Jeremy Lohnes, 18, was interviewed for a video presentation at the SASSY award. He was one of 18 finalists. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

SASSY finalists impress judges

Nominees ‘have a maturity beyond their years’

One judge said it was hard picking just one person for a SASSY award.

Wes Jamison was on one of the panels that sat down with the finalists for the annual Service Above Self Student Youth awards on Saturday, April 13 at James Hill Elementary.

The candidates all seemed remarkable young people, said Jamison, who was on the arts and culture panel.

“They have a level of maturity beyond their years,” Jamison said.

Fellow judge Nicole Clarke was equally impressed.

“The students that we’ve seen have goals and a strategic plan,” Clarke said.

Judge June Jones explained what the panel was seeking.

“We’re looking for someone who takes a leadership role, who inspires others,” Jones said.

From an initial field of 43 nominees, 18 finalists were selected, three in each of six categories.

They included community service, youth leadership, sports leadership, leadership beyond adversity, international service, and arts and culture leadership.

Environmental leadership, a category in previous SASSY awards, did not draw enough nominations this year, so it was dropped.

One of the finalists, Elise Mozaffari, 18, volunteers as a math instructor.

“I do a lot of peer tutoring,” she said, “[I’ve taught] about 100 so far.”

Sophia Woitowitsch, 17, an award-winning dancer and choreographer said she was a late starter by some standards because she didn’t take up the art until she was in high school.

“Some start when they are two or three.” Woitowitsch said.

Judges were to make their decisions on the day of the interviews, but not reveal the choices until the fourth annual SASSY Awards Show held the evening of Thursday, May 2, at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley.

As part of the pre-interview process, each finalists underwent a video interview that will played at the awards.

READ MORE: Langley Rotary Clubs accept nominations for SASSY youth

SASSY co-chair Annette Borrows said it was important for judges to meet candidates.

“We’re not just reviewing on paper,” Borrows said.

“We really want to get to know them as individuals.”

Each award recipient receives a $1,000 bursary plus stylized SASSY Award trophy. The two runner-ups in each category will each receive $500.00 bursary.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Those interested can receive more information by emailing info@sassyawardslangley.ca.

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Sophia Woitowitsch, 17, is an award-winning dancer and choreographer. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

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