tyeDeacon_2upOn August 5th, 2010 PRCVI and SET-BC were proud to host a celebration honouring Tye Landels and Deacon Jones, the 2010 recipients of the Jericho Hill Legacy Trust (JHLT) Scholarships. This scholarship was established in 2007 for students with visual impairments/blindness who are graduating from high school and have demonstrated outstanding leadership and community service.

Tye Landels graduated from Stelly’s Secondary School in Saanich. He is an outstanding student who has received many awards in academics, citizenship, music and theatre. He is consistently on the honour role. In the words of one of his teachers Tye is always the gentleman, compassionate, dedicated, self motivated, enthusiastic and hardworking. He has become a leader in his school and his community and an outstanding role model for others. Tye excelled as an instrumental and vocal soloist at numerous school and community events and was a key member of a Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz Choir, concert Band and Musical Theatre. His musicality and originality shines through in many of the unique music compositions he has completed. He has donated his time and talent to many activities including baking and delivering muffins to the homeless, performing at the Hearts of the Community Awards banquet, performing for RCMP veterans and for Heart and Stroke and Food Bank fundraisers. Tye single handedly organized a fundraising concert for the Coalition for Music Education in BC Schools. Most recently he was the Media Director for his school’s Haitian Earthquake Relief Initiative and one of the 10 finalists in the CNIB sponsored national music competition. WOW- this is a very talented, hard working, awesome, young man!

Oh, and incidentally, in addition to Tye’s visual impairment, he has a hearing loss and ataxia Cerebral Palsy. He has faced these challenges head on and they have not hindered his productivity. He has become a skilled user of technology and makes adaptations as required.

We wish every success to Tye as he continues his education at the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning September 2010 as a President’s Scholar.

Our other JHLT scholarship recipient is Deacon Jones who is very familiar to the SET-BC and PRCVI family. Not only was Deacon a mover and shaker in SET-BC’s Virtual Voices Village but we were incredibly appreciative of his contributions to PRCVI as a student member of our advisory committee. In addition to being an excellent scholar Deacon has time and again demonstrated a passion and a gift for writing and journalism. His love for gathering and sharing the news began when he initiated, coordinated and edited a school newspaper at False Creek Elementary.

Subsequently it did not take long for Deacon to become a prominent leader and positive influence at Kitsilano High School in Vancouver. He soon proved himself to be an exceptionally hard working young man with an extraordinarily positive outlook. Deacon consistently demonstrated excellence in his academic studies, student government, athletics, and fine arts.

Deacon was the Vice President of his high school’s Student Council, a position that involves planning, organizing, fund raising, advertising and completing student activities, as well as providing input into student government and school processes. He was also the Stage Manager for the Junior Drama Production. Deacon has skied for 10 years recreationally and is now beginning to guide ski competitively on Grouse Mountain. He is an active member of BC Blind Sports and Recreation and plays on the Junior Provincial Goal Ball Team.

As a community volunteer Deacon works at the False Creek Community Centre to plan, set up, complete and, yes, even clean up, community events. Recently he has coordinated several community productions of musicals as fundraisers for Blind Beginnings, an organization aimed at providing programs and services to BC children and youth who are blind or visually impaired.

Deacon is heading for the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus to begin a Bachelor of Arts program. It is not difficult to imagine Deacon in a few more years being well recognized as a broadcast journalist who shares stories that will make a difference in our lives.

The SET-BC and PRCVI family are very pleased to honour these two young men! We would also like to extend our congratulations to their parents, their vision teachers and all other family members, educators, friends and members of the community who supported and loved them and contributed to their development and awesome achievements!

We gratefully acknowledge the letters of recommendation for each of the scholarship recipients that formed the basis for this story. Our thanks are extended to: Annette Lyon, Vision Resource Teacher SD63 , Jan Heinrichs, Music Director, Stelly’s Secondary School, SD 63, Linda Weston, District Resource Teacher – Vision SD39 and Chris Atkinson, Principal, Kitsilano Secondary School , SD 39