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Photos: Hyack kicks off ambassador program at President's Tea

These seven young women have a busy year ahead of them as part of the Hyack ambassador leadership program

The Hyack Festival Association kicked off its 2023 ambassador program at the annual President’s Tea.

Penny McIvor, the association’s 2023 president, introduced the new team of candidates in its ambassador leadership program at the event: Ella Pitkin (sponsored by Key West Ford); Eshnoor Cheema (sponsored by RCH Auxiliary); Jadyn Gibson  (sponsored by Rotary Clubs of New Westminster); Janel Falbo (sponsored by Ippolita Corcione, PREC); Nikka Patel (sponsored by Kaushal & Co., CPA’s); Sienna Ziemlanski (sponsored by Vagabond Players); and Sophie Duprey-Steinman (sponsored by New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society IAFF 256).

The sold-out President’s Tea, sponsored by the Hyack Festival Association, was held at Centennial Lodge in Queen’s Park on Sunday, Jan. 29. Attendees included Mayor Patrick Johnstone and councillors Ruby Campbell, Daniel Fontaine, Paul Minhas and Jaimie McEvoy

Fontaine said he was “thoroughly impressed” with the event and the ambassadors, who each made three- to four-minute presentations about their sponsors.

“They all did it pretty much without notes, and I tell you, I envy that. … It was great to see the future of New Westminster there on full display,” he said.

New Westminster MLA Jennifer Whiteside was also on hand to congratulate the seven young women and to present them with certificates of appreciation for their volunteer work in the city.

The Hyack ambassador leadership program is a scholarship opportunity that encourages, educates and empowers selected applicants in various life skills, provides volunteer opportunities and prepares future leaders.

During the year-long program, participants take part in workshop by Toastmasters, SFU Beedie School of Business, ICBC, Tourism BC, Life Coaching by and personal branding and etiquette training – all aimed at assisting and preparing the young women to “be a Hyack Ambassador and develop your best SELF through Service, Education, Leadership and Fun!”

Hyack’s past-president Becci Dewinetz, a senior member of the ambassador committee, is a former participant in the program.

“Mentoring and empowering young women in our community means the world to me,” she said. “I’m so happy to give back to this incredible program that gave me so much when I was given the honor of being Miss New Westminster back in 1981 and have been involved in running this incredible mentoring program for the past 20 or so years. This program trained me well for my business career, and that’s what I strive to share with these candidates.”

Close to $20,000 in post-secondary bursaries will be announced at the Evening of Stars awards gala on April 15 at Douglas College Laura Muir Theatre. That’s also the night when Miss New Westminster and Team Tiara, who will represent the city at events around the Pacific Northwest, will be installed – all with the mandate of “Serving Our Community and Representing Our Royal City.”

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