OLDS — Two members of the 185 Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron have received the Duke of Edinburgh's international silver award.
Mayor Mike Muzychka presented the awards to Liam Brown and Alyssa Focker during a ceremony at the Centennial Park gazebo June 15.
In order to obtain the awards, cadets are required to participate in community service, learn a skill, engage in physical fitness, and learn about the natural environment in an extended outdoor trip.
There are three levels: bronze, silver and gold. At the gold level, they have to undertake a special project.
Brown is working toward obtaining his gold award.
Currently, he's studying at Olds College to become an agricultural and heavy duty equipment technician.
But that’s just his backup plan.
“Right now I’m getting my pilot’s licence and soon I’ll be applying at the end of this year for the air force," he said during an interview.
Both Brown and Focker volunteered with Olds and Area Special Olympics.
Focker volunteered for several other organizations as well, including the Mountain View Food Bank, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #105 in Olds and the Olds Aquatic Centre.
Her work at the Aquatic Centre fits in with her goal of becoming a lifeguard.
In school, the Grade 11 student has participated in the school choir and band, as well as at the drama club. She also takes private vocal and piano lessons.
Her long-term goal is to become an elementary school teacher.
"When I do my volunteering, especially at the pool, I work with kids a lot, so that’s helping me get ready to one day to teach elementary school,” she said.
Liam and Alyssa’s moms, Niki Brown and Mindy Focker, are very proud of their childrens' accomplishments.
“I’m thrilled that both my children have had the opportunity to embrace this program,” Mindy said. “I think it has built them into stronger, better people.”
Mindy also gave a shout-out on behalf of the air cadet squadron to David Olsen who served as its team leader.
“Unfortunately he won’t be our team leader anymore, but we just want to recognize him,” she said.