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Youth Central Awards Ceremony

Cochrane’s Youth Leadership On Full Display At 2024 YODA Ceremony

Hinks, Maclure, and Fedeyko are not just nominees but leaders in their respective fields, guiding future generations with their leadership.

The force was with three Cochrane youths at the 21st Youth of Distinction Awards (YODA) ceremony on May 4. 

The YODA awards are held every May and recognize youths between the ages of 12 and 18 in many different categories, including advocacy, arts and culture, environment, innovation, sportsmanship, and leadership.  

This year’s ceremony occurred at the Calgary Zoo and welcomed youth leaders from Calgary and the surrounding communities. 

Annalise Hinks - Youth of Distinction - Cochrane Alberta
Annalise Hinks | Youth Central | YouTube

Annalise Hinks, Tatonya Fedeyko, and Nick Maclure were the three Cochrane youths nominated at this year’s event. 

Hinks was nominated for the Environment Award, given to a youth committed to improving the environment and reducing environmental degradation. 

Hinks was recognized for her passion and commitment to environmental causes. From a young age, Hinks attended forest schools like Wild Child in Bragg Creek.

Forest school takes place in the natural environment and supports the development of a lifelong relationship between the students and the natural world around them. 

Hinks volunteered with organizations like Branches and Banks, a program where volunteers plant trees in Cochrane and participate in other environmental enhancement activities.  

Hinks was up against tough competition, including last year’s environment award recipient, Sasha Adamova from Calgary. 

Adamova took home the environment award again this year, but that doesn’t make Hinks’ environmental contributions any less important! 

Every step, big or small, goes a long way toward protecting and restoring the environment. Hinks and Adamova are paving the way for future generations to follow in their footsteps. 

Sports Hotshot 

Maclure was nominated for the Sportsmanship Award, given to a youth who demonstrates mentorship, coaching, inclusivity, and enthusiasm.

Nick Maclure - Youth of Distinction - Cochrane
Maclure showing off the Selwood Select’s Tier 2 NBC B Champions banner | Youth Central | YouTube

Maclure was recognized for his accomplishments in the Cochrane sports community, including his position on the Cochrane Minor Hockey Association’s U18 Selwood Selects.

In addition to his exceptional performance and leadership, Maclure demonstrated a willingness to help others grow and enjoy sports.

He volunteered with the Cannex Cochrane Generals Junior B team and was the spokesperson for Cochrane at Kraft Hockeyville 2024.  

Maclure will do anything to promote the Generals, including posting game-day signage in and around Cochrane and dressing up as the team’s mascot, a six-foot-tall bear.

Although he isn’t required to be at every Generals game, he has never missed a match. 

When he isn’t volunteering, Maclure leads youth sports programs as a recreation attendant at Cochrane’s SLS Centre, a multi-sport recreation facility. 

“This is probably one of the biggest honours I think I’ve ever had, and I can take a lot away from this for my future,” Maclure told Cochrane Eagle. 

Maclure thanked Katie Hill, the SLS Centre’s experience director, who nominated him for the award. 

Maclure demonstrates that Alberta’s sports talent doesn’t stop at performance. 

Our province’s athletes are so successful because they value sportsmanship, leadership, and growth among peers. 

Innovative Mind

Tatonya Fedeyko was nominated for and won the Innovate Award for her work in the BGC Lead Up 2.0 program, where she was selected to visit Parliament and reflect on what youth in Cochrane need. 

Since its founding in 1992, BGC has been dedicated to creating opportunities for young people in the community. 

Tatonya Fedeyko - Youth of Distinction - Cochrane
Natonya Fedeyko | BGC Canada

The Lead Up 2.0 program allows youths to volunteer in their communities and develop life and work skills. 

“A lot of the answers I got back there were related to mental health, drug issues, homelessness, and couch surfing,” said Fedeyko as she reflected on the responses she received from community members. 

To address the issues impacting Cochrane youths, she came up with the idea to create a facility resembling a hostel that offers services such as counselling, rehabilitation, and mentorship.Fedeyko is working with the Cochrane Housing Committee and Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards to help bring her idea to life.

“I believe in myself, but knowing that other people selected me to win, and they also really believe in me, really makes me want to start working on it again as soon as I can,” said Fedeyko.Fedeyko thanked Kendra McColeman, who ran the Lead Up 2.0 program and nominated her, and Renita Bartlett, who helped her gain a seat on the National Youth Council for BGC.

Using her position on the Council, Fedeyko wants to explore opportunities that allow her to advocate for youth and create positive change at the national level and within her community. 

Fedeyko has already made leaps and bounds towards her goal, which is why she was awarded the Innovate Award.

Youths like Hinks, Maclure, and Fedeyko demonstrate the importance and impact of leadership across many fields. 

Whether it’s sports or the environment, the brilliant minds behind our province’s youths are a guiding light to future generations.  

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