To find Medicine Hat’s Leaders of Tomorrow, look no further than the Students’ Association at Medicine Hat College (SAMHC). Landon Heilman and Beth Lewis, the outgoing and incoming SAMHC presidents respectively, were recently nominated for the City of Medicine Hat’s Leaders of Tomorrow program. This awards program recognizes young people under the age of 23 who make outstanding contributions to their community through volunteerism and inspire that spirit in others.
Landon Heilman will graduate from Medicine Hat College with a degree in business administration this spring, signifying a transformation from an average student to an engaged and passionate leader. During his time at the college, Heilman has advocated for students on the Alberta Student Executive Council, lobbied local MLAs and the Minister of Advanced Education to access government grants for students experiencing mental health issues, and served as the SAMHC president in his final year. He helped organize a team of 30 people for Random Acts of Kindness Day and is also active in politics as the vice-president youth representative on a local political board, in addition to serving on numerous committees.
Heilman, who wasn’t a strong student or active volunteer in high school, said all that changed in college.
“In high school I was treated like someone who wouldn’t succeed,” explained Heilman. “In college, I wanted to prove myself as someone who was capable and could be an advocate for others with similar stories. I wanted to represent the underrepresented and ensure their interests were expressed.”
As the new recruiter for MHC, Heilman hopes to share his perspective with future students and stress the importance of getting involved and being engaged.
“I want to continue giving back, not just to students but to all college stakeholders in the community. I was born and raised in Medicine Hat and think it’s a great place to live.”
Giving back Beth Lewis’s spirit of volunteerism was instilled by her family at a young age while growing up in Hanna, Alberta. She became an active volunteer in Grade 9 and went on to support events and organizations at national and provincial levels including the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life, Students Against Drinking and Driving, and the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association. Lewis also sat on the Minster of Education Student Advisory Council and met with the Minster of Education to address concerns of Alberta students and has presented at an Alberta Rural Education Symposium. In recognition of her efforts, Lewis was the recipient of the Premier’s Citizenship Award in 2014.
“I see the value of giving back and giving a voice to students. I like to help others and look forward to introducing new initiatives and making positive changes for students,” said Lewis, who took office in the Students’ Association on May 1, 2016.
Nominated by former college financial aid officer, Connie Cash, the students were surprised and honoured to be recognized by an unexpected source outside of their office and classroom environments. Both Heilman and Lewis worked with Cash to access funding through scholarships and developed a professional and personal relationship with her through the process.
All Leaders of Tomorrow will be recognized at a special event on May 2 at Holy Family Parish. Up to eight individuals will be selected as Excellence Award recipients.
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