1. Michael Champagne
2. Jordan Welwood
3. Ian Bell / Nick Danzinger / Zach Fleisher / Dana Mackie / Joey Visser (tie)
Michael Champagne, a 28-year-old north end resident, has worked hard to be a role model for youth in his area, and for this, he’s been named Winnipeg’s favourite local achiever under 30.
“I feel like when I am recognized, it is my responsibility to emphasize that I am part of a village,” Champagne says.
He doesn’t think he’d be able to achieve what he has without community members who have supported his initiatives.
He says he was taught by his elders the importance of being constructive. This has allowed people to connect with him, which allows him to spread his messages of non-violence.
“I do what I do because I feel like every child deserves an opportunity to discover and share their gift with the world and too often inner city, poverty stricken or indigenous children aren’t afforded that opportunity,” Champagne says.
One venue he uses to connect with people is Meet Me at the Bell Tower, an anti-violence rally that takes place at the North End Bell Tower on Selkirk Avenue every Friday at 6 p.m.
Champagne started this event four years ago.
“I’ve recognized the good things in my peers that other people couldn’t see,” Champagne says.
He wanted to amplify those qualities. Meet Me At The Bell Tower is one space he can do that, and Aboriginal Youth Opportunity (AYO) is another.
In 2010, Champagne founded AYO, an organization that works to give voices to aboriginal youth.
While Champagne is surprised Winnipeggers voted him their favourite local achiever under 30, he wants to make sure that everyone knows he wouldn’t be able to do what he does without his supportive community.