A longtime Lakeshore youth advocate was recognized – and serenaded – as a hero this week at LAMP Community Health Centre’s Annual General Meeting.
As Mariah Carey’s Hero was sung in her honour, 23-year-old Amber Morley – a well-known director with the South Etobicoke Youth Assembly (SEYA) – was presented Thursday, Sept. 20, night with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Laurel Broten.
“I have been privileged to find out I live among heroes like Amber, who work quietly every day to make Etobicoke-Lakeshore a better place to live, work and play,” Broten, who was tasked with nominating 14 deserving members of Etobicoke’s Lakeshore community for the Jubilee medal, said at Thursday’s packed AGM at The Assembly Hall.
“It is my pleasure tonight to celebrate an individual who’s been an advocate for youth, and who’s helped spearhead SEYA in their effort to steer youth away from bad decisions, perhaps, and to help them make better decisions. SEYA makes an incredibly positive difference in the Lakeshore community through active participation and by organizing events and programs, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate Amber Morley.”
The Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne as Queen of Canada.
Morley is one of just 60,000 Canadians “of all ages and all walks of life” who will be honoured with a medal this year for their “contributions or distinguished services to their fellow citizens and to their community and to their country,” Broten added.
After having been involved with SEYA as both a youth participant and as a leader for the last 10 years, Morley is well-known in the community for her tireless advocacy work on behalf of the youth of Lakeshore – from lobbying for a dedicated community centre, to mentoring kids, to spearheading fundraising initiatives to keep SEYA afloat.
After being presented with her medal, a modest Morley gave credit to her close-knit community for her achievements.
“It’s such a pleasure to be from the Lakeshore community. There really is a sense of connectedness and unity here,” she said, addressing a crowd sprinkled with youth wearing SEYA T-shirts.
“I feel like all of us have either gone to daycare together or high school together or middle school together – there’s always some type of connection, and organizations like SEYA make those connections even tighter.”