Meet Concordia’s “Forces d’Avenir”

Two of Concordia’s communications students, along with Sustainable Concordia’s R4 composting initiative, were awarded prizes for outstanding achievement last week at a gala ceremony in Sherbrooke.
Kinia Adamczyk and Gabriel Lopez took home two out of three personality awards handed out by Forces AVENIR, while R4 took the prize in the environment category on Sept. 27.
Forces AVENIR (FA) awards 33 projects and 12 outstanding personalities from Quebec schools each year with grants totaling $115,000.
FA awards recognize projects that encourage the development of community and of socially conscious, active and responsible citizens.
Adamczyk, a communications and journalism student, is currently in the Netherlands on an exchange program and participated in the gala event via Skype.
“My heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to explode,” recalled Adamcyzk.
“I was really happy because right before I got my award, Gabriel Lopez got his.”
Lopez said he was a bit shocked to find out he had won because he “knew how incredible and well-rounded all the other finalists were.”
The two were picked out of a field of eight undergraduate finalists and each won $4,000.
As president of the Canadian Foundation for Polish Studies, Adamczyk organized various cultural presentations, including a documentary screening about the deportation of Poles last year, hosting a discussion with a World War II survivor.
She traveled throughout the former Yugoslavia last summer to study and write about the work of Canadians and their local partners in the Balkans.
The previous summer she spent six weeks in Guatemala working with rural and youth development projects and writing about the volunteers there.
Communication studies student Lopez partnered with Adamczyk to organize Concordia’s first delegation to the Jeux de la Communication (Communication Games) two years ago, the first anglophone school in its 10-year history to participate.
For his part, Lopez took off to Uganda this summer to participate in the Concordia Volunteer Abroad program.
His experience in Northern Uganda has inspired him to go to law school so he can focus on human rights issues and social change.
“The people in Uganda made me put everything in perspective, while making me realize that the career path I’ve chosen is the right one,” said Lopez.
Last year as president of the Garnet Key Society of Concordia, Lopez organized the Youth Fusion Jeunesse event with the aim of inspiring youth to get involved in their community.
In the meantime, Lopez is working on a media literacy project in video production he started in Uganda with another graduate communications student and he remains active in the COMS department.
R4 picked up its second province-wide award with the Forces AVENIR prize.
They had already achieved recognition for Concordia by winning the Quebec regional award for “Innovative Waste Management Program,” given by the Canadian Association of University Business Officers in June.
Winning the FA prize means that R4 will be able to expand their Loyola composting facility to handle 100 tonnes of organic waste.
“I believe the plan is to use the money for this new initiative,” said Jasmine Stuart, speaking for R4.
R4 is an original project designed by Chantal Beaudoin and Louise Hénault Ethier while they were Concordia students.
The project oversees the school’s waste management systems, conducts regular “waste audits” on the school and workshops in composting.
Last spring, R4 prepared a report used to acquire ICI-ON RECYC certification from REcyc-Quebec.
The certification acknowledges institutions that divert at least 65 per cent of their waste from landfill. Concordia is at 68 per cent and it is the first university to receive this certification.


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