By Kathy Yanchus
For one so young, Emmit Brown has an amazingly fine tuned social conscience.
In his 13 years, the Grade 8 Guy B. Brown Public School student has effected change in the lives of fellow students, his community and the world around him.
“It brings me such joy and happiness, I keep wanting more. There’s nothing like it,” said the son of Chris and Mitra Brown, a nominee for a 2012 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award, administered annually by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA).
His parents have told him of the importance of service, especially as part of their Baha’i faith, but Emmit continues to seek out opportunities to serve others not solely based on a sense of duty, but because he thrives on it.
He is a member of his school council ,which established a Me to We Group and initiates fund-raising activities, which have, among other endeavours, supplied winter clothing for those in need.
He has been a member of the Flamborough Family YMCA leader Corps Program for three years, which not only provides a social outlet for local youth, but also organizes community activities – everything from visiting seniors’ homes to participation in local parades. He was also invited to sit on the Y’s youth advisory board.
He was one of more than 100 youth who traveled to Belize to implement a music and arts program for local children, gathering art and craft supplies and musical instruments before he left on the mission.
Emmit has always had a great sense of empathy and a sense of others, never putting himself at the centre, said his mom Mitra.
“He’s very inclusive of every single person,” she said.
Add to his community service his ability to play three instruments, membership in both the Guy Brown School Band and the Waterdown Senior Student Band, his participation in triathlons and skiing, and his love of theatre, having been part of the Village Theatre’s recent family production of Babe, the Sheep Pig.
Emmit said he doesn’t feel he’s doing anything out of the ordinary; helping others and seeing smiles on their faces is what motivates him.
For several winters, Emmit has also been helping neighbours by shoveling snow.
His parents are extremely proud of their son and said they feel fortunate to live in a community that offers a myriad of opportunities for young people, which have allowed their son to grow, experience new levels of volunteerism and apply the skills he acquires along the way to initiatives within his own community and those abroad.