Kelly Lee Assinewe
Kelly Lee Assinewe has devoted her life to helping Aboriginal youth get through high school by working to remove the social, emotional, and personal barriers to education. As N’Swakamok’s Alternative School’s Coordinator, Kelly Lee encourages young mothers to finish their education by allowing them to bring their children to class where childcare is available on certain days. They can also access prenatal and family support programs at the Friendship Centre. Additionally, she has been instrumental in helping teacher’s incorporate aboriginal content into their courses and provides valuable cultural activities for students. These include weekly student circle meetings, Native Career day, Native Awareness Day and Native Health days. Kelly Lee’s 18 years of work at N’Swakamok’s alternative school have driven its success where in addition to a counselor she has been described as a sister, mother, and role model.
Beyond N’Swakamok, Kelly Lee is one of the organizers of the Aboriginal Student’s Award Banquet, Aboriginal Youth Education day, and has assisted with the Aboriginal Role Model poster campaign. Her efforts in the education field have earned her the Laurentian University Native Education Person of Distinction Award in 2010 and the Guiding the Journey Indigenous Educator Award for Community Service from Indspire in 2013.
In addition to the amazing role that she plays in promoting education, she has also been active at Serpent River First Nation as a participant, trainer and coach for hockey and baseball teams. For many young women, Kelly Lee’s tireless efforts at work and in the community, while raising her own three children, are an inspiration of the balanced life to which they themselves can aspire. YWCA Sudbury is happy to pay homage to this remarkable Woman of Distinction.
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