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2005 Top 20 Under 20T Award Recipients

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Wojciech Gryc, 18
Thornhill, Ontario


When the War in Iraq began in March 2003, many politicians and organizations spoke about their feelings on the subject. However, there were a lack of youth representation and voice on this particular topic.

In an effort to get young people to express their thoughts and opinions on the war in Iraq, Wojciech Gryc founded Five Minutes to Midnight (FMM) - a project with a mission to give youth a voice and media outlet that will allow them to become aware and get involved in political and international issues.

Today, Five Minutes to Midnight is read by over a thousand subscribers and has volunteers on every continent and has published a book where the proceeds are donated to youth-based charities.
In addition to spearheading Five Minutes to Midnight, Wojciech is also the Chair of Human Rights and a former member of the Board of Directors for the United Nations Association in Canada - Toronto Branch
 

 

Daniel Hammer, 15
Kelowna, British Columbia


At the age of 13, Daniel Hammer started his business, Digger Boy - a landscaping company servicing the Kelowna community.

Recognizing that he was not able to drive his bobcat on the road due to his age, he designed and developed a cart that contained all the lawn care equipment that could be pulled behind his bike.

Daniel was recognized as the Central Okanagan Youth Entrepreneur of the Year
Daniel is working to franchise Digger Boy and that other youth can purchase.

Joseph Lavoie, 18
Queen Charlotte City, British Columbia


At the age of 10, Joseph Lavoie noticed the problem of excess trash in the small island city of Queen Charlotte. Despite the beauty of the island, the roadsides were often littered.

He started to collect refundable containers. He collected so many that his local Co-op would not accept as many has he had. This gave Joseph the idea of starting Joe's Bottle Depot - a local business where island residents can return any number of refundable drink containers.

Through his perseverance and commitment to landfill reduction, Joe successfully won a contract from Encorp Pacific to be bottle return centre for Haida Gwaii.

Motivated initially by a desire to clean up the roadsides of Queen Charlotte City, Joe's Bottle Depot has grown to employ three part-time people and now keeps 1.15 million containers a year out of the landfill.

 

Joshua Liu, 16
Toronto, Ontario


Joshua Liu has always had a flaming passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). At an early age, he was given the opportunity to participate in various STEM competitions and programs. He soon learned that this was not case for many students.

Alarmed by the lack of information that many schools had about STEM opportunities, Joshua founded SMARTS - the Student Mentorship Association Regarding Technology & Science. A student run initiative with the goal of exposing all students to STEM opportunities, which is vital in maintaining Canada's status as a world leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

SMARTS' main operation is a network of students and schools across Canada, allowing information on STEM opportunities to be shared across the nation - this network already has 15 high schools involved, and continues to grow. SMARTS also offers mentorship opportunities, a national directory of STEM opportunities and workshops to support first time science fair participants.

What started out as a one man operation, SMARTS now operates within the Youth Science Foundation Canada and acts as one of their key youth programs.

 


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