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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pincher Creek's "Great Kid" returns home with an award and a new laptop


Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice

Dykota Latourneau recieves her
 Great Kids award from
AB Minister Dave Hancock

 Karen Gamache photo
Dykota Letourneau is in many ways a normal thirteen year old kid.  She goes to school at St. Michael's School, has hobbies, likes to hang out with her friends, and even occasionally has disagreements with her sisters.  This week, a spotlight has been focused on her because she is one of 18 youths across Alberta that has won the prestigious 12th annual Great Kids Award.  Letourneau got to travel to West Edmonton Mall, stay in the Igloo Fantasy room, get passes to the water park, and go shopping with her her family.

Colleen Cyr, President of the Pincher Creek
and District Historical Society, with
Great Kid Dykota Latourneau and her award

C. Davis photo

"I was so excited. I have won a few medals before, but this was the biggest award I have ever gotten." Letourneau enthused.  Each of the eighteen winners was presented the award personally by Minister of Human Services, Dave Hancock.  Hancock reminded those assembled during the presentation that we cannot just focus on, and give attention to, the negative actions of our youth.  We also have to reward the positive behaviors.

Dykota Latourneau at the awards ceremony
Karen Gamache photo
The reward for this was quite tangible.  Each of the winners, including Letourneau, also received a new IBM Lenovo laptop with a variety of software pre-loaded onto the machine, as well as a swag bag full of goodies.  "I was so excited, they didn't tell us that we were getting a computer, and mine broke down a little while ago.  I never thought that volunteering could be this big."  Letourneau said.  She volunteers at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (administered by the Pincher Creek and District Historical Society), Metis Association #1880, during sporting events, with youth groups, and where she sees a personal need, like shoveling sidewalks for the elderly.

When asked what being a volunteer meant to her, Letourneau stated it very simply.  "Volunteering isn't about yourself, it is about helping others."  Standing up for the things you believe in, and giving back to the community can make a difference in the world.  This young lady has chosen to look beyond herself to make a difference in the world around her.  That is what makes her exceptional.

Click here to read the Government of Alberta news release about the Great Kids awards show.

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