The Courier

The winners of the 2022 Canadian Forces Newspapers Youth Reporter Competition – Supplied Photo

Winners have been announced in this year’s Canadian Forces Newspapers Youth Reporter Competition. The task saw youth reporters from military families across Canada share stories and issues important to them or their community.

Five reporters were chosen from five different categories, including 15-year-old Alex Harris of Riverview, New Brunswick, who discussed what life is like living with a parent struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their service in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“Military veterans are our heroes — they served our country and were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice with their lives,” wrote Harris. “But their families serve, too. Soldiers often return home with mental and physical health problems, which not only effect them adversely, but also take a toll on their families. Growing up with a military veteran as a parent has a huge impact on a child’s mental health and well-being.”

18-year-old Charlene Hatcher of Kingston, Nova Scotia reported on an Indigenous school teacher who shares his culture through a course he teaches at a local high school.

“As a Mi’kmaw person of the Annapolis Valley First Nation, Dorey uses the course to teach students about his culture, something he previously was apprehensive about showing to others for fear of facing racism and other difficulties Indigenous peoples face,” writes Hatcher.

17-year-old Amber Boies of Borden, Ontario talked of how cooking helped her during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the few good things that I focused on was that my dad was working from home. I got to spend much more time with him, and this was ultimately what helped me cope. Since both my dad and I had more free time, it was the perfect opportunity to bond more, which we did through cooking.”

15-year-old Tristan da Cunha of Mississauga, Ontario took home top honours in the “Inspired to Inspire” category for an essay on what his life was like throughout the pandemic.

“The whole ‘Covid experience’ has been formative in helping me develop the skills, knowledge, attitude and confidence that have prepared me to face whatever challenges I may encounter in the future.”

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Marcus Ng of Markham, Ontario was the winner in the “Open Category” for his article on what flying a drone means to him.

“The birds are chirping, and a gentle breeze creates a rustling noise as it blows against the leaves of the single lonely tree standing in the middle of the empty field. On the other side of the field, the soft outdoor noises are suddenly interrupted by the buzzing sound of my drone taking off.”

All of the winning submissions are available to read on the CAF Connection webpage.   

The winners will receive a scholarship from Adobe valued at $500 as well as a one-year subscription to Creative Cloud, an Adobe app for graphic design, video editing, web development, and more.

The 2022 Canadian Forces Newspapers Youth Reporter Competition was run in part to highlight April being the Month of the Military Child, which was first established in 1986 in the United States.

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