This past August, TELUS launched its Friendly Future Maker Awards program, a nation-wide search for young Canadians creating positive and long-lasting change in their communities.
After receiving hundreds of heartfelt nominations across the country, seven Friendly Future Makers have been selected by a panel of TELUS judges.
Vancouver’s own Austin Ma was named one of the seven Friendly Future Makers.
18 year-old Austin is the co-founder of Coding Pals Foundation, a non-profit that has taught coding to over 1,600 low-income kids since March 2020.
After discovering the lack of computer science education in public systems, Austin founded this organization and now leads a team of over 20 high schoolers, running dozens of enriching programs year-round.
Coding Pals offers weekly coding classes and continues to be the sole non-profit organization in Vancouver that offers computer programming lessons at zero cost.
Powered by passionate high-school students, Coding Pals is equipped with knowledgeable instructors and high-quality resources in hopes of empowering youth with opportunities to engage with Computer Science.
“With the Friendly Future Makers Awards, we’re celebrating the inspiring young leaders who are making a meaningful impact today and helping shape the world we will live in tomorrow,” said Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer, TELUS.
“This award demonstrates the power that imagination and innovation can unlock when youth are empowered to realize their full potential. From giving back to their communities, caring for the health and well-being of our planet, or helping feed those in need, it’s inspiring to see how many young Canadians are committed to helping make the future friendly. We want to thank everyone that entered and wish all the Friendly Future Makers Awards recipients a heartfelt congratulations.”
Each Friendly Future Maker will receive a prize pack worth $7,000, including $5,000 to be placed in an RESP or to help fund an initiative of their choosing, a $1,000 TELUS gift card, and a $1,000 donation to a registered charity of their choice.