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“My week at Encounters with Canada is the reason I am the person I am today”
In honour of Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Their Excellencies the Governor General David Johnston and his wife along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife hosted a reception on June 30, 2011 at Rideau Hall, celebrating the service of Canadian youth towards a smart and caring nation. This event which received literally world media coverage, was a resounding success, with over 120 Canadian youth selected for their work in areas of great interest to Their Royal Highnesses.
One of the young Canadians meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Prime Minister and Mrs. Harper was 18-year-old Taylor Quinn, from Vancouver, BC, one of our most active alumni. Not only did he take part in the Business and Entrepreneurship week in October 2009, but he also attended the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, and acted as a spokesman for the group at some of the functions.
At the Celebration of Youth Reception on June 30, five young Canadians were singled out – Taylor being one of them. Scott Weatherhead, Events Coordinator at Rideau Hall, stated that Taylor conducted himself with exceptional professionalism and humour, as one of the evening’s five youth facilitators and reported that Taylor was one of the big stars of the evening.
“The week I spent at Encounters with Canada (EWC) has transformed me from an average shy kid with no path and with no direction, into a social activist and motivational speaker that has not since stopped on my mission to end global poverty, one child at a time”, said Taylor Quinn. For example, ten months after attending Encounters, he was in Enelerai, Kenya, building a school with Free the Children on a volunteer trip. Since then, he has raised over $10,000 for Invisible Children, participated in many youth leadership programs, and has actively travelled as a public speaker for such causes as Jump Rope for Heart.
Right after acting as EWC’s youth ambassador at the June 30, 2011 Celebration of Youth Reception at Rideau Hall, Taylor traveled to western Kenya for six weeks to teach HIV/AIDS education in rural villages, continuing to expand his experiences in the developing world. “I may only be one person, but I am part of a generation, a generation of young people who WILL change the world”, said Taylor with a burning passion. Back in Canada in September, Taylor will be moving to Halifax to study International Development at Dalhousie University.