Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers awarded to local student

Shawna O'Neill, TC Media
Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers awarded to local student
Ashleigh Latreille with her medal at South Stormont Township. (Submitted photo).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Ashleigh Latreille of South Stormont was presented with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

“When they called me and told me I was in shock,” said Latreille. “When I looked up the award, (I noticed) it was all older people who had won it, and apparently I was one of the youngest people to win it. It was such an honour to receive it…a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The 17-year-old, St. Joseph’s Catholic School student has volunteered for different organizations over the last decade. She has spent a multitude of hours volunteering with Me to We, previously known as Free the Children. Latreille has also collected and fundraised for local foodbanks and charities, sold her own baked goods and bath bombs for fundraising efforts and has volunteered with her high school.

In 2016, Latreille travelled to the village of Oloirien, Kenya where she helped to transport water that was up to 10 km away. She helped to build school classrooms and assisted with making Rafiki bracelets, which are sold to provide income for families.

“Travelling to Africa is by far my most memorable volunteer experience and I encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone and travel to a country like Kenya,” said Latreille. “Seeing their faces after helping them really makes you feel great about everything you are doing.”

Latreille was presented with the medal before the South Stormont council meeting on Sept. 26. As part of the Canadian Honours System, the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes outstanding volunteer achievements in various fields, to individuals who better the lives of people in their own community and abroad.

“This recognition is a testament to her tireless efforts to improve the lives of others, and we are very proud of this young woman’s commitment to these efforts,” said Jim Bancroft, Mayor of South Stormont.

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