Catherine Kelly was presented with the Mayor’s City Builder Award at today’s City Council meeting by Mayor Jim Watson and Capital Ward Councillor, David Chernushenko.
As the Vice President Internal of Carleton University's Student Association (CUSA), Catherine Kelly has worked hard to ensure that student council runs transparently and that all 300 clubs on campus are supported. As a feminist, she has leveraged her position and has gone above and beyond her job description to support survivors of sexual violence and to prevent sexual assault on-and-off campus. Thanks to her initiative, Catherine's policy work will result in over 1000 students being trained in peer-to-peer support and sexual violence prevention.
The training aims to create a conversation about consent amongst other student leaders. This training will make Carleton University the national university leader in sexual violence prevention. Catherine’s initiative will be modelled in schools across the country in an effort to create a nation-wide progressive movement.
In addition to her political platform, Catherine is also an aspiring journalist. She hopes to write stories that build community and promote the good that happens here in Ottawa. Two years ago, Catherine became the editor of a website that celebrates Ottawa and the many fantastic events happening in the city. As a new initiative, she covered everything from concerts to art shows, and used the website to promote activities in Ottawa with the hope of connecting residents with the events happening in their neighbourhoods. As editor, she also helped guide a team of 14 interns.
Catherine joined Centretown News as a journalist and advertisement manager. Her articles with Centretown have focused on entrepreneurs creating positive social change in Ottawa, such as the Ottawa Tool Library and Nu Grocery store. Her goal is to once again promote Ottawa's unique culture and celebrate community leaders.
At CUSA, Catherine endeavours to help others achieve success. For example, she has created a collaboration fund for clubs that collaborate together on events. Her vision was to encourage clubs to network outside of their social circles and to collaborate with each other in order to host bigger and better events.
She has also founded a philanthropy fund for on-campus groups and individuals who want to do philanthropy work but have no fundraising resources. Additionally, Catherine is working to make it mandatory for all on-campus clubs to have an Equity Officer, a role that will promote intersectionality, diversity, and equality within their organizations. She cares about her campus and City, and has used her talents to improve both.
The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that has, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.
Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.
The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.