A life long North Ender, Michael is one of the founders of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities, an anti-gang youth movement that has been breaking stereotypes and creating opportunities since 2010.
Michael is also a community organizer and public speaker who has traveled across Canada sharing teachings, acronyms, and strategies with youth leaders and educators. He started volunteering and joined different clubs, such as cadets, where he learned to be deliberate about everything he projects, from his speech to the way he dresses. In Grade 12, he was the first co-president of student council because he didn’t like the imbalance of power between the president and the vice-president. Then in 2005, he started working in local community groups, where his passion for helping North End youths find their voice was really sparked.
Althea Guiboche is a single mother, author, poet, activist and humanitarian. Having been approached by the homeless and the hungry for food or money, Althea decided it was time to make a difference.
Undeterred when the Province tried to close her down and her van was vandalized, Althea acquired the proper paperwork and with the help of friends, continued her philanthropic ways, giving away bannock and soup to the homeless every Thursday afternoon. “Although I am in the poverty cycle myself, I still do all I can to help out. There is always someone worse off out there. It makes you appreciate what you do have, makes you feel part of the world, and makes you feel absolutely ecstatically happy!”
Ken came to Winnipeg from Jamaica as a child with his mom in the late 1970s and they made their home in the West Broadway area.
WBYO provides after school & summer programs, giving kids a safe & fun environment, physical activity, and healthy snacks at no cost. Their programs include Homework Club, Cooking Club, swimming, sports & music lessons, and event outings to name just a few. Ken’s motto everyday is to “out-energize every child” at the centre, which sees 740 kids come through its free programming each year. Ken’s four ongoing goals at WBYO are: 1. Have 10 doctors come out of WBYO (there are two, with three others in medical school); 2. Start a WBYO scholarship program (in progress); 3. Get more space (the current location is just 7.6 metres x 4.2 metres); 4. Never take a sick day.
A children & family entertainer, Fred’s visibility has allowed him the privilege and joy of using his voice to “bring something of value” as a spokesperson for organizations like UNESCO, World Vision, UNICEF, and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
He is also a humble recipient of the Order of Canada, the highest recognition given to a Canadian Citizen. A four time recipient of the Parents’ Choice Award and the man Los Angeles Parent called the “Canadian Minister of Positivity” has successfully transformed children’s entertainment into a family affair. Offering his broad talents to speak to the family unit and express his feelings about where the world is going and what children are learning. ”Never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child.”
Owen was a 13 year old, grade eight student at Deerwood Elementary School in Thompson. When he became aware of the homeless people in Thompson, observing them going through garbage bins for food and sleeping outside and in the bushes, he began helping by buying them food and giving them spare change.