Smith-Windsor awarded Terry Fox Humanitarian Award

Submitted photo Quinn Smith-Windsor

Waskesiu’s Quinn Smith-Windsor joined an elite group of students this year when she was named one of the coveted Terry Fox Humanitarian Award winners.

Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (quadriplegia) and Scoliosis, Smith-Windsor faces challenges head-on with courage and positivity. She said receiving an award named after Terry Fox was special.

“It meant a lot to me because he’s somebody that I always look up to,” Smith-Windsor said. “He’s always been a mentor to me.”

A passionate advocate for accessibility, Quinn serves as a Youth Accessibility Leader in her community. She sees challenges as opportunities to gently educate others, remove barriers and build a more inclusive world.

Through her work on water security projects, she has empowered women and girls across the globe. During the pandemic, she organized and hosted Sew-in-Saturdays with volunteers across Saskatchewan to make and distribute thousands of masks in Prince Albert.

“I became an advocate because I want to advocate for what I needed,” she explained.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Quinn Smith-Windsor, who was recently named a Terry Fox Humanitarian Award winner traveled the Red Carpet at the Carlton Comprehensive High School graduation on June 26.

Smith-Windsor said she will continue to be an advocate for her entire life. She’s motivated to reduce barriers that people with disabilities face each day.

She is a strong advocate for equal treatment, inclusion and opportunities so that more people with disabilities can do ordinary things like complete school and be part of community life.

Smith-Windsor contributed art and awareness for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and continues to advocate for the creation of a Canada Disability Benefit.

As an artist, she paints portraits of SPCA dogs in order to sponsor dog adoptions at the Prince Albert SPCA. A member of the Carlton Collection Builders, she works with other students who are passionate about art and social justice to create collections of art that convey the voices of youth on important issues. 

She plans to further her work as a disability advocate by taking an undergraduate BA degree in Sociology and Disability Studies and working towards a career as an inclusion and accessibility consultant. 

Smith-Windsor was one of 17 people from across Canada who received the Terry Fox Award this year.

The Award provides individual scholarships valued at up to $28,000 to recognize young humanitarians who have demonstrated courage and determination through academics, athletics, and civic life.

“These young humanitarians have worked tirelessly to channel the same values and goals that Terry Fox held, be it a passion for helping those in need or demonstrating perseverance in the face of adversity,” Terry Fox Humanitarian Award chair John Kearsey said in a press release.

“The award will support these exceptional young leaders through their first post-secondary degrees.  We are thrilled to help contribute to their further growth and look forward to watching as their careers flourish.”

The 17 recipients of the 2022 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award come from all walks of life, and each has faced challenges that have shaped their worldview and driven them to help others in their communities.

Whether advocating for youth, mental health, education access, refugee integration, child welfare, environmental action, medical and health research or aboriginal rights, each young award recipient has committed to changing the world for the better and living a life of action, change and purpose. 

“Selected from over 500 applicants, the 2022 Terry Fox Humanitarian Award recipients represent the best of Canada’s young humanitarians,” Kearsey said. “Their remarkable stories have inspired us and we are confident these student leaders are on the cusp of making tremendous contributions to our country.”

The Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Program was created to commemorate Terry’s remarkable life and his contributions to cancer research and awareness. Since its inception, more than 900 young leaders have received the Award and today are leaders in health, education, sport, law, finance, communications, education and various other disciplines.

Recognized as one of the most prestigious scholarships in the country, the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Program is dedicated to honouring and advancing the humanitarian legacy of Terry Fox one of Canada’s most recognized heroes.  By encouraging Canadian youth to emulate Terry’s courage and determination through volunteer work and humanitarian services, this Award supports the humanitarian leaders of tomorrow.

The Terry Fox Humanitarian Award was established in 1982 with a $5 million endowment by the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Another $10 million was contributed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government in 2006. The endowments are an investment in Canadians, inspiring young humanitarians to seek the high ideals that Terry Fox exemplified.