Once a week for the month of April, we will be showcasing each of our winning 2021 Métis Youth Role Models. Métis Youth British Columbia (MYBC) announced five Métis Youth Role Models, who were identified as outstanding youths in their communities. Métis role models promote healthy lifestyles, Métis culture and awareness; strengthen Métis identity and participate actively in their community.
This week, we are showcasing Cassandra Olson. Her nominator wrote to MYBC:
I have several reasons why I believe that Cassandra Olson is an outstanding youth.
Cassandra was chosen to be one of the few members of the BC RCMP Youth Committee that helps to aid youth in her community. They are a group of students from all across the province of BC that discuss problems that face youth in today’s world. The problems they discussed in the group include anything that has to do with the law such as drugs, underage drinking, vaping, cannabis, and many others. But they also took the time to discuss other issues such as bullying, mental health, dropping out of school, family issues, etc. They would have conversations about how Métis youth and youth, in general, are affected by these things, why they are affected, how our local police can help, and how they, as fellow youth can help others. She found that youth everywhere are facing the same problems, but some are given better resources and opportunities than others are. Not only was she able to learn about these issues, but she now has a better understanding of them and how she can help to improve them now, and in the future to better her community.
As someone who really enjoys sports and any activities that involve moving, most of her contributions to her community have been through sports. Being a figure skater for thirteen years, she is passionate about the sport and loves sharing this passion with others. Starting at a young age, she was given the opportunity to start working with younger kids that were just learning how to skate. As she got older and continued in the sport, she was able to increase her role in her volunteering. Instead of just being a helper for a coach with their group of children, she was able to start teaching them herself. Currently, she creates her own lesson plans based on the Skate Canada guidelines and is able to teach multiple groups of kids per session. She loves being able to give other kids the chance to love skating as much as she does. This volunteering is something that she plans to continue for many years to come.
Cassandra is a very passionate and academic-oriented individual who is looking to pursue a career in law enforcement. She even took online classes and summer school classes to graduate a year sooner than anticipated. She graduated in June 2020 a year ahead of her classmates, with a Double Dogwood Diploma. Her grades are something that she should be very proud of, as they afforded her the Cst. Sarah Beckett Memorial Scholarship as well as a few scholarships within her school district. Due to covid, she has been able to stay in BC while attending the university as she takes all her classes online.
She has recently volunteered to help escort Métis Elders to attend vaccination clinics.
Each Métis Role Model will receive $300 in gift cards and be showcased on the Métis Nation British Columbia website\. We would like to thank all the nominees who were submitted and encourage their nominators to re-submit next year.
The seventh annual Métis Youth Role Model Campaign launched on January 7, 2021, with a call for outstanding youth nominees. To be eligible, Métis Youth Role Models must be between the ages of 15 and 30 and live in B.C. The MYBC Committee selected the five winners from all the eligible submissions. Click here to see all of this year’s chosen Métis Youth Role Models.