Top 20 Under 20 - Leading the Way!

Date May 10, 2005

More than 350 people gathered today to preview Canada's young leaders of today as the 2005 recipients of Youth in Motion's award and mentoring program -- Top 20 Under 20™ -- were celebrated at the Holiday Inn on King Hotel.

Top 20 Under 20™, a program of Youth in Motion, sponsored by ING Canada, ING Foundation and Bell Canada, is designed to award young Canadians who have demonstrated a significant level of innovation, achievement and leadership. Other program supporters include: Global TV, National Post, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Duocom Canada Inc., Holiday Inn on King, and VIA Rail Canada Inc.

“Youth in Motion is extremely proud and honoured to be able to showcase, from coast to coast, young Canadians from all walks of life, who are committed to innovation, leadership and achievement,” says Akela Peoples, Executive Director, Youth in Motion. “The 2005 recipients are no ordinary youth, they are entrepreneurs, social activists, environmentalist and inventors,” said Ms. Peoples.

“We are excited to celebrate with Canadians across the country the innovation, achievements and leadership demonstrated by each of the 2005 Top 20 Under 20 recipients. Innovation is the key to Canada's future economic and social success. We are glad to see so many up and coming leaders and innovators,” said Claude Dussault, President and CEO, ING Canada. “ING Canada and ING Foundation are proud to partner with Youth in Motion in recognizing and rewarding the very attributes that have led to our global success,” said Mr. Dussault.

Each recipient receives a financial award up to $1,500 to be directed towards their continuing area of study or training, participation in a Four Day Leadership Summit specifically designed to further enhance their leadership and innovative capabilities and mentoring by a Canadian leader for a period of eight months. 

The recipients in the second year of Top 20 Under 20 include:  Maren Beeston, Hanna, Alberta; Edona Çaku, Toronto, Ontario; Stephanie Dotto, Kirkland, Québec; Wojciech Gryc, Thornhill, Ontario; Daniel Hammer, Kelowna, British Columbia; Ryan Hreljac, Kemptville, Ontario; Joseph Lavoie, Queen Charlotte City, British Columbia; Joshua Liu, Scarborough, Ontario; Shamin Jr. Mohamed, Toronto, Ontario; Stephanie Subject, Vancouver, British Columbia; Cheryl Perera, Richmond Hill, Ontario; Florind Polo, Toronto, Ontario; Gabriel Rodrigue, Rimouski, Québec; Sarah Small, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador; Shazeen Suleman, Cambridge, Ontario; Jasmine Tait, Nepean, Ontario; Chelsea Takalo, Toronto, Ontario; Michael Thibodeau, Middleton, Nova Scotia; James Valitchka, Ottawa, Ontario; David Wen, Surrey, British Columbia.

About Youth in Motion
Youth in Motion (YIM) is a national, not-for-profit organization focused on developing the employability and life skills of today's youth to prepare them effectively for success in life and work. Our programs are designed to provide access to career information and increase awareness about opportunities for youth and those impacting the career decisions of youth. For more information, visit

About ING
ING Canada is the largest provider of property and casualty insurance in Canada. ING Canada's principal insurance products are automobile, property and liability insurance, which it provides primarily to individuals and small to medium sized businesses through its insurance subsidiaries across Canada. In 2003, ING established the ING Foundation committed to empowering Canada's young people to achieve their full potential. For more information, visit

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Larry Mah, Top 20 under 20™ Program Manager, at 416-738-1382, or  Full recipient bios and photos are available.

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