Alumni win two out of five Pillar Community Innovation Awards
November 29, 2017
At King’s we say “get connected and make a difference” and that is exactly what two of our alumni have been recognized for accomplishing. Justin Tiseo ’16 and Summer Thorp ’11 have won Pillar awards recently for their impact on the community of London.
Tiseo ’16 (Criminology) is the leader and creator of JP2 OneRun. He turned a one-day fundraiser at John Paul II Catholic secondary school for cancer patient care into a city-wide, week-long initiative engaging high school students and raising more than $260,000 to date.
Thorp '11 (Social Justice and Peace Studies) is the Program Coordinator of Positive Voice, a program that supports urban Indigenous women in creating positive narratives and community connections. She researched, created, developed and implemented the program since it was proposed for pilot funding in Fall 2015. The first sessions of the program began in Fall 2016.
The mission of Pillar Nonprofit Network is to strengthen the impact of the non-profit sector. More than 850 guests attended a gala held at the London Convention Centre on November 22, 2017 during which the 2017 winners were announced. There are five categories: Innovation, Leadership, Impact, Collaboration, and Community Choice.
The innovation Award went to Positive Voice. “Positive Voice is a 7-week bridging program for urban, Indigenous women who are in transition to employment or further education. One of the wonderful things about Positive Voice is that we listen to the women in the community. They told us what they needed and we created a program around those needs. Winning the award provides validation to the Indigenous women that participate in the program there is value in sharing their stories with the community and that the community in turn values them," said Thorp.
Tiseo, 23, won the Community Leadership award. He is the director of OneRun. “I go to all the schools and help inspire them to join our movement. We’ve raised over $200,000 from just high school students which is incredible,” he said.
Tiseo has been making an impact in our community for seven years. “Being a recipient for the Pillar award is such an incredible experience. I was humbled to be the recipient, but even more proud to stand next to the other nominees who have done such amazing work in the community. Pillar gives organizations like OneRun and other organizations the exposure it deserves. It allows members of our community to know that there are thousands of youth running to support those battling cancer. Our goal is to inspire and make a difference in our youth, as well as help ease the pain of those fighting,” says Tiseo.
Earlier this year, Tiseo received the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers during a special ceremony at Queen’s Park hosted by the Lieutenant Governor.
The London Interfaith Peace Camp operated by the Centre for Jewish, Catholic, Muslim Learning and Campus Ministry at King’s was also nominated for an award, in recognition of the camps impact on, and collaboration with, communities of all faiths.