Lethbridge student given 2017 Young Citizens Award and wins trip to Ottawa

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WATCH: A Grade 5 student in Lethbridge is headed to Ottawa. Isla Stanford will be representing Alberta as a 2017 award-winner of Young Citizens of Canada. Quinn Campbell reports – Oct 26, 2017

A Grade 5 student at Lakeview Elementary School is getting ready to head to Ottawa after winning the 2017 Young Citizens Award.

Isla Stanford was given the award for her project looking into why the maple leaf was chosen to appear on the Canadian flag.

“I was sitting in the library one morning and I looked up and I saw a bright red and white book and it was on Canada’s flag,” she said. “So I decided that maybe I wanted to do that because it was Canada’s 150th birthday.”

The award is handed out by Canada’s History Society. Youth across the country had to pick a topic about Canada’s history and then research it.

Stanford had some encouragement from her teacher.

“It teaches her critical thinking, it teaches her historical thinking,” Marlin Howg said. “This project that she embarked on allows her to gain writing and research skills, but above all… performance and public speaking skills.”

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After winning at the Southern Alberta Regional Heritage Fair, Stanford advanced to the next level.

She had to make a video that would be judged and then waited to see if she won the coveted trip to Ottawa.

“[Stanford’s mother] handed me the phone and the lady’s like, ‘You’re going to Ottawa,’ and I was like’Ahhhhh!'” Stanford said of learning the news she won.

She will be heading to Ottawa at the end of the month with 25 other winners from across the country.

A second Alberta winner, Kailey Oakes, who is also from Lethbridge,  is also making the trip to Ottawa.

Stanford’s parents said the process of entering and competing taught the young, patriotic Albertan a valuable life lesson.

“I knew it would challenge her, which as a mom you always want your kids to be challenged,” Megan Stanford said. “So you hope they succeed in what they do and I knew it would be a lot of work, but I kind of enjoy that they have to try in order to get achievements and feel success.”

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Stanford will also get to do some sightseeing while in Ottawa.

She said she’s really hoping to cross paths with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


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