Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) student Madeleine Fortin has won the prestigious Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, which is awarded by the Governor General. The honour recognizes exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country and pays tribute to their dedication and exemplary commitment to helping others.
Fortin, who is in Grade 12, earned the honour for a variety of volunteer efforts through the VCI Interact/Me to We Club and local charities. She was presented with the medal on Monday, February 11 by We Charity co-founder Craig Kielburger during the We Day celebration in Montreal.
“It’s kind of unbelievable,” said Fortin. “I wasn’t expecting it because it’s not the reason I [volunteer], but it’s a great honour to be recognized.”
“I couldn’t be prouder of her and her accomplishments,” added VCI Principal Trevor Wheeler of Fortin’s recognition. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving.”
The honours student, who has a 94.5 per cent average, has given an amazing 232 hours of community service through her school since Grade 9.
She helped organize a card-writing campaign and bake sale for the Veterans Transition Network in 2015. She spearheaded a book sale in November for Child Haven International, which raised funds for textbooks for orphans in India, Bangladesh and Tibet. She was also a driving force in three of the school’s We Scare Hunger food drives, gathering hundreds of non-perishable items for food banks in Vankleek Hill and Hawkesbury.
Other charitable events she has been involved in include: The VCI Christmas Food and Clothing Drive, Child Haven International’s annual fundraising dinner, a Dining in the Dark fundraiser for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and a henna tattoo fundraiser for Syrian refugees.
She also founded a school magazine giving students journalism opportunities and has helped in past at the Champlain Library.
This will be the second award that Fortin has received this school year. In the fall, the school presented her with the VCI Excellence in Character and Citizenship Award.