Good evening ladies and gentlemen, bonsoir à tous i Добрий вечір! Всечестніший Отче, шановний Голово і члени komitety фундаціі імени отця Йосафата Жана, улюблені степендійці, дорогі родичі, родини та гості. Дякую за можливість говорити перед вами сьогодні вечір. Мені дуже приємно тут бути разом із вами на Zoom.
Although we cannot meet together in person this year, I am grateful that the Father Jean Committee has adapted quickly and made it possible for us to continue to celebrate the incredible students who continue to work hard despite the new challenges they are facing during this period of uncertainty. The coronavirus was unexpected and has changed every one of our lives. Some of you may have lost jobs. Some of you may have been separated from loved ones due to the virus. Those of us who can look back on this time and remember inconveniences and even boredom can count themselves lucky. Many of us will come to know real hardship and fear due to this virus. And while we turn to our loved ones and friends for comfort, please do not forget to think about those whose impact on your life is more distant, but no less meaningful. Think of the grocery store clerk who stocks our shelves with food and supplies. Think of the hospital orderly who scrubs down the wards to provide a clean and safe environment for patients. Think of the CYM volunteers across Canada who worked tirelessly this summer to build a virtual tabir from scratch in less than a few months, so that the children of the Ukrainian community could feel connected to one another during these dark times. Most of all, think about how you – blessed with an education – might act and work and be different when the virus has become but a distant memory. We must never forget these times when nurses and doctors were cheered on and celebrated as they left for their incredibly long shifts as if they were celebrities arriving at a red-carpet event. We must never forget these times which have revealed what really matters: the health and well-being of our loved ones, the resilience of our communities and the sacrifices made by those serving others.
The pandemic forced us to slow down to receive this amazing gift and blessing of more time. More time to reconnect with our families, more time for our mental and physical health, but most of all more time to reflect on our priorities in life. Time was flying by in our fast-paced lifestyles, but not anymore. This is what was needed to prepare us for the future. This is what we needed to teach us the hard way that we are all equal no matter where we come from or who we are. This is what we needed to break our complacency with the status quo and to illuminate the opportunities for change in our communities. This generation is better positioned to challenge the way things have always been done and to seize the initiative to remake our world better than ever before.
We will not be defined by what we lost to this virus, but by how we responded to it. As the future generation of young professionals in this Ukrainian community and the larger global community, the world is yours to rebuild. As Bill Gates, Cofounder of Microsoft recently said, “as a member of our global community, your actions can have a global impact”. The world has changed. It is up to you, the next generation to show the world how to put the pieces back together and create a more evolved, kind and just world.
[French] Il y a plusieurs de façons dont nous pouvons être inspirés pour contribuer et aider à changer notre monde. En tant que jeunes Canadiens d'origine ukrainienne, je vous encourage à suivre l’exemple du père Josaphat Jean qui a défié les limites de ce que signifie être ukrainien et qui a choisi de consacrer sa vie à défendre l'Ukraine dans le monde entier dans les différents rôles qu'il a occupés, de l'aumônier militaire au représentant diplomatique à la Ligue des Nations. Savoir qui vous êtes et ce que vous représentez est un aspect important de la vie d’un Ukrainien. Cela vous guidera tout au long de votre vie.
[English]There are so many ways which we can be inspired to contribute and help change our world. As young Ukrainian Canadians, I encourage you to follow in the footsteps of Father Josaphat Jean who challenged the boundaries of what it means to be Ukrainian and chose to dedicate his life to advocating for Ukraine all over the world in all the various roles that he occupied from military chaplain to diplomatic representative at the League of Nations. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is an important part of being Ukrainian. This will guide you throughout your life.
Your career paths may change over time and you will hold different roles with varying degrees of responsibility throughout your professional life, however the values and beliefs that have been instilled in you through your upbringing and involvement in the Ukrainian community will guide you when it’s time to stand up and fight. Fight for the job you want, fight for a cause that you believe in or fight for the world you want to live in. As a Ukrainian Canadian involved in this rich community, you have acquired experiences, skills and qualities that define you. That are invaluable assets and unique to your person. Cherish them, be cognizant of them, utilize them to enhance and be a contributing member of our Ukrainian community and your global network.
[Ukrainian] Я багато років працювала при українські громаді із молодими. Я відповіла як виговниця, бунчужна, булавна та директорка табору Суменят підчас таборів. Я брала участь в українських організацій, таких як СУМ, оркестра Трембіта та Український танцювальний ансамбль Марунчак - щоб вичислити декілька. З молодих років, я зрозуміла важливість віддати свої сили до праці в українські громаді бо я оцінювала важливість Української громади у моєму життю.
[English] I have spent many years working in the community with Ukrainian youth. I have held many roles such as camp counselor (vyhovnyk), camp leader (bonchujna) and camp director (sumeniata). I have been involved in numerous organisations such as CYM, Trembita Orchestra and Marunczak Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, to name a few. I always understood from a younger age the importance of giving back to my community because I always appreciated the importance of the Ukrainian community in my own life, but especially in my childhood.
The Ukrainian community not only provided me with a safe environment to learn and grow as an individual, but it provided me with some pretty amazing role models to look up to. These role models were the counselors, the parents involved in uprava or just as volunteers on Saturdays at shkola and shodyny, the guest speakers from all over the world, the leaders from other oseredoks across Canada and many others. I was recently asked to explain what makes my involvement in the Ukrainian community such a unique experience compared to my involvement in any other non-Ukrainian organizations. I had to think about it for a few seconds, but then a memory came to mind of a conversation I once had many years ago with Pan Michael Shwec at a zlet in the United States. It was after a full day of competitions and a couple of the vyhovnyky were sitting around talking with Pan Shwec. We were discussing the importance of continuing to organize zlet every year for the kids; for them to network and to meet other Ukrainian youth from all over the world. At one point, Pan Shwec turned to me and said something to the effect of, “Do you realize that you are a role model for these young girls that are in your rij, that they look up to you and you are helping mould them into the people that they are today and will become in the future”. This comment had a lasting impact on me. I never fully realized until that moment that I might be becoming a role model like the ones that I looked up to when I was a child for these girls. This carried a certain weight of importance and gave me a sense of duty to continue my community involvement. This torch of responsibility is carried and passed on from one generation to the next, creating a long line of children that are raised to be role models for the next generation. I cannot think of something that is more special or important than that, especially in a world like today’s that is in need of positive role models with so many people in positions of power that do not act as an example for younger generations.
I would like to conclude my speech by thanking the hard-working individuals that make all this possible. Thank you to the Father Jean Scholarship Foundation for continuing to validate the hard work of students in their academic endeavours and community involvement over the past 57 years. Thank you to the committee members who take the time out of their busy schedules to raise funds, select candidates and organize the Father Jean Scholarship Awards. Thank you to the village of people that it takes to help raise and support each and every one of us that is being honoured here this evening. A special thank you to the parents who provided their unwavering support and could always be counted on for their unconditional love and guidance. None of this would be possible without you. You are the pillars without which we could not stand and you provide us with a foundation that is strong and solid to build our lives on.
To the students – I ask that you take away the three following points from my speech tonight. First, get involved in your community even if it is not in the same capacity or role as in the past. The roles which we will take on in our professional and our community lives will evolve over time as our skills and interests develop. My advice is to be open to change. Do not be afraid to try something new. Second, be a role model for the younger generation. As the saying goes, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Be responsible in how you exercise the power of your voice. Be someone that younger generations can aspire to be and use as their guide post. Always be cognizant of the fact that you might just be looked up to as a role model by someone younger and not even realize it. Last but not least, always be proud of your Ukrainian heritage and all that it has afforded you. Do not hesitate to blend the Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian parts of your life, to introduce your friends and co-workers to your Ukrainian culture or to utilize your education and career to help support Ukraine or Ukrainian causes.
Congratulations to the recipients of 2020! I wish you success in your future endeavours and I look forward to seeing everyone again in person once this is all over.
Thank you, Merci i Дякую за увагу.