in positive youth mental health by empowering them with reasons to live and a sense of purpose. 

POST SECONDARY: Julia Tsoy stated “Mental health affects every single one of us differently in our lives. Fundraising for NCYMH, a national diverse charity, this cause and for our community will be so valuable.  Omar Thiab enthused “We are thrilled and honoured to be given this valuable opportunity to support a stellar hands on charity like NCYMH because it strives daily to make a difference in our community.” 

DIVERSITY RESEARCH: NCYMH’s “I Can’t Breathe Equity workshops” are in thirty three (33) schoolboards, colleges and universities across Canada addressing the intersectionality between racism, mental health and student success and neutralizing learning environments so BIPOC students can succeed. NCYMH’s Research provides research tools which measure positive increases in BIPOC Student success as learning environments participate in NCYMH’s equity workshops.

DIVERSE SAFE SPACES: NCYMH is launching 2021 NCYMH Safe Spaces because currently youth who go to hospitals spend up to six hours waiting in emergency rooms and when they are seen, it is by non mental health specialists who release them prematurely; resulting in many youth committing suicide. NCYMH’s 2021 Safe Spaces for Youth in mental health crisis insures youth are seen by mental health specialists, their mental health crisis is resolved, and they have immediate daily counselling when needed and a follow up program. R. Maxine Awedalla, said “We have to raise awareness about the need for mental health support within emergency rooms and also about Safe Spaces such as NCYMHs whose priority is saving lives.

Algonquin’s Public Relations Ontario College program said students were welcomed by NCYMH with on site visits at their NCYMH Bank street office where the team shared their vision, and staff, volunteers and clients participated with our Algonquin College students. Algonquin’s students acquire both theoretical and applied knowledge, engage in community relations, and gain real-world experience by working with not-for-profit organizations such as NCYMH.

Algonquin Program: https://www.algonquincollege.com/mediaanddesign/program/public-relations/

NCYMH: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/3-ncymh-mental-health-support-groups-for-a-students-b-parents-c-families-tickets-132913689423


CONTACT: Galia Bronfman (613) 501-0171 & progress@ymhconference.ca