The Dundas Division of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for Dundas’ 2009 Distinguished Citizen of the Year, Youth Volunteer of the Year Award and Business of the Year. Below, the Dundas Star News highlights the work of the two outstanding youth nominees.
Mikaila Nederveen is more actively involved in her school and community than your average 18-year-old.
Mikaila was a student representative for McMaster University’s Research under the Microscope and Brock University’s Scientifically Yours in 2009 and Ontario Educational Leadership Centre representative in 2007.
She has been a member of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School student council for the past two years as female athletic representative. She has also been a member of the athletic council for three years and the president for two. As the council president, Mikaila was a key factor in putting together the
Since Grade 9 Victoria Piccini has spent a great deal of her high school career volunteering in order to guide and support others.
Victoria’s mother ran a Friday night basketball league for girls who wanted to play just for fun. The league started out for Grade 6 -8 students, and Victoria helped out with her mother’s team as well as assistant coaching for her father’s basketball team. By the end of the year she decided she wanted her own team to coach. Victoria ended up coaching and mentoring St. Augustine’s Girls House League for two years.
Victoria also helped out at Dundas Dynamo basketball tournaments Championship Legacy Hallway. It took a lot of time and patience to track down all the championship pictures of St. Mary teams dating all the way back to 1970. Mikaila also had to organize, finance and attain plaques for these photos.
She created, co-ordinates and referees the St. Mary Lunch Time Intramural Program, where students participate in dodge ball and ping pong.
Along with her other responsibilities, Mikaila organized Community Building Days, co-ordinated the Grade 9 orientation activities and organized the athletic assembly, multimedia presentation, the daily sports program and morning announcements.
Other events in which she volunteered include, Pilgrimage for Christ, St. Mary feeder school soccer tournament volunteer and head referee, Dominican Republic Education and Medical Support
and spaghetti suppers. No job was too big or small. From working at concession stands to organizing displays, Victoria happily promoted the unity these events were meant to inspire.
Another large aspect of her life was Guiding. Victoria went through the junior branches of Guiding — Sparks, Brownies, Girl Guides and Pathfinders to become a Cadet.
Cadets are a senior branch of Guiding aimed towards developing leadership in young women. One of the requirements of the program was to spend a year in each of the junior branches offering help and developing leadership skills.
Victoria joined the Girl Guides as a volunteer in 2007 to help the special needs girls at weekly meetings. Victoria’s older brother is autistic and so is one of the special need girls; the other is in a wheelchair. and various events with student council and athletic council.
Mikaila participates in various school sports as well — basketball from 2006-08, indoor and outdoor soccer 2007-10, track and field (javelin) 2006-08, volleyball and field hockey. She also played on the Division I basketball team that won
bronze, silver and gold at the provincial championships in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
Mikaila is involved in various community projects to help aspiring athletes reach their fullest potential. She participates extensively in basketball and volleyball. Mikaila was a part of the Mountain Regional Basketball Elite Development team. She is a member of the coaching staff of the Mountain Athletic Club Development House
In 2008 Victoria continued as a Guide but for a Brownie group. This group did not need her special needs skills, but did require a lot more attention since the girls were all younger. It was Victoria’s responsibility to help plan meetings and assist the girls to earn badges.
The year after that, she led a Sparks group. The Sparks group girls are much younger and required constant attention to keep their young minds occupied. In addition to organizing meetings, Victoria planned and participated in games and various crafts.
With all the other volunteering responsibilities Victoria has, she still manages to be active in the community.
League and the summer children’s camp. She is currently completing her NCCP Level I certification to continue coaching.
She received the Athlete of the Year Award in 2005, junior athlete of the year in 2007, senior girls volleyball MVP in 2008 and athletic council in 2008. Mikaila was team captain of the provincial championship volleyball Under 17 team. Her team finished in fifth place with Under 18 provincial championship and fourth place at the Canadian championships from 2004 to 2006.
On top of all her involvement with various councils and sports, she still managed to maintain honour roll status for 2006, 2007 and 2008.
She constantly strives for success and is never satisfied with anything other than her best.
She participated in Halloween for Hunger, at St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School and volunteered at the Dundas Cactus Festival.
Volunteering is a big part of her life and, coming from a family where volunteering is valued, she wishes to continue in the future.
The biggest influence on Victoria’s volunteering career is her mother.
From involvement with the Autism Society to helping out at the Cactus Festival for the past eight years, she could not have wished for a better role model.
Some people seek credit for good deeds but Victoria is one of the few people who work quietly and tirelessly to help people, expecting no reward.