* By Mary-Anne Leahy

Congratulations to Nicole D'Souza who has been a strong leader at The New Mentality for kid's mental health and was recently recognized with a volunteer award from the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.

Nicole began to volunteer for Children's Mental Health Ontario as a member of The New Mentality's Youth Action Committee where she worked on the Speak Up Speak Out Project, a project focused on identifying how schools could better support youth with mental health and addictions issues. In 2016, she became co-chair of the committee and spearheaded the Waiting For Change Zine, which is a collection of personal stories and youth-led policy recommendations to address the issue of wait times in the child and youth mental health system.

Nicole has been an outstanding volunteer bringing her passion, dedication, and leadership in everything she is involved in. During her time on the committee she has demonstrated that she can be a provincial leader and passionate advocate for vulnerable youth. She cares deeply about the issues young people in her community of Scarborough are facing and works hard amplify that voice.

We congratulate Nicole on this provincial honour!