Janice describes the surprise moment as ‘unbelievable’ when she discovered that she is one of six winners of this year’s NUFSICISUM youth leadership award through music. “I never thought I would be in this place right now. I’ve been recognized for this national honour, and find that really special because it’s national and there are only six winners”, said Janice.

The NUFSICISUM committee was impressed with Janice’s dedication to music through her school music program, and her ability to dedicate many volunteer hours beyond her participation in band class. Janice would often arrive early for class and stay late afterward, making sure that the classroom and especially percussion section were in the right order so students could get down to the music once they arrived. As a senior percussion student of the Grade 6/7 band class, Janice took a leadership role to ensure each percussion ensemble member had the correct music, instruments, and felt supported within the section. Janice recognized how important her mentorship of other students was, especially for those who were experiencing band class for the first time. As Janice put it, “It’s important to support them so they can become better musicians”.

A student ‘devoted to music’, Janice grew up listening to 80s and 90s pop music, which establish her introduction to motivation through music. “Music motivates you – when I feel sad, music cheers me up”. Janice is an advocate for being a leader through music by way of getting involved, supporting others, being helpful, and staying organized. One of Janice’s favorite quotes is, “If you can dream it you can achieve it”.

At just twelve years old, Janice understands the importance of following a dream and in particular, a personal dream of always having music in her life. “Music is a way of connecting with my peers, the audience, and when you play music, it’s a sound story that you’re telling to the audience. Music is a huge part of our lives”, says Janice, who will continue to keep music active in her life as she enters junior high this Fall. Her long term goal? To become a language arts teacher in elementary schools, and to continue to inspire others through music. We wish her all the best!