Community awards celebrate community builders

Today’s article comes from Townshippers’ Association’s Summer Intern, Kaitlyn Loomis. 

After my first couple of weeks as the Communications and Culture Intern, I have made great discoveries within Townshippers’ Association. One of them has been the awards and contests that Townshippers’ offers the community.  

First up is an essay challenge for graduating high school students. Excel in the Estrie is presented by Make Way for YOUth Estrie, a project from Townshippers’ Association that is working to keep and bring English-speaking youth to the region. This challenge invites high school seniors to write about how they have overcome obstacles while attending school and imagine what kind of future they’d like to see for themselves in the Townships. The essay challenge is usually launched every February, but that doesn’t mean this year’s graduating class has to wait. With a cash prize up for grabs – usually around $500 – they can get cracking on their essay whenever they like and follow Townshippers’ on facebook or visit to find out when they can submit their entry.  

One of the other awards I discovered is Townshippers’ Young Townships Leader Award (YTLA). This annual award is a great way to recognize the efforts of young adults who are active in the community. It’s awarded to an individual, between age 15 and 35, who plays a mentorship role, and/or has shown leadership in the historical Eastern Townships English-speaking community either in their school, town or wider community. Thanks to the support of partners, the YTLA award recipient will be awarded $1,000! This amount of money can help produce financial stability for their future academic adventure. Nominations close August 25 so apply today at

Lastly, The Outstanding Townshippers award recognizes the dedication, generosity, and talent of those who have contributed to the region’s English-speaking community. I had the pleasure of learning all about this award while updating our book of past recipients and was inspired by how many people get involved in helping others. Public nominations are open this year until August 25, and you can apply online at

These awards are important ways for the Association to showcase our community and can greatly benefit you. Looking for someone to nominate can give you a chance to realize how much others are getting involved or filling a need for others in the community. By nominating and featuring these people, we can also inspire others to get involved. So, learn more about what community awards exist and don’t be afraid to nominate someone for them. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself and others in the process.

Young professionals take in the Townships   

Last weekend, eight young English-speaking professionals explored Estrie and discovered what the region has to offer them as part of a Make Way for YOUth Estrie Discovery Days weekend. Highlights included a networking activity in Westbury, a visit to the Sawyerville Village Market and tour of the Maraîchers de l’or vert’s farm, an evening at Foresta Lumina, kayaking and hiking excursions, and meals that provided a taste of the Townships! Everything was offered at no cost to participants.

While it was hard to say goodbye at the end of the weekend, participants left knowing that newfound friends, contacts, and opportunities await them if they decide to settle here in the future.

Know a post-secondary graduate between ages 18 and 35 who is thinking about moving to the Estrie or who moved here less than a year ago and might benefit from the support services offered by MWFY? Get in touch with us by calling 819-566-5717 or visit us at and follow Make Way For YOUth Estrie on Facebook!

MWFY is offered to the English-speaking community through Townshippers’, with funding from the Secrétariat à la jeunesse du Québec and is part of the Place aux jeunes en région initiative to counter youth exodus and encourage qualified young professionals to move to the region.

For more on Townshippers’ Association and our activities, keep reading this weekly column in The Record and visit our website You can also follow us on Twitter @Townshippers and Connect with Townshippers’ offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717, or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421.

Published: Keeping in Touch column, Sherbrooke Record, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Photo Credit: Townshippers’ Association

Photo Caption: Eight young English-speaking professionals visited the Estrie last weekend during the summer Discovery Days weekend hosted by Make Way for YOUth Estrie.

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