Spotlight on Youth Achievement: Celebrating Remarkable Immigrant Youth Contributions

At Immigrant Services Calgary, we believe in honouring the remarkable contributions of immigrants and refugees to our vibrant and diverse community—which is why we launched the celebratory Immigrants of Distinction Awards (IDA) gala in 1997. Over 20 years later, this annual awards ceremony continues to bring hundreds of community and business leaders together to celebrate Calgary’s change-makers.

In our series of blogs highlighting the past year's award recipients, we now turn our attention to the Youth Achievement category. This is the final highlight in our series, showcasing an award presented to an immigrant or refugee youth between the ages of 14 and 24 who has made an outstanding contribution in one or more of the following areas: arts and culture, sports, community and volunteer activities, academics, and leadership. These young individuals have made significant contributions to our city through their achievements, community involvement, and leadership.

Meet Yvette Ysabel Yao: A Dedicated Future Doctor and Community Advocate

Yvette Yao, originally from the Philippines, is a medical student at the University of Calgary, aspiring to become the first doctor in her family. Before coming to Calgary, Yvette graduated Magna Cum Laude with dual majors in Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley, and worked in research at Stanford Medicine.

Yvette co-founded the Calgary Asian Medical Students Association, promoting immigrant and refugee health, and holds leadership roles in various medical organizations. Her global health efforts include launching a hand-washing curriculum for Filipino street children and facilitating research exchange programs. Yvette's dedication to medicine and community advocacy exemplifies her commitment to positive change.

Watch Yvette Ysabel Yao’s story:

Meet Shrisha Gupta: An Exemplary Leader and Achiever

Shrisha Gupta, an Indian immigrant to Canada since 2014, is a standout youth achiever. A medalist swimmer, winner of the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association’s Daughters of the Year 2022 award, and a Calgary Award 2023 finalist, she has many achievements under her belt, despite still being in high school.

Shrisha has won international case competitions for financial management, was awarded the Platinum Medal for KUMON Math, and placed first in Marketyze’s Global Summer Marketing Challenge. Shrisha's leadership roles in organizations like FUSE Society, APCAA Youth, and Horizons YYC showcase her dedication to promoting business literacy and empowering youth.

Watch Shrisha Gupta's story:

Do you know someone like Yvette or Shrisha who has made significant contributions to the community? Nominate them for the Immigrants of Distinction Awards 2024 and help us recognize their extraordinary achievements. Nominations close next Monday, June 17, 2024, so make sure to nominate someone today!