PVNC Catholic student trustee earns Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

Female student leaning against a book shelf

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School’s Siobhán Marie one of 15 individuals from across Canada to receive prestigious award

May 12, 2024

Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington (PVNC) Catholic District School Board senior student trustee Siobhán Marie is in rare company after being awarded the prestigious Terry Fox Humanitarian Award.

The Grade 12 St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School student is one of only 15 individuals this year from across the nation to receive the award which aims to honour the spirit of Terry Fox.

Diagnosed with Lyme Disease at thirteen, Marie faced challenges that made her believe it is essential to foster hope in other young people with disabilities. Although Lyme Disease affects her physical and mental wellbeing, she has learned to view her experiences as an opportunity for personal growth.

Her advocacy for free menstrual products with the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association led to systemic change at the provincial level through a three-year grant. As student trustee for PVNC Catholic, Marie has positively impacted more than 15,000 students.

“My experience living with Lyme Disease, combined with my humanitarian efforts, has taught me that perseverance, empathy, and determination are instrumental in making a long-lasting impact. In honour of Terry Fox, I will continue to persevere and find positivity in my experiences to empower current and future generations of the world,” Marie said.

The COVID-19 pandemic limited everyone in different ways, but Marie viewed it as an opportunity to help the needs of marginalized people. She founded the healthy living program ‘Stepping Stones’, which promotes physical wellbeing, substance use prevention, and mental wellness. Siobhán has helped families in need by providing grant-funded recreational opportunities and donating to local breakfast programs.

“We are incredibly proud of Siobhán for receiving this prestigious award. She is a remarkable young woman whose hard work, dedication, and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others is truly inspiring. Siobhán is an excellent role model for all students, and we wish her continued success in all her future endeavours,” Director of Education Joan Carragher said.

Marie’s work in and outside the classroom is equally impressive. She maintained a 98.4% academic average in Grade 11 and 12. Her value for education is driven as well as exemplified by her goal to create educational inclusivity, which is evidenced by her extensive volunteering in the Special Education Resource Department of a local elementary school.

“Siobhán’s commitment to helping others, combined with her academic achievements and student leadership, make her an outstanding role model for our entire school community. Her actions epitomize our Catholic graduate expectations, which call on our students to be socially responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society,” said board chair Kevin MacKenzie.

Marie plans to pursue a career in education and looks forward to continuing her humanitarianism work while studying at Queen’s University.

About the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

The Terry Fox Humanitarian Award was established in 1982 to honour and advance the humanitarian legacy of Terry Fox – one of Canada’s most recognized heroes. The scholarship hopes to encourage young Canadians to seek the high ideals which Terry Fox aspired to through the pursuit of higher education. To see a full list of award recipients, visit www.terryfoxawards.ca.