HMA were delighted to sponsor the AFP Golden Horseshoe’s Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award again this year. And I was honoured to personally present it to Alex Hilson on November 16, 2017 at AFP Golden Horseshoe Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day Luncheon.
Alex is an inspiring young man and a true leader. Since his early teens he has been stepping forward and raising funds for various charities in his community. Now 23, Alex’s commitments include Big Brothers and Big Sisters Halton, Links2Care’s backpack fundraising program, the “Youth in Acton” committee of the Acton Hub team, serving on the board of Acton Food Share, and most recently, as one of three Halton Hills Canada 150 Ambassadors.
By far Alex’s greatest accomplishment is Inspire Halton – the youth group he founded in 2012 that became an incorporated nonprofit in 2015. Inspire Halton teaches youth how they can have a positive impact on their community. One way they do this is through youth-led talent shows. In only four years, they have created over 52 performance spots for youth in Halton Hills, and have raised funds for local charities that include Georgetown and Milton Hospital Foundations.
Alex also empowers youth to speak up about issues that are important to them. Last year, a member of Inspire Halton lost her battle with depression and anorexia, and died of suicide. Alex encouraged members of Inspire Halton to speak up about mental illness to help youth in the community struggling with similar issues. Alex has built relationships with countless young people, listened to their concerns, and advocated on their behalf. Ultimately, Alex inspires young people to actively take part in their community.
In his speech, Alex reminded us to “Make time for our youth.” Thankfully, we have inspiring young people like Alex who are leading the way to encourage youth to become involved in their community.