For immediate release: June 12, 2019

Three Canadian students receive top awards in prestigious International environmental journalism competition – 23 students awarded Nationally

For the competition, youth investigated solutions to plastic pollution in their communities

Toronto, Ont. – Vaughan student, Luckshana Ganeshananda, who attends Emily Carr Secondary School, has received top honours both nationally in the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) Canada Journalist competition and in the prestigious international YRE competition. Her photoStop Sucking the Life Out of Our Oceans, won first place in Canada and internationally, in the 15-18 age category.

Coquitlam students, Diane Huang and Janelle Feng, who attend Gleneagle Secondary School, have also received top honours both nationally and internationally. Diane’s article, A Bloody Problem Period, won first place in Canada and second place internationally in the 15-18 age category.  Janelle’s video, Plastic Packing in Grocery Stores, won first place in Canada and third place internationally in the 15-18 age category.

Open to youth ages 11–14 and 15-18, the YRE Canada competition is an opportunity for young people to contribute an article, photo or video about a fast-growing environmental issue: plastic pollution. In total, 23 students won awards in the Canadian competition. See all winning submissions here.

“The outstanding quality of this year’s submissions shows that Canada’s youth care deeply about the issue of plastic pollution,” said Stephanie Kohls of Environmental Defence. “YRE Canada is more than a competition. It also helps build the next generation of environmental leaders.”

The students had their winning work published by Alternatives Journal and international winners will also be published through Medium and on Climate Tracker. The international YRE competition, hosted by the Foundation for Environmental Education based in Copenhagen, Denmark received 200 entries from youth in 36 countries.

Coquitlam, BC Winners

**Janelle Feng, 1st place National, 3rd place International, video, 15-18 age category

**Diane Huang, 1st place National, 2nd place International, article, 15-18 age category

Delta, BC Winners

*Emmalee Barrett, 2nd place, article, 15-18 age category

*Gurleen Bhandal, Navreen Sekhon & Soumil Walia, 1st place, video, 11-14 age category

*Jasmeen Grewal & Karena Kular, 3rd place, video, 11-14 age category

Bracebridge, ON Winners

*Erica Johnston & Lily Whittle, 2nd place, video, 15-18 age category

*Hamzeh Tetrsaou, John Chung & Gabe Little, 3rd place, video, 15-18 age category

Brantford, ON Winners

*Bella Todd, 3rd place, article, 15-18 age category

Peel Region, ON Winners

*Hamidah Oderinwale, 1st place, article, 11-14 age category

*Arham Ali, 2nd place, 2nd place, article, 11-14 age category

*Kira Patel, 3rd place, article, 11-14 age category

*Karman Kapoor, 1st place, photography, 11-14 age category

*Komal Kainth, 2nd place, photography, 11-14 age category

*Harguntoj Thind, 3rd place, photography, 11-14 age category

York Region, ON Winners

**Luckshana Ganeshananda, 1st place National & International, photography, 15-18 age category

*Sidney Shaw, 2nd place, photography, 15-18 age category

*Angelica Longobardi, 3rd place, photography, 15-18 age category

For more information about the 2019 YRE Canada National Eco-Journalism Competition for Youth, and to see the winning submissions, please visit youngreporters.ca

ABOUT YRE CANADA (youngreporters.ca): YRE Canada is a national environmental education program that gives youth the opportunity to be part of the solution by producing creative and engaging environmental journalism. The program is run by Environmental Defence.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.


For more information, images or interview requests, please contact:
Tessa Soltendieck, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 286; 514-445-5617 (cell), tessa@environmentaldefence.ca