The Audrey Wearn Language Prize seeks to encourage Canadian youth to engage in creative problem solving, encouraging, and strengthening multilingualism among Canadians. The initiative aims to encourage youth to “solve a language based challenge in their community, devising a solution that is measurable, transferable, and scalable.” (The Audrey Wearn Language Prize, 2021).
Prize recipient(s) will receive consultation and support from the Future Design School team to advance their proposal into a viable and implementable solution that will help build a vital cultural legacy in local communities.
Three teams from Lakefield College School identified language-based problems in their communities and two of our students were selected as finalists!
Rori Ash ’22 – Finalist for the Audrey Prize
Rori is interested in how social groups are formed by languages. Rori recognizes that ESL individuals may experience difficult bridging language barriers to become a part of a social circle.
“Around school, we often see different friend groups [centred around culture and language]… While they are together they often speak their own language because that is what they are most comfortable speaking. However, when in class, certain ESL speakers tend to be very quiet as they have trouble expressing themselves in the language…I want ESL speakers to be more comfortable speaking the language…and even encourage English speakers to learn new languages to put themselves in the shoes of others.” – Rori ’22
I’m honoured to be able to say that I am a finalist. I have been conducting research for my idea, and I cannot wait to see how I can fix these issues, whether I win or not.
Vincent Cloutier ’22 – Finalist for the Audrey Prize
Vincent volunteers in a retirement home in Quebec where many residents are elders from Cree First Nation reserves. These individuals often experience a language barrier upon arriving at their new home. Vincent recognizes the need for clear communication in this setting, particularly when the administration of medication is involved. He also believes that communication plays a large role in helping residents feel comfortable in their new setting. Vincent plans to create an app that will allow for translations from indigenous languages to French and vice versa in order to ensure a high quality of life for residents in retirement facilities.
We asked Vincent what being a finalist means to him and he shared that:
Being a finalist means I get the support needed to help my community.
These two young game-changers are invited to a ‘design sprint’ that will be held in May. In the ‘design sprint’, they will explore potential solutions and aim to win the prize of $10,000 to use toward implementing their solution.