Last year, we invited our community members and contacts to nominate individuals for our inaugaral “CYCABC Practitioner of the Year” awards. Nominees were noted for their exceptional service to young people and the systems and communities which support them. To all nominees, thank you for your ongoing dedication to young people, their families and communities for exceptional practice in the field of child and youth care. Stay tuned for 2023 nomination period opening soon.
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Introducing our CYCABC 2022 Practitioner of the Year:
Annie Smith – Annie Smith is the Executive Director of the McCreary Centre Society since 2006. McCreary Centre Society is a not-for-profit committed to improving the health of BC youth through research, evaluation and community-based projects. Their vision is that all youth are supported to be healthy and connected. Annie is an advocate who believes in centering youth voice. She leads the Adolescent Health Survey which is a province-wide survey administered to youth in Grade 7 to 12 every five years since 1992. The survey gives an evidence base of youth health trends, emerging issues, and risk and protective factors for healthy development. She provides leadership to the Youth Research Academy, the Youth Transitioning Out of Care Study and TRRUST Collective Impact. Annie also sits at many advocacy tables including the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness. She also has created opportunities for young people to gain employment skills, to have flexible employment and to have their voices heard. Countless young people have had their lives positively impacted because of Annie and her work is positively changing the child and youth care landscape.
Carolyn Tuckwell – Carolyn Tuckwell has a passion for working to ensure that every child has the opportunities they deserve to have the best outcomes in life. She has been the CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC since 2005. Since then, the BGC has opened three new Clubs (the first expansions in over 20 years) and executed a strategic merger, nearly tripling the size of the organization. Now a $10 million organization serving more than 12,000 children, youth and families annually, BGC is on track to advance its position as the champion of kids and to extend their reach. In addition to there afterschool programming, they provide substance-abuse services and support to some of the most vulnerable youth in our community. They also offer counselling and employment services for youth and families. Carolyn originally started her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, working with children with complex developmental disabilities. Carolyn was nominated for the 2014 YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards in Vancouver. She is also a member of the TRRUST Strategic Advisory supporting improved outcomes for youth transitioning out of government care.
Jordynn Punter – Jordynn embodies the values and ethics of a true CYC practitioner to the core. As a proud Trans woman, Jordynn recently used her coming out as a courageous and beautiful opportunity for education and for the Surrey school community to demonstrate their values and leadership. As a practitioner, Jordynn models diversity for impressionable elementary students in the school setting. She brings a love of sports, games, movies, and other popular activities that resonate with young people and families to help find common ground. It’s these connections that form the incredible basis for her relational practice. Jordynn uses the resources of the school system and ecology to leverage support individuals cannot usually access on their own. In her new role, this has already included informing Surrey Schools policy for inclusion, access, and dignity. Jordynn is also very politically aware and understands world events. She especially uses this understanding and empathy to welcome and bond with immigrant and refugee children and families. Those who know Jordynn as a classmate and colleague know she is supportive and tireless. Her combination of keen theoretical intellect and practice based solutions in the field is helping to advance the professionalization of Child and Youth Care. Don’t underestimate Jordynn! As a listener, a joker, and a friend, Jordynn can disarm you with charm and warmth, while at the same time bringing out your strengths and gently encouraging you to better yourself and take more personal responsibility. It is this kind of magic formula that CYCs can relate to as the heart of our values and ethics and the reason to choose Jordynn for this award.