20 Pearls of Wisdom: Top 20 Under 20

by Pandora Angelique Lee
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20 Pearls of Wisdom: Top 20 Under 20

2014 Top 20 Under 20 award recipients.

Youth-In-Motion recently announced the recipients of the 2014 Top 20 Under 20™ Award sponsored in part by RBC Foundation.  This award recognizes the achievements of young people across Canada for their exceptional leadership, innovation and achievement.

We asked the recipients to share pearls of wisdom with Fresh Print Magazine readers:





Pearls of Wisdom - Fresh Print

Alexandra Lemanowicz, Jessie MacAlpine, Laura Luo, Arjun Nair, Adam Noble.

1) Your most valuable possession is your curiosity; questions are the foundation of innovation.  – Jessie MacAlpine, Woodstock, Ont.

2) Do not let other’s opinions discourage your curiosity. Many people told me that my ideas would not work. My focus and self-belief brought my ideas to life. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.  – Adam Noble, Lakefield, Ont.

3) Dreams are the first step to a reality, but it’s the ability to overcome obstacles that allows for those dreams to flourish. Allow your passion and determination to drive you. Dedicate yourselves to what you love, and don’t let anything get in your way. – Alexandra Lemanowicz, New Westminster, B.C.

4) Those who aim to change the world should do so by first changing themselves. I think that it is in the honourable pursuit of fun and excellence that we can ever hope to positively impact the lives around us.  – Arjun Nair, Calgary, Alta.

5) Power comes from doing something knowing that someone else would benefit as well. To make a change is never easy, so you have to always believe in yourself when no one else would. – Laura Luo, North Vancouver, B.C.

Pearls of Wisdom - Fresh Print

Leanne Prendergast, Raymond Wang, Brennan Wong, Jeanny Yao, Wali Shah.

6) Your dreams can become a reality. Oftentimes we believe that the dreams we have are for ourselves, but there comes a point when we realize that our dreams are actually for others. This is the definition of true success, helping, encouraging and motivating others. – Leanne Prendergast, Woodbridge, Ont.

7) Deep down, we each have our own values and passions, but there is always something that inspires a person to take action. If you have not yet found this epiphany, then travel to places, talk to others, and challenge yourself until you find it.  – Jeanny Yao, Vancouver, B.C.

8) I draw inspiration from my own personal experience and the experiences of others around me. My advice is to build relationships with like-minded individuals and build peer support systems with mentors who can guide you in the direction of your future endeavors. – Wali Shah, Mississauga, Ont.

9) All of us, young or old and from all walks of life, have the potential to become exceptional leaders of tomorrow. There are no limits to what you can do; you are only limited by what you choose to do. And with each of us taking just one action, together a tsunami of change is possible. – Brennan Wong, Richmond Hill, Ont.

10) If you have an idea, you’re a thinker. If you put it into action, you’re a doer. If you get others to do the same, you’re a leader. – Raymond Wang, Vancouver, B.C.

Pearls of Wisdom - Fresh Print

Kourosh Houshmand, Sheliza Kassam, Sabrina Hundal, Alexander Lachapelle, James Sun.

11) Yoda says: “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”  – Alexander Lachapelle, Montreal, Que.

12) Once they reach a dead-end, change-makers know where to go – that’s what distinguishes them. The most important quality for success is giving yourself the credibility and scope to tackle whatever it is that you’re passionate about. There is little that can stop a passionate mind. – Kourosh Houshmand, Toronto, Ont.

13) Peace is not just a word, not just a sign, but a movement. A movement to promote equality, freedom and security. A movement that people across the nation partake in to change the world because together our efforts are as powerful as a million voices. Together our passion and our commitment have the ability to save lives and stand up for those who are silenced everyday. – Sheliza Kassam, Calgary, Alta.

14) Success doesn’t come from being rewarded for your work, it comes when you make a difference while doing what you love. Passion has the power to make you fall in love with a cause. It is the single most important factor, that drives you to work hard and eventually achieve your definition of success. – Sabrina Hundal, Mississauga, Ont.

15) Being genuine, humble and purposeful goes a long way. Not only does it help you become a better leader and problem solver because you can frame problems from multiple perspectives, but it also makes you likeable. Nothing is more important than relationships. – James Sun, Toronto, Ont.

Pearls of Wisdom - Fresh Print

Sruti Arulmani, Selin Jessa, Zameer Bharwani, Usman Kamran, Mélanie-Rose Frappier.

16) Strive to always remember the curiosity about the world, love of the universe, and care for the people around you that drive you. Change is built in and by communities where interdependence proves over and over its worth over independence, and kindness proves its worth over clever solutions. – Selin Jessa, Coquitlam, B.C.

17) There are a thousand things to be said about the importance of perseverance, passion, sincerity, hard work, humility, and positive attitude in the path to making positive change. But, of all the things that I’ve learned thus far from my experiences, arguably one of the most important is that taking a prescribed path is not one worth taking. – Sruti Arulmani, Mississauga, Ont.

18) Everyone is on this earth for a reason. We can all make a difference in someone’s life. Don’t limit your dreams, because you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. – Mélanie-Rose Frappier, Sudbury, Ont.

19) In your journey through life, don’t forget who you are. Be you and never ever think that your dreams are beyond reach. – Usman Kamran, Calgary, Alta.

20) Don’t be afraid to be a trailblazer. Someone has got to do it first, make sure it’s you. – Zameer Bharwani, Toronto, Ont.

Pearls of Wisdom - Fresh Print

2014 Top 20 Under 20 award recipients



Photograph by Ingrid Goh.

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