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CNIB Young Leaders Program

Led by Alberta's Kara Aramini, the CNIB Young Leaders program welcomes youth from across Canada to develop leadership and advocacy skills in a virtual setting with the goal of building self-esteem, confidence and empowering youth while boosting community engagement in social settings.

As part of the program, participants fundraised for projects they are passionate about. Here's what they had to say:

Alicia Chenier, 21, Sudbury, ON 

AliciaAlicia poses with her white cane outdoors at a Brain Tumour Foundation fundraising event. 

I chose to fundraise for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada because I was diagnosed with a brain tumour at a very young age which led to my vision loss. I want to fundraise to end brain tumours, so no one else has to grow up living with a brain tumour.

I have learned so much from participating in the young leader's group, but the best thing is sharing ideas and experiences with other like-minded leaders who are all passionate about changing the world.

Hunter Turcotte, 15, Edmonton, AB 

A black and white photograph of a smiling Hunter. He is standing indoors.

I am fundraising for CNIB Guide Dogs. I wanted to give back to a program that I will eventually need in the future. 

In the young leader's program, I've been developing my independence, confidence, and pride. I always look forward to speaking and hearing from other youth in the program.

Munashe & Munopahse Nyenya, 14 & 12, Edmonton, AB 

An over-the-shoulder picture of Munashe & Munopahse sitting at their laptop and working on their fundraising project. 

We are fundraising for Albinism with No Limits International (AWNLI), an organization we created. This organization is focused on helping people with albinism in the southern Africa region. People with albinism in Southern Africa don't have adequate resources for them to succeed in their country.

We believe thoroughly in what we do and that it can help make a positive impact for so many people around the globe. 

Through this leadership program, we have learned many meaningful ways to fundraise and support the causes we believe in like getting connections, marketing projects, using social media, setting up a website, and getting our ideas out there. 

We've also learned about responsibility, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and we believe that this has impacted us for good.

Steve Kiema, 12, Edmonton, AB

 A school photo of a smiling Steve. He is wearing blue glasses and a white shirt.

I am raising funds for St. Lucy’s School in Kenya. I decided to do this because I am a blind person myself and want to give other people who are blind the same opportunities I have.

Through the youth leadership program, I have learned that you need to work hard to make things work. You can always help or contribute to others no matter your age; every little bit counts.

Veda Bubevska, 13, Edmonton, AB 

Veda, wearing athletic clothes and glasses, rides her indoor spin bicycle. 

I am fundraising for the Alberta Sports Recreation Association for the Blind (ASRAB). This organization is very close to my heart since I’ve been playing sports with them since I was a kid.

Fundraising for ASRAB has taught me a lot of things. First, it has taught me about spreading the word about a campaign and making sure that what you have to say is interesting. I've learned about different ways to get people to donate to your fundraisers, such as through social media and different ways to spread your cause. 

Commitment is of essence! I pledged to spin for 28 days if people donated to my fundraiser, and I have kept up that pledge. And most importantly, fundraising can't be done alone. If it weren't for my parents and the wonderful people at the CNIB, I would not have been able to get my fundraiser going. Overall, I have enjoyed the experience, and I hope that I will get the opportunity to do something like this again in the future.