Westwick shines with worthy words of wisdom
Ken Herar, The TimesPublished: Tuesday, November 24, 2009
"As has always been true, people are intimidated by the unknown, and if the unknown is reduced then people will be more willing to take it upon themselves to improve community diversity."
Those are the inspirational words of Mission's Mike Westwick, a media and communications student at the University of the Fraser Valley.
Westwick, an aspiring journalist, is this year's worthy winner of the Times' Building An Inclusive, Diverse Community essay contest.
His essay was powerful, passionate and concise. His words reveal a touching truth, catching the imagination and approval of all six of our judges.
Westwick's words also parrot our sentiments at the Times to eliminate the unknown factor in our communities and create a brighter future for everyone.
As the 2009 winner, Westwick is receiving an honourary ticket from Abbotsford Community Services to attend the Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards on March 5, 2010 at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre in Abbotsford.
Those who took part in this year's contest responded to the question "What have you done, or what can you do, to make our community more inclusive?"
I have been truly blessed these past four months meeting people from all walks of life and having the opportunity to speak at various local venues.
The road to the final four has been one of hard work and perseverance.
In fact, what we have learned here is that walking along the path of diversity is not a lonely journey - thankfully!
I would like to thank Times' publisher Fred Armstrong and editor Gord Kurenoff who encouraged me to spread the important words of tolerance, togetherness and love.
Our team of judges was brilliant and their individual efforts are appreciated. Out of 40-plus final entries they respectfully narrowed it down to the finest four.
For those who were not selected please try again next year.
There were many fantastic submissions and the toughest part is telling someone they didn't make it to this final stage.
Kudos to Mike Westwick, Jaskiran Sidhu, Aaron Myales and Suman Dhillon.
And thanks to everyone who entered and demonstrated that we have a lot of caring youth who want their community to be more inclusive.© Abbotsford Times 2009