Each year, YMCAs across Canada celebrate acts of peace by recognizing individuals and groups who, without any special resources, status, wealth or position, have demonstrated a commitment to building peace within their community or communities elsewhere in the world. During YMCA Peace Week, held during November, local peacemaker(s) receive special recognition and a medal at Peace Medal ceremonies across Canada.
This year, our very own, Milena Raso, a Grade 12 student at Marymount Academy, was awarded the YMCA PEACE Medal Recipient in the Youth Category.
Milena has been volunteering for 9 years and has been actively involved in raising funds for the Northern Cancer Foundation, Sudbury Hospice Care, Children’s Wish Foundation, Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, Black Youth Helpline and Sudbury Alzheimer’s Society. Milena also founded the Stomach Cancer Fund, alongside her family and in memory of her father.
In March, when her Co-op placement was cancelled due to Covid-19 she came up with a creative idea to earn her credit. During the school closure period, Milena spent hundreds of hours making masks for the Sudbury community donating $5000 to NOFCC (Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer). In addition, with her fundraising efforts, she fully funded two nurse chairs for the Northeast Cancer Centre.
To date, she has raised more than $20 000 for local charities.
“Milena exemplifies the traits and characteristics that makes her the perfect recipient for this award. She is actively involved within the Sudbury community and consistently demonstrates and lives out our Catholic values. The Marymount community is extremely proud of Milena and all Regals, past and present, want to congratulate her on her accomplishment,” said Cassandra Trenbergen, Principal at Marymount Academy.
“We are all very proud of Milena’s accomplishment, she is most deserving of this recognition not only for her years of dedication but most importantly for her genuine spirit of generosity and care towards others,” said Peter Prochilo, Superintendent of School Effectiveness.