Girls are changing the world!

Girl Guides of Canada’s Change Maker Award exists to recognize the courageous and generous actions of girls in all branches.

No matter how big or small the change – whether our members are making a difference in their community or around the globe – our Change Maker Awards are here to cheer girls on as they change the world.

If you have questions, please reach out to changemakeraward@girlguides.ca 

Change Maker Award Instant Meeting

Nominations

Nominations are closed for the 2023 Change Maker Award. Thank you to all the girls who submitted a nomination this year!

If you’re looking to jump start your change-making action for next year’s Change Maker Award, you can find the Change Maker Award Instant Meeting on the program platform. This instant meeting will help you discover the kind of change maker you are, reflect on changes you’ve made or experienced, and learn tips for submitting a nomination.

2023 Change Maker Award Recipients

Sparks


Annie B.
Dieppe, NB

Je propose ma candidature parce que je m’occupe vraiment bien des autres enfants qui ont des besoins spéciaux. Mon ami C, ses jambes ne fonctionnent pas bien, et il marche avec une marchette ou il est dans sa chaise roulante quand c’est trop difficile. Je l’ai rencontré 3 ans passés quand on se faisait garder par la même madame. Je m’occupais bien de lui et je jouais beaucoup avec lui à la garderie. La gardienne qu’il avait depuis 12 ans avait dit à ma maman qu’elle n’avait jamais vu une enfant interagir avec C de cette manière-là en 12 ans ! Il est devenu un de mes meilleurs amis et il a le plus beau sourire ! Je suis maintenant devenue amie avec sa famille aussi et on fait des activités ensemble comme aller patiner (il a un traîneau spécial pour patiner), il vient manger chez moi et nous allons au parc ensemble. J’aime beaucoup l’aider avec sa chaise roulante et lui préparer des repas spéciaux. Mon autre ami J a aussi des besoins spéciaux et presque personne ne veut jouer avec lui. Je m’amuse beaucoup avec lui et sa grand-mère m'invite des fois à aller chez elle quand elle le garde. Il demande souvent où je suis et si je vais aller le voir. Mes parents, mes gardiennes et les autres adultes disent que je suis une fille vraiment spéciale pour m’occuper des autres enfants et connecter avec les autres de cette façon. On dit que je crée un monde meilleur parce que j’ai beaucoup d’empathie et que je traite tous les enfants de la même manière. Mes parents ont appelé mon école pour mentionner que si des enfants qui ont des besoins spéciaux veulent passer du temps avec d’autres enfants, je suis disponible pour jouer avec eux.


Ariyana T.
Brampton, ON

I won the Conscience Award at school this year. I know the difference between right and wrong. Before doing anything, I always think about it first. I like to plant trees in the spring and fall. I have been planting trees every year with my family since I was born. It is good for the environment and the birds need it. I also know how important bees are.


Hannah G.
Edmonton, AB

My motto is to spread kindness to those around me. I like to do little acts of kindness and share little words of love. I am pleased to be a part of the Government of Canada’s “Warm Welcome” initiatives for immigrants and refugees through different local organizations. I made welcome home cards and delivered them personally to help migrant families and children adjust to their new community. I used the money I saved to buy school bags, paint, and books for these children. I have become very good friends with some of these children and am currently in contact with them. I am inviting my new friends to join Girl Guides. This way, they can make new friends and we can all have more fun with my Girl Guides unit.


Victoria L.
Edmonton, AB

Victoria is an empathetic person who cares deeply about others and the planet. She encourages her peers, and she is a good friend to everyone. She demonstrates change for the world in many ways as well. She is aware of and reduces her use of electricity. She picks up litter safely with a parent, she knows the importance of reducing plastic use and of healthy eating, and for short commute distances, she will ask to walk or bike rather than drive.


Embers


Adelaide M.
Edmonton, AB

I am a very active volunteer in my community. Since I started Sparks three years ago, I have made it my mission to make my world a better place. In the past few years, I have started a community cleanup and a “clean the ravine” project in my local park.

I am also involved in many community outreach projects as a junior leader with my church. Some of these projects include holding sock drives for the homeless, collecting women’s products for the women’s centre, holding used clothing drives for Youth Empowerment and Support Services, and assisting with food drives for the food bank. In addition, I help my mom deliver presents for Santas Anonymous each year, as it makes me feel special to see the look on people’s faces when we drop off the gifts. This encouraged me to donate my old toys and clothes to programs that help those in need.

I also compete in as many children’s fundraising runs for charity as I can, including RunWild in support of the Zebra Child and Youth Advocacy Centre and Run for Women supporting women’s mental health. Last year we raised over $600! My family is so proud of the girl I’m becoming thanks to Girl Guides.


Aubrey K.
London, ON

I am creating a better world by helping my community. I have done two neighbourhood cleanups and two donation stands this past year. Some of the things that I had to do for the neighbourhood cleanup included making posters, getting my friends to help , l and spreading the word. Cleaning up my neighbourhood helps animals and nature in my community by getting rid of garbage. It also gets our community together and makes it a better community.

For the charity stands, I had to make posters and food, set up the stands at the park, and explain what charities I was donating to. I have helped the David Suzuki Foundation and the London Humane Society by having lemonade and hot chocolate stands. Both are very good charities because they help our environment and the nature around us.


Iyah Z.
Mississauga, ON

Sometimes, I see people who don’t have a home and I feel very sad. I wish they could have a home like I do – a safe home with food and water. I really wanted to help them, but I was not sure how. I decided to make care packages filled with stuff they might need. My goal was to make more than 50! . I got water bottles, snacks, tissues, bandages, wet wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and combs. I made a few packages and then invited five friends over. I showed them how to make a care package. Together, we made 60 packages! We even included a picture we coloured in each package so that each person would know kids think about them and care about them. It was my first time at a shelter but not my last. I believe my care packages will make a difference to a lot of people.


Simone H.
Edmonton, AB

I spent the last two years helping my parents care for my sick uhr oma (great grandmother). I learned how to help give her medicine and check her blood sugar, and I helped my mom when we had to call 911 by unlocking doors, putting cats away, and directing the paramedics when they arrived. During our time as her live-in caregivers, I also learned how to make some snacks, feed and give water to our cats, and feed the fish to help my parents out. I also learned a lot about medication, cancer, and diabetes. I helped keep my uhr oma calm when she got agitated by drawing, reading, or playing games with her.

While doing this, I also joined Embers and learned more about my community and world. I helped with food bank drives and helped collect donations for animal rescues in my community. I also (with my mom’s help) shoveled snow for neighbours and helped take care of family members’ cats, and helped keep their plants alive while they were away. I am starting to grow my own plants, including strawberry plants, to help grow our own food. I look forward to continuing to learn more and do more in my community.

Guides


Ananya S.
Vancouver, BC

I am very proud and happy to nominate my close friend, Ananya, for the Change Maker Award this year. She has a very helpful nature. She has helped me with math over the past year. She mentors younger classmates at her school in a mixed age group classroom (grades 4-6). She loves helping other girls at her Girl Guides unit and genuinely cares about their well-being.

She is passionate about helping people and animals in need. She organized a community origami project with a friend last summer to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. She has participated in several community events, such as the shoreline cleanup, the Mighty Minds program, the girls worldwide challenge, and the women in engineering program. She raises money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank every year by organizing food bank drives during the Christmas season. She also loves animals. This year, she organized a used book sale to fundraise for the BC SPCA. Ananya strongly believes that she can make a difference in other people’s lives through her kindness and by raising awareness in her community. I truly believe that she is a change maker in her unit, school, and community.


Lulu J.
Vancouver, BC

I truly believe that no matter what small positive difference you make in someone’s life, any act of kindness toward any human is very important. I live by the motto “not for ourselves alone.” I have always loved helping and mentoring younger kids in my school and in my Girl Guide units. For the last three years, I have dedicated a recess each day to helping the kindergarteners in my school build friendships and teaching them how to handle conflicts. I also take injured students to the office, administer basic first aid, and comfort them. . This year, I started a reading program in the kindergarten community where I read books to a group of students and then lead a discussion about the morals and values they could learn from each story.

In my building, there are many senior neighbours who are dear to my heart. I have been providing assistance to them by accompanying them to the market, helping them clean their apartments, reading and discussing books with them, and gardening with them. I have been an active member in the preteen youth leadership program in my area and helped organize some of the activities for BC Youth Week that was organized by the University Neighbourhoods Association in the University of British Columbia (UBC) area. I organized a movie night fundraiser for animal welfare and rescue organizations and volunteered to run the UBC Tough Toddler event on campus. I have raised $5,000 to provide books and meals to the Chunati Hakimia girls school in Chittagong, Bangladesh, for the underprivileged girls in this school community. I have a dream to become a pediatrician in the future and serve communities in Canada and Bangladesh.


Savannah C.
Spruce Grove, AB

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to help others. At the age of five, I was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, uveitis, and glaucoma. Learning to live with this condition has been difficult and different. Many days I struggle with pain, mental health problems, and fatigue. However, I made a promise to myself to not let this condition get in my way or cause me to give up. Who am I? I am a philanthropist, entrepreneur in the making, and a girl with big aspirations and a huge heart. I’ve successfully raised enough money through fundraising to purchase 30 tablets for iKare4Kids, a local non-profit organization. I know first-hand what it’s like being in hospitals, and it’s not fun. My brother has had month-long stays. So, knowing I’m making a difference in a child’s life makes me feel great! I also raised money for the Edmonton Burn Unit with my brother, who is a burn survivor and for the Stollery Children’s hospital in Edmonton.

This past year, I’ve been trying to launch my own business, Readventurekids, and YouTube channel to help other children who struggle with reading the way I did because of my eye diseases. It’s been a slow start because I’ve been very ill the past few months, but my dream is to be able to start my own non-profit to help kids like me. I believe everyone can make a difference no matter what they are going through.


Sofia S.
Montreal, QC

I would like to nominate Sofia as a Change Maker. By speaking to the school administration, Sofia got permission to start a campaign in her school to challenge kids to think about how they treat others. She created posters with stories of people she knows, with information about neurodiversity, being excluded, and about how consideration and small kindness can have a big impact on other people. Also, Sofia always makes an effort to say hi to or chat with other kids, even those who aren’t her friends, especially on break or on a school trip when she notices they are alone or left out. Sofia notices how difficult it is to be different from other kids and wants to teach others to just accept that some people have different abilities, and that’s okay.

Pathfinders


Anna B.
North Delta, BC

I am a first-year Pathfinder. I have been participating in Girl Guides since I was a first-year Spark. I chose to make a difference in many girls’ lives when my sister became a Spark. I was a Guide at the time, and I was given the opportunity to help in her unit. I am at every meeting, helping with tasks such as watching Sparks on the playground, planning and leading games and crafts, and helping the Guiders wherever needed. Reflecting on my experiences so far, the most rewarding part has been helping girls who are new to Guiding. There was a brand-new Spark who entered her first meeting shy and timid. I’d often sit with her and spend lots of time supporting her and encouraging her to participate during meetings. I reassured her that the other girls wanted her to join and let her know that she was a very fascinating kid. Over time, she began participating more and more. By June, she was more confident and sometimes even had the courage to lead a game or activity. I know it was just one year out of her life, and I was just one person who told her she had a place in Guiding, but it had a lasting effect on me and taught me lessons in how to connect with others better. I have now been a Junior Leader for three years, and I look forward to many more years of supporting youth in my community as I strive to become a Guider and maybe a teacher one day.


Chloe S.
Newtonville, ON

Chloe is an incredibly thoughtful girl who always strives to help others. For the past several years, she has put on annual food drives to help support her community through a local food bank. Chloe put so much of her own time and effort into making these drives happen, asking others for donations but primarily doing the work herself. She created and distributed flyers, asked friends and family for donations while also knocking on doors to garner support, and distributed the goods to the food bank, which she has also volunteered at.

Chloe constantly volunteers for events and throughout her community, helping however she is needed most. For example, when Chloe was volunteering at a food bank, she helped the other volunteers by showing them where items went while stocking shelves, despite having only been there once before herself. Chloe is a remarkably passionate young leader who always endeavoursto improve the lives of others by putting their needs above her own.


Danica M.
Dutton, ON

I create a better world by volunteering and giving back locally in my community, across Ontario, and around the world. I volunteer as a Junior Leader with a few different Spark and Ember units. I am also on my student council and volunteer in my school as an office helper, a library assistant, and a lunch helper with the younger students. Before COVID-19 restrictions came into place, I would visit elderly care homes to read to residents or play musical instruments for them and, at Christmas time, to sing carols. During the lockdowns, I met online with a child who was being treated for cancer to help him with his schoolwork and as a reading buddy. When I learned how to knit, I donated over 40 hats to include in care packages for premature babies at the hospital. I have also helped prepare and serve food atmy church, and at educational events such as Breakfast on the Farm. Growing up on a farm, I have given many tours of our farm, and I volunteer every year at the farm education booth at shows like the Western Fair in London and the Canadian National Exhibition and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. I also volunteered at an orphanage in Africa when I was seven, and I now give a presentation at my school each year for their Me to We program to help motivate the students to consider the many ways they can help others in the world.
I believe there are many ways to make the world a better place, and I will always do my best to not only make it a better place but also inspire others to do the same.


Taylor de H.
Cornwall, ON

I am a first-year Pathfinder, and I have been in Guiding since Sparks. I think making change is important for a better world. I am the grade 7 representative on my school council because it helps with my leadership skills, and you can’t change things without strong leadership. Over the years, I have helped improve the environment, the community, and health research.Each year, I clean up roadside garbage by volunteering for PITCH-IN Canada and Ocean Wise Shoreline Cleanups. In our community, I have volunteered for the Optimist Club’s breakfast with Santa. I served breakfast food, and Santa was there so the children could take photos with him. Serving breakfast really brought joy to people and showed that even small community events can make a big change. I have type 1 diabetes, and I have participated in a lot of clinical trials for diabetes research. Also, a big project that I have organized is a fundraiser for Diabetes Canada so they can find a cure for diabetes. Finding a cure for diabetes would be a huge change for everybody with and even without diabetes. I organize an annual Walk Run Roll event and created a website to spread awareness about diabetes and to raise money. Over the past two years, I have raised over $3,500! I received a certificate of appreciation from Diabetes Canada for my fundraiser and was interviewed for our local newspaper. I will continue to help the world around me and make changes so that all our futures will be brighter!

Rangers


Annalea P-S.
Carbonear, NL

I applied for a $500 grant through the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation and Global Affairs Canada to establish a Free Pantry Project for the BIPOC youth community. I also applied for the School Health Grant for Youth via the Public Health Agency of Canada and received $3,500 to get ASIST suicide prevention training, naloxone training, and an introduction to swords course from Terra Nova School of Swords into our student body. I am on the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee and participate in the Canada We Want Conference via the Student Commission of Canada. I am also involved with the Cannabis Health Evaluation Research Partnership youth advisory committee that is run through Memorial University to understand and assist with policy development surrounding marijuana.

I have also participated in Queer Expressions of Art through Pride/Swell and the University of New Brunswick. I have participated in many other committees and conferences as well, and I am a youth leader for STEMforGIRLS. I am the deputy chair for Girl Guides of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador provincial youth forum. I have learned so much and give back voluntarily in any way that I can.

I am trying to make the world a better place by having uncomfortable dialogues, asking for help, advocating and being an ally, and not ignoring problems nor invalidating concerns. I try to find or create opportunities for social change, and I hope to help others find their niche.


Bella C.
Toronto, ON

I have been in Girl Guides for eight years and have helped run 16 successful cookie rallies. I have earned the Canada Cord and am working toward the Trailblazer Leadership Award. I am doing work in my school community as well. As a member of the Eco Team, I helped my school earn an EcoSchools Gold Certification for the fifth year in a row, I co-organized a Health and Wellness Day as part of Safe Schools, and I raised money for Egale by running a bake sale with Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

On top of this, I am a top four finalist for the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative at my school, which allows students to give a $5,000 grant to an organization in their community. Through this initiative, I’ve raised awareness for Planned Parenthood Toronto and their work, and I hope to win for them.

Last year I organized celebrations for Autism Acceptance Month at my school. I gave announcements and created posts for my school’s social media. I also made 120 pins and raised $240 for the Autism Self Advocacy Network. Last year, I was a member of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) 2SLGBTQI+ Student Advisory Committee and the TCDSB We Belong Conference Planning Committee, where I worked collaboratively to create a conference for autistic students in the TCDSB. I am also currently a member of the TCDSB Catholic Student Leadership Impact Team Equity Subcommittee. My work is not done, and I plan to do even more volunteer work in my school community and in Guiding.


Janae L.
Markham, ON

I am submitting a nomination because I strive every day to make the world a better place. I am currently a youth activist as part of Black York Region Youth. However, I started my activism journey long before that in grade 8 when I planned a Christmas toy drive for underprivileged children. After the successful toy drive, I planned a Black History Month assembly and created a video on anti-Black racism on behalf of the York Region District School Board. As a result, at grade 8 graduation, I earned the Principal’s Award for Student Leadership!
I volunteer at the Markham Sports Dome and the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) East Scarborough. Additionally, my mentor from BGC assisted me in applying for a $1,500 grant for a community project. We earned the grant and used the money to create an event for youth to learn about the joys of film photography. We provided each youth with transportation to the Distillery District, food, and cameras. The event was a huge success!


Taylor H.
Reserve Mines, NS

Taylor never hesitates to take on the leadership role to keep everyone involved in the activities of the day. Taylor has used her position in the 2SLGBTQI+ society to educate and make sure that every child feels welcomed and included. To date, she has raised close to $7,500 for local charities including Caleb’s Courage and the Christmas Crew. During COVID-19, she rallied her friends and sold personalized bears to help raise money for underprivileged children and families affected by financial hardship due to the pandemic.

Taylor is a Junior Leader for our Spark and Ember group and has taken all the training to become a Guider and to better help lead meetings. She expresses her extensive leadership skills in all aspects of Guiding from planning meetings and camps to stepping up to being the youth voice for the committee for the camp in May.

In addition to her role in Guiding, she has undertaken being a young entrepreneur by taking crafting to a whole new level and turning it into a business. Her compassion knows no bounds – even in business. The profits from her personalized items have been donated to our trip fundraiser. I cannot say enough amazing things about Taylor – she truly will change the world some day!

Meet the 2020 and 2022 Change Maker Award recipients.