ABRAM-VILLAGE – The francophone community recently honoured two of its own in a ceremony during the Exposition Festival in Abram-Village.
In front of 2,000 people, Pierrette Arsenault was awarded the Acadian of the Year and Ryan Arsenault received Acadian Youth of the Year.
“I’m speechless,” uttered Pierrette to the crowd at the Evangeline Recreation Centre. “I don’t know what to say.”
The two awards are giving to Acadian citizens who demonstrate positive attitude towards others and make meaningful contributions in the community. They both do plenty of that.
Ryan spends his days in school, but when he’s not in a science lab or math class, it’s likely you’ll find him in a political conversation.
“I have a deep interest in politics,” said the 17-year-old. “It’s a career I’m considering pursuing.”
The École Évangéline student said he didn’t expect to win the award.
“I was tricked to go up on stage,” laughed Ryan.
He was told to dress nice for a presentation, but not that he’d be the centre of one.
“It was a great surprise.”
Ryan is involved with Young Liberals P.E.I. and works with community leaders and other youth to promote bilingualism.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged for the work I’ve done in the area but I still have a lot to do.”
A day after winning her award, Pierrette said she still had trouble getting her words out.
“I’m in shock,” she said. “It was such an unbelievable surprise. I haven’t stopped shaking since I won.”
Pierrette spends a lot of her time educating local youth on music. She also helps coordinate dancers for events in the region.
“I’m no expert at dance by any means, but I love to teach it.”