University of Regina kinesiology student named 2018 Regina Young Humanitarian of the Year

By Jon Tewksbury Posted: November 14, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Alix Norum, recipient of the 2018 Regina Young Humanitarian of the Year award
Alix Norum, recipient of the 2018 Regina Young Humanitarian of the Year award UR External Relations

The Canadian Red Cross honours deserving individuals by recognizing the contributions of local Saskatchewan humanitarians at its Power of Humanity Awards Gala held annually in Regina. This year, University of Regina student Alix Norum is recipient of the prestigious 2018 Regina Young Humanitarian of the Year award, to be presented as part of the Awards Gala on Jan. 11, 2019. 

Currently in her fifth year studying recreational therapy in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Norum comes from a family where volunteering and humanitarian work played a major role. 

“Growing up, I watched my parents and grandparents being actively involved in the community with volunteering, fundraising, and helping people in need,” says Norum. “I always tagged along with them because I really enjoyed it, and then volunteering became very natural to me.” 

The Canadian Red Cross Power of Humanity Awards has been taking place in Saskatchewan since 2009. The awards have three main objectives: to document and officially recognize the spirit of humanity in Saskatchewan, to draw public attention to the full scope of humanitarian activity in our province, and to inspire individuals to pursue humanitarian goals. 

A deserving recipient, Norum has been actively involved with the University of Regina Best Buddies program since her first semester, and has been on the executive team for the last three years (and president of the chapter the past two years.) She was also involved with the University of Regina Relay for Life for her first three years at the University, and continues to be actively involved as a volunteer with Astonished!, a U of R-based program for individuals with complex physical disabilities. 

“Each program and event I have been actively involved with has continued to inspire me in so many different ways,” says Norum. “Being a part of raising money for these programs so that others can participate in enriching activities is incredibly worthwhile. The joy and excitement that are expressed really make it all worth it.” 

The extent of Norum’s humanitarian work isn’t limited to Saskatchewan either. 

“In one of my University classes we had a project where we were asked to make a difference in the world, so I connected with a friend who was familiar with a humanitarian organization in Kenya,” says Norum. “A classmate and I were then able to raise money for young adults in Africa who had complex cerebral palsy, so that they could purchase technology for sensory, educational, and recreational purposes.” 

In the future, Norum hopes to continue her charitable ventures and she has big plans after University. “I am hoping to work as a certified recreational therapist once I have completed my degree. My dream, that I have had for such a long time, is to develop a home in Saskatchewan for young adults with complex physical disabilities, where they can be themselves but still be able to receive the care they need so that they can reach their full potential.” 

Norum was humbled when she learned that she was announced the Young Humanitarian of the Year, and had a message for those with an interest in volunteering. “It doesn’t take money to help others; it takes time, heart, and a commitment to develop authentic relationships. It is important that others know that they have someone to support them when they need it most. Hearing that I have made a difference in their lives truly warms my heart and inspires me to keep doing what I am doing.”