Thomas (Bobby) Cameron (2010)
Thomas (Bobby) Cameron, a graduate of UPEI (BA) and Ryerson University (MA – Public Policy and Administration, 2010), received the 2010 Prince Edward Island award in recognition of his tremendous dedication and leadership in literacy promotion, international development, volunteerism and advocacy through his local, national and international endeavours.
While studying at UPEI, the Hampton native became involved in several programs and activities to assist newcomers to Canada as well as international and Aboriginal students. Cameron affected the lives of students on campus in many ways, through his friendship, volunteer work, openness and respect for different cultures. He re-established a program called “Students for Literacy” at UPEI to help students improve their English language skills. He later co-ordinated a project with Aboriginal students where these students self-identified the challenges they encountered in post-secondary institutions. In partnership with the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, Bobby Cameron assisted in the development of curriculum for parents and children who speak English as an additional language.
In 2008, he organized four teams of international students who were participating in the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Foundation, a fundraiser that was held in Charlottetown. He has also supported numerous other organizations including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Farmers Helping Farmers, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Huntington Society of Canada, the World University Service of Canada (Student Refugee Program), CUSO, Allied Youth (Peer Education Program), the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada and online advocacy sites such as the Refugee Research Network, TakingITGlobal and the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.
An ESL tutor in his home province, he also volunteered at a shelter for asylum seekers and refugees in Malta in 2008 as an English language instructor. That same year he volunteered with “Students for Development” as an Intern with a business cooperative in Kenya. Returning to Canada, Bobby applied what he learned as a delegate at the 2009 Global Youth Assembly in Edmonton, an international gathering of youth who are involved in current global issues.
He has previously received several awards and scholarships, including the PEI Community Service Bursary in 2004; McGraw-Hill Ryerson Award in 2009; and the Dan McIntyre Human Rights Award in 2010.
In October 2010, Bobby Cameron went to Saudi Arabia to work as an English language instructor, and so was unable to attend the awards ceremony at which his award would have been presented. Hear his CBC interview.