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Every year in March we celebrate our “Women to Watch” and in June our “Men to Watch.” We know how much readers enjoy meeting the movers and shakers in our community, and that it is meaningful for those individuals who are featured. This year, in our Kids issue, we wanted to meet some of the future women and men to watch – and asked readers for their nominations. Introducing the “Kids to Watch” of the Saanich Peninsula, each special in their own unique ways …
On Tyson Hosking’s 10th birthday he realized that his friend Rene would likely not be having his 10th birthday. Rene had brain cancer. “I wish there was something I could do to help,” Tyson said. He decided he wanted to grow his hair and donate it to make a wig for a child that has cancer, and he set a goal of raising $5,000 for BC Children’s Hospital as they had supported Rene and his family so much. For two years my son grew his hair and not once did he waiver from this goal. Rene died in the first year of Tyson’s project but he continued to hold a powerful part of his heart. On Tyson’s 12th birthday he had grown over 12 inches of hair and raised over $6,000 for BC Children’s Hospital! I know that Tyson will go on to do many other heartfelt and amazing things in this world.
Desiree Young, a 16-year-old Parkland Secondary Student, is amazing! Not only is she involved in very high level athletics, she really gives back to the community, her peers and is a wonderful dedicated, conscientious student. She participates in both Wheelchair Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball at the Provincial Level. She owns and operates her own line of Clothing (Wheel and Axel) and she takes a leadership role in our school and in our community. Desiree was responsible for Parkland getting a Terry Fox/BC Access Grant to make our school fully accessible. Desiree was our Cops for Cancer student liason for the yearly event. Desiree’s clothing line, Wheel and Axle, is a brand that draws attention to, raises awareness of and assists in bringing the disability community to the forefront.
Caleb Bentham lives in Bazan Bay and loves to paddleboard, fish and explore the ocean right at his back door. He even has his own little boat and, with the boating safety and fishing skills he has learned from his father, he can explore, fish and catch crabs very close to home. Hiking in Dean Park is another favourite activity. Caleb has had the opportunity to learn how to grow vegetables, care for them and harvest the produce at a young age in his Great Grandmother’s garden in Bazan Bay. Caleb loves sports such as lacrosse, biking and surfing. He had a key role in a NSMS production and was on the school honour roll for 2017.
Summer Bentham is a student at Kelset Elementary School. She lives in Bazan Bay and loves to paddleboard and explore the ocean where she lives. She also likes to hike in Dean Park with her pet dog Bauer and the family. Summer is very creative and spends many hours drawing, painting and doing arts and crafts. She is an outstanding young artist! She is also a very creative writer and loves to write stories. Summer has received awards for public speaking and writing, and takes part in many different activities such as soccer, running and hip hop dance.
Kahlil Jones is a keen supporter of the environment and endeavours to do his part in keeping our planet healthy. He loves nature, enjoys hiking on local trails, and shows caring and compassion to the needs of his family and friends. He has inherited the artistic ability of his Great Grandmother, Edith Jones, a pioneer of North Saanich. Music inspires Kahlil: he takes drumming and piano lessons. He has earned his orange striped belt in Karate and strives to reach the next level. Kahlil is a keen mountain biker, and has recently been inspired to perform his own magic tricks! He loves the concept of illusion and likes to explore it. He is an amazing kid to watch who has amazing potential to set his own amazing dreams in motion!!
Brighton Tweedhope is five years old. What makes Brighton so amazing is that he has such a great interest in Science and Astronomy. His curiosity for any knowledge around these two subjects is amazing! Brighton always has a new fact to share. He is also a very kind, spirited little boy who thinks about others. He has a little sister, who is two, and he cares about her feelings so much. We were recently at an event and Brighton had a treat. There was another little boy sitting beside him that he did not know; Brighton offered him some of his treat all on his own. He is always thinking about other children’s feelings.
Inspired by We Day, an annual youth empowerment conference held in Vancouver, 12-year-old Ethan LeBlanc has been willingly getting up at 4 a.m. on Fridays since October, heading downtown to volunteer with Reverend Al Tysick of the Dandelion Society. Together they serve coffee, hand out treats (Ethan makes a tray of rice krispy squares the night before which are always a big hit), socks, blankets and whatever else is needed to those who make their home on the streets of downtown Victoria.