OC alum honoured for contributions to inclusion, democracy and reconciliation
Sorting through her mail on a recent trip to the mailbox, Okanagan College (OC) alum Danielle Walker received a surprise - the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation.
“The award was completely out of the blue,” says Walker. “I knew I had been nominated, but the timing was such a surprise. I just took it in for a minute at the mailbox and cried.”
The award recognizes post-secondary students who make outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy and reconciliation and is the culmination of Walker’s years of involvement at OC.
Walker graduated in June with honours from the Bachelor of Business Administration program at OC, as well as being named Valedictorian and Enactus student leader of the year for all of Canada.
“Receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s award is just incredible and it speaks to everything that I am about,” says Walker. “Being a single mom with a child on the autism spectrum, inclusion is something I have been striving for since my son was born. I am motivated to make the world a better place for him and others.”
Walker was looking for ways to get involved and make a difference. She began her work with the OC chapter of Enactus, a student-led experiential learning platform that develops entrepreneur leaders and social innovators. Her first project, CANsave, was a financial literacy program designed for unique learners. She continued her involvement with Enactus, going on to become president of the Okanagan College chapter and helping 70 students run five different projects designed to make community impacts in the past school year.
Her legacy as an Enactus student leader continued this year as the OC Enactus team recently took top spot in the Enactus National Exposition and will be going to represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup, held at the end of this month in Puerto Rico.
“To be recognized with this award is an incredible honour,” says Walker. “For me, the reward is in the work I’ve done and knowing how many people I’ve been able to help. I’ve also had some amazing faculty mentors, Kyleen Myrah and Devin Rubadeau, who have helped me on my journey.”
“My advice to students would be to get involved,” says Walker. “Find the extracurricular activities that speak to you and play to your strengths. Recognize that you can make an impact on your community. These are the experiences that take your education to the next level.”
The Lieutenant Governor’s Medal has been a symbol of academic excellence since 1979. In 2019, eligibility for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal was expanded to recognize post-secondary students with outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy and reconciliation, on or off campus.
Tags: OC Alumni Association, Okanagan School of Business, Enactus
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