The "Live Life. Pass It On." scholarship opportunity encourages Grade 12 students to lead an organ donation awareness project in in their school or community. Many of these projects centered around Green Shirt Day on April 7, a day to remember the victims of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash and to honour the legacy of Logan Boulet, who went on to donate his organs.
We are thrilled to announce the four 2021/22 scholarship recipients and share their inspiring ideas to encourage more young people to register as organ donors. Thank you to all of our applicants who made a difference in their communities by educating their peers, families and schools on the incredible impact of organ donation.
Leading a team of 30 students as part of the Wish Youth Network Society at her school, Rowah embarked on a two-year campaign to raise awareness for organ donation. In 2021, she hosted the first-ever Green Shirt Day at Richmond Secondary, engaging teachers to talk to their classes about the Logan Boulet Effect and encouraging people to show up in green.
In 2022, she saw a huge jump of involvement from her school – Rowah planned a social media campaign, hosted an information booth event, personally designed buttons and banners, and created a fun trivia game to boost engagement.
"Logan Boulet is an example for the greater good and allows our society to progress as a whole. I believe that health is especially taken for granted in my age group as our youth might think we are invulnerable to tragic health-related circumstances. Green Shirt Day reminds us to cherish the gift of health. Registering as an organ donor is one way to show compassion and care for our future generations," shares Rowah.
Rowah plans to start her Bachelor's of Science degree at UBC next year and hopes that Richmond Secondary will continue to recognize Green Shirt Day as an annual event so that many future lives can be saved.
Raising awareness for Green Shirt Day is important to Emma because her mother was a kidney transplant recipient. Unfortunately, her mom passed away in 2015, but Emma was inspired to take action. She independently created posters and went from class to class to raise awareness for those in need of an organ transplant and explain how to become an organ donor.
This school year, Emma partnered with a fellow student to expand her campaign to work with the school and local community for Green Shirt Day by putting up posters, creating an online video, decorating the library's book display and leading discussions on saving lives.
Emma will embark on her first year at Thompson Rivers University in fall 2022 and hopes to pursue her Bachelor's Degree in Science. "I developed a sense of community on this day amongst my classmates and was able to share Logan Boulet's story and the impact he had. I believe that organ donation is an extraordinary way to help others and can leave a lasting impact of kindness on others in the future," Emma shares.
Pawan knew he wanted to get his peers talking about organ donation and brainstormed the perfect way to do it. He collaborated with his classmate Lucas to create an original emotional video that was shown to more than 1,500 students at Chilliwack Secondary to get the conversation started. He featured liver transplant recipient Joanne Arcardo and sister of an organ donor Krista Winnig in his 13-minute video that sparked the beginning of his organ donation awareness project.
Pawan continued these efforts throughout the year, including inviting a member of BC Transplant's organ donation team to participate at the school's information booth and answer curious questions from his fellow students about registering as an organ donor.
Pawan registered himself as an organ donor in 2021, which was the catalyst for his passion to educate others through his awareness video.
"All in all, this was an absolutely incredible experience for me. I learned so much and was able to have such a positive impact beyond what I even thought was possible. Thank you to BC Transplant for offering this opportunity to all students across the province," says Pawan.
Harleen's idea for Green Shirt Day was to ensure that it was inclusive for everyone. She handed out over 600 green yarn wristbands for students to participate and show support for organ donation, for those who didn't have a green shirt or jersey to wear on April 7. She provided teachers with brochures, posters and documentary links they could share with their classrooms to explain the importance of Green Shirt Day and the Logan Boulet Effect.
In her efforts, she discovered that one of her teachers had a personal connection to the tragic Humboldt Broncos crash and personally knew some of the young players that died in April 2018. This made her want to do more and Harleen created a legacy video for the school to use for future Green Shirt Days. Harleen says that she wants to graduate from high school with the certainty that Logan's story will not be forgotten.
Harleen hopes to become a pediatrician in the future, with her post-secondary education beginning at Simon Fraser University later in 2022. Harleen adds, "I have always admired the power of influence to implement change. I've grown to be more self-conscious and aware of the influence I, too, can have on my community. Logan Boulet's story resonated with me, as his mentor Ric Suggitt became an organ donor and saved six lives and inspired him to register too. Thousands of Canadians have followed in his footsteps and as a result, Green Shirt Day was born."