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Terry Fox Humanitarian Award helping Kowshowski with studies, volunteerism


Dauphin’s Toni Koshowski is one of 16 recipients of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, valued at $28,000.
The money, she said, will go into her university account and will be split up over a few years.
“So I don’t have to use it all right now. But I can use it for the next few years for my tuition,” she said.
The award recognizes young humanitarians who have demonstrated courage and determination through academics, athletics and civic life. The award will allow Koshowski to do more volunteer work in the community, instead of holding down a job to pay for her tuition.
More than 700 students applied for the award and Koshowski is honoured to be recognized.
“Because its honouring one of Canada’s most honoured heroes. It’s given out to people who emulate Terry Fox’s courage and determination. So just to be associated with Terry Fox is kind of an honour for me,” she said, adding she did not think she would receive the award from among so many applicants.
“I was so shocked and honoured to find out that I was a recipient.”
Koshowski has worked with the Community Transition Program to motivate and encourage students with disabilities in learning independent living skills, and through 4-H has been able to better understand the needs of vulnerable people within her community.
An accomplished pianist, Koshowski has been a member of the school choir, concert and jazz bands at Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School. She is also active in Yellowhead Chiefs AAA hockey, Clippers rugby, soccer, and the cross-country team and was a member of the student council and diversity committees. She is currently pursuing a career in medicine and plans to volunteer for Doctors without Borders to make a difference for others.
Koshowski’s mother was a big influence when it comes to her volunteerism.
“My mom always made it important that we always give back to the community and it’s something I’ve always done. As I got older, I realized that, when I was young, my mom had cancer for several years and so many people in the community came and helped us, dropping off meals, helping take care of our family,” she said.
“This is how much people helped me in the community. Even playing all the sports I played, how many people came and helped me. So I see how many people helped me and I just want to giver back to the community.”
Koshowski is currently volunteering at Under One Roof, where they have meal services Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as provide harm reduction supplies.
“We see vulnerable people in the community,” she said.
Koshowski believes it is important that people volunteer in their community. It has taught her of the need within the community.
“Which actually is what drives me to volunteer more, as well, seeing how much need is in the community. I, personally, never realized how much poverty there is in Dauphin until I started volunteering,” she said.
“And it helps me see what could help and talking to those people to see what could help. Because we could make assumptions about what might help these people. We don’t really know until we interact with them. So just by volunteering, it helps the community. It lets us know what our community needs and what we can actually do to help the community be better. And, honestly, it makes me feel good.”
Koshowski is currently taking classes online through the University of Calgary.

Doug Zywina