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2021 BCNU Leadership Award Recipients Announced

  • Bulletin
Union recognizes two members for outstanding activism and advocacy work

BCNU is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2021 BCNU Leadership Awards.

The NU Leader Award and the Excellence in Leadership & Advocacy Award each honour a member for their exceptional contribution to leadership and advocacy while demonstrating BCNU's core values: collectivity, democracy, equality, excellence, integrity, social justice and solidarity. Nominees were nominated by fellow BCNU members and recipients were selected by the BCNU Leadership Award selection committee.

NU Leader Award: Danika Serafin, North East region

NU Leader Award honours a student member or nurse with less than five years of nursing experience for demonstrating outstanding achievements in BCNU-focused advocacy and activism and who embodies union values.

Danika was nominated during her fourth year of nursing school at UHNBC. She currently works in long-term care and aspires to become an intensive care nurse.

While attending school in Prince George, Danika co-founded an outreach program known as Spare a Pair, whose purpose is to support marginalized community members. She and a fellow nursing student started the program after they came upon community members outside, barefoot, in -10°C weather. Spare a Pair is 100 percent volunteer run and donation based. The program continues to grow and is focused on the concept of people helping people.

One of Danika's nominators was Danette Thomsen, BCNU North East region council member, who describes the award recipient this way: "If Florence Nightingale or Mother Teresa were alive today, I believe they would be working alongside her."

Excellence in Leadership & Advocacy Award: Maria Huertas, Simon Fraser region

The Excellence in Leadership & Advocacy Award honours a BCNU member for outstanding contribution to the health and well-being of their community and profession through leadership, activism or social justice efforts.

Maria works in the neurological unit at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, and she was nominated by her colleagues for this award.

The beginning of Maria's activism with BCNU was in her role as a steward. She has also been regional communications secretary and is currently the Simon Fraser region lobby coordinator.

Outside of her advocacy work on behalf of her fellow nurses, Maria also demonstrates BCNU values through additional outreach to homeless people. She collects, organizes and delivers clothing, meals – and a smile! – to underprivileged communities within the Simon Fraser region.

One of Maria's nominators described her as "a passionate and caring nurse, well recognized for her relentless drive in pursuit of social justice and equality."

Congratulations to Danika Serafin and Maria Huertas!

Thank you to this year's recipients and to all nominees and nominators who participated in this exciting and rewarding venture to recognize our fellow nurses who stand out.

BCNU Leadership Awards will return next year with another call for nominations of outstanding members.

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