Award: Ornela Kljakic awarded Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Ornela Kljakic, PhD Candidate, has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada.

The medal recognizes Canadians engaged in exceptional volunteerism – individuals who exemplify passion, dedication and a commitment to community.

Kljakic, a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, is being acknowledged for eight years of volunteer work with Frontier College, where she helps youth who struggle with literacy.

“I am extremely honoured to be awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for my volunteer work,” Kljakic said. “I am just happy that I can represent Frontier College and help increase public awareness for one of Canada’s oldest literacy organizations.”

Since 2012, Kljakic has held many roles with the charitable organization, from volunteer tutor to now club president where she oversees 15 programs and 115 volunteers. Highlights from her time with Frontier College include managing a program that helped at-risk students obtain their high school diploma and supervising a Books and Breakfast initiative.

Beyond her literacy work, Klajkic also advocates for youth in the London area to consider science as a career path, hosting interactive activities to engage the public in science and research awareness. She has volunteered with Let’s Talk Science; Strong Bones, Strong Minds, Strong Muscles; Shadow a Researcher Day; the Inspiring Diversity in STEM Conference and the Western Student Research Conference.

“It is a privilege to be amongst the ranks of past honourees, who are truly making a difference in communities across Canada,” Kljakic said.