Mayor Jim Watson and Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper presented a Mayor’s City Builder Award to Jonathan Chow at today’s City Council meeting, recognizing his contributions as a very active volunteer, fundraiser, innovator and role model for youth in Ottawa.
Jonathan is a Grade 12 student at Ashbury College. As a child, he needed assistance from many community services due to a health condition. His resulting experience with many generous, compassionate caregivers led him to develop a strong philanthropic nature.
After attending the YMCA’s Camp Otonabee, which integrates children with all kinds of special needs, he quickly became a volunteer with the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region and raised funds at his school to help send other children to camp.
He created a Charitable Wishlist website (charitablewishlist.com) to centralize and connect donors and volunteers with appropriate charities.
He has volunteered with OneChange, the University of Ottawa’s Adventures in Engineering Science Camp, the Youth Services Bureau, the Shad Valley student enrichment program, and completed a volunteer student-service summer job in China and another in Mexico. During the school year, he volunteers as an ambassador and member of the student council at Ashbury College.
Jonathan interviewed Mayor Watson for a Grade 9 Career Studies course as an individual he respected and aspired to emulate.
As he sets his sights on a post-secondary education overseas, he hopes to not only continue helping others, but also to gain more experience in social entrepreneurship and then bring his new knowledge back to Ottawa to share with the community.
The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements. Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public. The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.