Saluted for their social conscience 

By Sarah Ryeland

The Forces Avenir Awards honour students for their outstanding work in community service and raising social consciousness. This year, Concordia is proud to be represented by three finalists.

The R4 Compost program is famous within the Concordia community, and is now gaining even more recognition. After applying for the Avenir Environment award in March, Chantal Beaudoin and the R4 Compost team put a dossier together and headed off to Quebec City to convince officials that they deserved to win. Armed with reference letters from Concordia’s President, the City of Montreal and Recyc-Québec, the team made an excellent impression, and a few months later were proclaimed finalists.

R4 Compost looks forward to the gala Sept. 27 in Sherbrooke, when the winners will be announced, but to Beaudoin, being in the running is a reward in itself. “As finalists, we received $2,000 toward our program, so really, we’ve already won.”

Kinia Adamczyk echoes those sentiments. As a finalist in the Undergraduate Personality category, she feels that the achievement is in the process. “FA is not just about the money, it’s really the whole process — the recognition you are given for your commitment to society, the opportunity to network and to join a wider community of involved students.”

A Journalism and Communication Studies major, Adamczyk is currently president of the Canadian Foundation for Polish Studies and member of the Journalism Students Association.

Through these associations, she has put together networking events for her peers and organized educational documentary screenings. Her interests have led her all over the world in an effort to better understand community involvement, spending time both in the Balkans and Guatemala.

Adamczyk is impressed with the other finalists. “It’s not worth comparing each other. Thinking about how our efforts might make our world better as a whole is more satisfying.”

Adamczyk has also worked on a project with fellow finalist Jose Gabriel Bran Lopez. Their co-organization of Concordia’s team at the Jeux Francocanadiens de la communication is one of the reasons they were nominated, separately, for the Undergraduate Personality Award.

Lopez’s community involvement focuses on improving the quality of life of the underprivileged and encouraging Montreal’s youth to be active in their community. Having worked on programs in Saskatchewan and Uganda, his work is earning him widespread recognition.

The Forces Avenir Awards are funded by the Quebec and federal governments as well as businesses. They go to deserving secondary, post secondary and graduate students.

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Concordia University