Youth COVID Star Awards

Highlighting Extraordinary Youth During the COVID-19 Pandemic

MISSISSAUGA — This year has been unlike any other, as the COVID-19 pandemic touched everyone in the province, creating many personal and financial hardships. However, the people of Mississauga-Lakeshore have come together in the face of adversity, and worked together to defeat the threats we faced.

We have amazing young heroes in our community, and they deserve recognition. Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, was very pleased to recognize young leaders who have demonstrated true Ontario spirit, and an outstanding strength of character, during this very challenging time.

The Mississauga-Lakeshore Youth COVID Star Awards were open to high school students in Mississauga-Lakeshore, who were nominated by a teacher, principal, guidance counselor, employer, coach, or friend. Nominations were due on June 25, 2021.

Each award recipient was presented with a certificate from MPP Cuzzetto recognizing their achievement, and a scholarship of up to $250 ($250 for each local secondary school). The awards for Clarkson S.S. and Iona Catholic S.S. were shared by two exceptional students.

“Congratulations to the winning students,” said Cuzzetto. “Their generosity and compassion, and their determination to serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, should make us all proud as Ontarians, and as Canadians.”

“In the months ahead, their Ontario spirit will continue to inspire us as we rebuild, and ensure that our province comes back stronger, and more prosperous than ever before.”

Youth COVID Star Awards


Cawthra Park S.S. student Nida Jurenas found creative ways to help through the Cawthra Community Club, and with the community drive for the local women's shelter. She got her student yoga certification, and led yoga classes to help improve both physical and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Clarkson S.S. student Marissa Saunders helped Clarkson Business Improvement Area (BIA) manager Nadia Richard support local small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including through innovative online Buy Local campaigns on social media, and creative ideas for community beautification.

  Clarkson S.S. student Kendra Johnston helped to organize the annual Cancer Drive event at her school, which raised over $6,700 this year. All proceeds went to Camp Oochigeas, a non-profit oncology camp that helps to bring laughter and joy to kids and families that are affected by childhood cancer.
  Iona Catholic S.S. students Jessica Mercado and Paige Reynolds courageously worked to care for some of our most vulnerable seniors in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  Lorne Park S.S. student Jack Harris helped to facilitate donations to the Compass Food Bank, and to some of most vulnerable in our community. He helped to assemble and deliver care packages for local seniors. Jack is also an active participant on the Mississauga-Lakeshore Youth Advisory Council.
  Mentor College student Marlowe Kelly helped to assemble and deliver care packages from the Sai Dham Food Bank to local seniors, churches, food banks, and long-term care facilities in Mississauga-Lakeshore.
  Peel Alternative School South student Cole Hart has been a frontline worker at his local grocery store, and also supported his family as a caregiver during the COVID-19 pandemic. He assisted his 8-year-old niece with online schooling, while dedicating himself to his studies, and even taking on additional credits.

Port Credit S.S. student Erin Hilborn found creative ways to help keep students, teachers, and staff socially connected online during the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging greater participation in school clubs. For example, she helped to organize online mock trials for the school's law club.


St. Martin Catholic S.S. student and student council president Chernor Jalloh has been a valued member of many school clubs. He took the initiative to facilitate donations to the Mississauga Food Bank and Peel Family Shelters — both in great need during the COVID-19 pandemic — completing over 100 hours of community service. Chernor is also a Link Crew Leader, helping to ensure a smooth transition for grade 9s into high school.


St. Paul Catholic S.S. student D.J. Della Rocca has been a frontline worker at Longo's Applewood during the COVID-19 pandemic. He set up Rocky Manor, a virtual haunted house experience, to fundraise for the Sick Kids Foundation, and also helped to fundraise for the Darling Home for Kids, a charity that cares for children with medically complex needs.


Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
(905) 274-8228