URock Legends 2014
Richard Churchill, Clarenville
Richard Churchill is a 30-year-old who sets himself apart, not only in the sheer number of hours he spends giving of himself, but also the quality he puts into them. The backbone of the local Jackrabbits Nordic Ski Club, he poured hundreds of volunteer hours into the successful hosting of the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Clarenville. In 2008, Richard was honoured with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association Medal for outstanding contribution to the Faculty of Education and to Memorial University. Since then, he has used his own time to develop innovative ways to use social media in his teaching and student engagement.
Raylene Mackey, Goulds
Eighteen-year-old Raylene Mackey is a strong community-based volunteer. A golf coach with Special Olympics, regular volunteer at St. Luke’s Seniors Home, and die-hard food drive participant, she has improved the lives of others through a diverse list of volunteer activities. Crowned Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador 2013, Raylene wasted no time in using her position to spread her impact even further. In her one-year reign, she has voluntarily attended over 160 events all across the province, giving of her talents in any way possible - singing the opening anthem at an IceCaps game in St. John’s, inspiring listeners of Voice of Bonne Bay Radio in Norris Point, or joining in community celebrations at the Conne River Pow Wow. And when it was time to sweep up after Shave for the Brave, Raylene never shied away from the task!
Natasha Noel, St. John’s
Natasha Noel is an 18-year-old from St. John’s who has taken her passion for equality city-wide. Involved in Easter Seals, Rainbow Riders, Student Council, and the Bishop’s College Student Action Committee, Natasha was named St. John’s Youth of the Year in 2013. From projects ranging from Easter Seals’ “Relay on Wheels” allowing able-bodied participants to experience life with restricted mobility, to lobbying for free ice time in order for her to teach a child with Cerebral Palsy how to skate, Natasha inspires others in both her words and her actions. Along with this, Natasha balances studies, leads her student government, participates on five sports teams and contributes to the Bishops Youth Action Committee. She is truly a force for good, and her actions influence all around her.
Melissa Thomas, Mount Pearl
Melissa Thomas is a 21-year-old from Mount Pearl. Melissa has been actively involved in student government at the secondary and post-secondary level. A dedicated fundraiser for a number of causes, in 2013 she hosted the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Crew Walk. Melissa has successfully fundraised over $30,000 for Ronald McDonald House. A longstanding volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, she has served as a mentor and leader for over 10 years. In addition to volunteering with the organization’s afterschool program, Melissa has also been a key organizer for the Club’s Black Tie Bingo Gala.
Fallon Piercey, Conception Bay
South Eighteen-year-old Conception Bay South native Fallon Piercey takes pride in excelling in whatever pursuits she puts her mind to, and is known throughout her community for her drive, dedication and dependability. A life-changing experience happened to Fallon when she joined the Duke of Edinburgh program in 2013 and undertook a grueling four-day, three-night backpacking expedition over 60 kilometres from Portugal Cove South to Cappahayden. The completion of the program included voluntary service where she was required to log 15 hours for a bronze award, 30 hours for silver, and 60 hours for gold. Fallon went above and beyond the requirement, logging 160 hours of volunteer time. Her passion and enthusiasm have spilled over to her drive to contribute to her community and make a difference in the lives of others. Fallon has worked tirelessly to coordinate school fundraisers, community food drives, and help plan a school breakfast program. In the process, she has earned a reputation for being engaged, smart, and caring. Fallon is a dedicated member of the Town of Conception Bay South’s Youth Advisory Council and in 2013 was nominated for the Conception Bay South Youth Volunteer of the Year.
Donald Slaney, St. Lawrence
Nineteen-year-old St. Lawrence native Donald Slaney is described by his town’s mayor as an “understanding and gifted young man who believes in helping others and making his community a safe and caring haven.” Donald has led the student government of his former school, was instrumental in the founding of a MADD chapter on the Burin Peninsula, and went on to found his own charity supporting education on the African continent. One of the youth attendant’s at the record-breaking World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, he has spent time in both Brazil and Peru conducting humanitarian work.
Corner Brook Regional High Pride Alliance
Corner Brook Regional High Pride Alliance is a school-based group that promotes awareness of LGBTQ issues. Formed in September 2012, the group has already actively promoted and participated in the Corner Brook Pride March and encouraged faculty, students and staff at Corner Brook Regional High to show their “pride” on Pink Day, a day to promote anti-bullying awareness and acceptance of all students. The group promotes education, awareness building and has created a safe space for LGBTQ youth and their allies. The group has also conducted extensive outreach to regional schools and created a tool kit to assist student groups in establishing their own Gay Straight Alliance. This year the group will host the first Provincial High School Gay Straight Alliance Conference. Provincial Government dignitaries, school board officials and an estimated 120 students will be in attendance at this landmark event.
Chanelle Cluett, Labrador
Chanelle Cluett is a 22-year-old from Labrador, currently living in St. John’s. She’s studying to become a teacher, but she doesn’t let that slow down her volunteering. Chanelle helps out wherever she is needed, from school and youth-oriented programs, to baking cookies for Ronald McDonald House residents, to multiple events for charities. The Best Buddy program, Residence Life Council, the Relay for Life Committee, are just a few examples of her volunteer activities at MUN. In addition to Chanelle’s own activities, she helps match other students with suitable volunteer opportunities as a volunteer with the MUN Student Volunteer Bureau. Chanelle finds time for her countless volunteer activities and her studies, and manages to hold two part-time jobs. One of her nominators said that Chanelle “squeezes everything she can out of her day, making her time in the City of St. John’s reach its full potential.” Another says, she “never hesitates to take on more.” Chanelle has already received many awards marking her volunteer service, and now adds a URock award to her list of well-deserved accomplishments.