awesome airdrie kids

Role Models

These Kids Are Awesome!

airdrielife is pleased to introduce you to the first recipients of the Awesome Airdrie Kids Awards, sponsored in part by Sullys. We created this program to recognize the contributions our youth make to our city through their leadership.

We’ll be celebrating our Awesome Kids this January at a special party just for them. Read more about our Awesome Airdrie Kids and find out how you can be involved in this exciting new initiative at

Aiden_Schell_9 Airdrie Aiden Schell, 9

Aiden is a student leader who volunteers much of his time to improve the lives of his fellow students and community members. His encouragement and passion make his school and community a better place.

“Aiden … exemplifies what it is to be a great leader; he leads by example, inspiring and encouraging others to try new activities, to improve themselves and to help their community,” says Michelle Cyrzan, Aiden’s teacher at Ecole Edwards.

“I love helping and I want to encourage more people to help more,” says Aiden. “I love helping out, I love volunteering … and I love public speaking.”

Alex_Gahagan_14 AirdrieAlex Gahagan, 14

Alex is a mature, caring and supportive leader who remains positive even in the face of conflict or negativity. He exemplifies compassion, determination and leadership in his work at the Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie (BGCA).

“Alex is the first to offer his time and energy to give back … and shows such passion [that] he inspires others to become as excited to give back,” says Abby Charlton, staff at BGCA.

“It makes me feel warm inside … to encourage others when they are down,” says Alex.

Alexis_Cyron_10 AirdrieAlexis Cyron, 10

Alexis is an accomplished dancer whose passion inspires others to succeed. She is also a kind-hearted leader who always has a smile and encouraging word for others.

“Alexis is determined and dedicated, persistent and passionate, generous and kind. Her kind heart and caring nature will take her so far … and bring her great relationships,” says Alexis’ aunt, Cheryl Sullivan.

“I like to influence other people to show them that not just one person can [be successful], but everyone can. Inspiring others to do their best gives you a warm feeling inside,” says Alexis.

Alyssa_Bisselt 9 AirdrieAlyssa Besselt, 9

Alyssa has bounced back from a personal tragedy to become the energetic student and kind and compassionate friend that she is today. Her perseverance and love of life is inspiring.

“In the two years I have known Alyssa, I have seen amazing growth in her. I have no doubt that Alyssa will continue to flourish as a student and as a member of our community,” says her former Ralph McCall teacher Andrew Doyle.

“I try to notice when people are having a bad day, go talk to them and encourage them to feel better. Spreading happiness makes me happy,” says Alyssa.

Gracie_Brade_14 AirdrieGracie Brade, 14

Gracie is an active volunteer, mentor and member of the Teen Advisory Council at Airdrie Public Library (APL). With a ready smile and willing hands, Gracie makes a big difference to the community.

“Gracie has impressed us with her positivity, community-mindedness, kindness, leadership skills and compassion,” says Lindsey Skeen, manager of Children’s and Youth Services at Airdrie Public Library.

“She is a true ambassador for the library and a wonderful role model for other kids in the community.”

“Giving back really makes you feel good and like you have made a difference, even if it’s just something little, and it builds that passion and motivation,” says Gracie.

Noah_Carrol_11 AirdrieNoah Carrol, 11

Noah is a student leader with boundless energy, enthusiasm and a creative mind that he engages often to come up with ways to help others. His ideas and passion have earned him respect from his peers.

“Noah makes the Energizer Bunny look lazy. His mind works overtime churning out creative ideas to impact his community,” says Jayne Morgan, Noah’s former teacher at Ralph McCall and a WE Kids leader.

“I just like the fact that what we are doing is helping change the world and make it a better place,” says Noah. “I am glad that I joined WE Kids; it has inspired me to keep doing things to make things better.”

Maya_Nisbet_10 AirdrieMaya Nisbet, 10

Maya is an active school volunteer who works tremendously hard behind the scenes to ensure things get done. She is kind and loyal, a great listener and gets things done.

“Maya does not ride on anyone’s shirttail. She may be quiet and less than five feet tall; however, she knows what she wants and sets out to make an impact on her corner of Airdrie,” says Jayne Morgan, a teacher and We Kids leader at Ralph McCall School.

“It makes me feel good to give back to the community,” says Maya. “It is really fun … and you get new experiences.”

Riley_Knapp_10 AirdrieRiley Knapp, 10

Riley is an active student leader at Ecole Edwards Elementary. This young musician holds many leadership roles and works tirelessly and joyfully to make her school better, often noticing those who may be having a bad day and doing all she can to cheer them up.

“Her passion is evident in that she gives 100 per cent, no matter what she is working on,” says Sheri Wigmore, Riley’s former teacher and leadership mentor.

“I learned at school that when you fill someone else’s bucket [with kindness], your bucket gets full,” says Riley. “I have tried it, and it works.”

Tanisha_Halvorson_12 AirdrieTanisha Halvorson, 12

Tanisha is an active volunteer at the Airdrie Skating Club who enthusiastically models that trying new things and taking risks can be fun.

“Her kind and generous spirt and clear love of sport is both admirable and vital to inspiring others,” says Kaylee Marcoux, Tanisha’s skating coach. She is a huge asset to our entire [CanSkate program], and the coaches and skaters adore her.”

“Volunteering is a great way to make friends and gain more confidence,” says Tanisha. “[The skaters] inspire me, and I inspire them.”

Chelan Lees 13 AirdrieChelan Lees, 13

Chelan is an outstanding student and successful young entrepreneur who donates much of her profit to Operation Smile, which fixes cleft palates and other facial deformities in children around the world. Chelan has donated $53,000 to the organization, making her the single largest individual donor to date.

“Chelan received one of two youth [Canada 150 Medals] for her contribution to Operation Smile, dedication to her community and for creating an example for others to follow,” says Stan Grad, Chelan’s mentor and friend.

“I think that when you have so much in your life, you owe it to help others,” says Chelan. “Find something that you are passionate about, set some goals and think of ways to give back.”

Rachel_Engen 9 AirdrieRachel Engen, 10

Rachel is a kind-hearted, genuine student leader who makes an impact on the world around her by giving back to others.

“Rachel demonstrated daily that she wanted to make a difference in her community, not in a flashy kind of way, but in simple ways – serving others to make their lives better,” says Jayne Morgan, Ralph McCall teacher and WE Kids leader.

“I don’t really like to see people sad; I like to see people happy,” says Rachel of why she chooses to get involved in a group focused on helping the school community.

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