Cody O’Brien, a Memorial University biochemistry major and avid Let’s Talk Science Outreach volunteer has been named Community Leader (Atlantic) in the 2015 Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards. The Happy Valley-Goose Bay student is one of just 17 successful award recipients, chosen from 385 nominees.
These prestigious awards recognize the tremendous contributions of Canadians whose volunteer efforts improve the well-being of their communities. O’Brien was presented with his award this afternoon at an official awards ceremony in Toronto, ON.
An honours student with plans to study medicine, O’Brien credits his love of science as the catalyst for his intensive volunteer efforts. It spurred him to join Let’s Talk Science, a national, charitable organization that delivers science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning programs to engage children, youth and educators.
“It’s a tremendous honour to receive this award,” said O’Brien. “Science is a major part of my life, so science outreach was a natural fit when it came to volunteering. I understand the importance of reaching our province’s youth with educational methods that really spark their interest. Using science outreach as a platform to do this is incredibly rewarding.
“As a Labradorian, I also take great pride in promoting science learning in my own community and in bringing STEM learning activities to rural and remote areas that otherwise wouldn’t have this kind of access or opportunity,” he added.
Glenda Casimir, manager of Volunteer Engagement & Community Partnerships at Let’s Talk Science, nominated O’Brien and was thrilled with the outcome. “Cody is a superstar outreach volunteer, having contributed over 250 hours leading hands-on STEM activities in both French and English at urban and rural schools across the province.
“Last year, in just one week, he engaged 1,100 Kindergarten to Grade 10 students by leading 29 workshops in three schools in Labrador!” she added. “It’s mind-blowing to see the kind of impact that volunteers like Cody can have. We’re so proud to count him as a member of our national Let’s Talk Science Outreach team.”
Read the official media release for full details.