Students across Nova Scotia are eligible for a new awards program that celebrates young people who make a positive difference in their schools and communities. The Department of Education is accepting nominations for the inaugural Premier’s Power of Positive Change Award Program. “It is important we honour students who inspire others through good deeds and strength of character,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “This awards program will celebrate their leadership and dedication, not only in their schools and communities, but in the world around them.” The premier announced the awards program last September during Stand Up Against Bullying Day. To be eligible, students must demonstrate leadership by organizing a school or community activity or by showing exemplary conduct in promoting positive attitudes and behaviour.Up to 10 awards will be presented annually to Nova Scotian students attending grades Primary to 12. The prizes will be a $2,000 bursary for post-secondary studies, apprenticeship training, or other educational opportunities. “We all have a responsibility to promote positive behaviour and respect in our schools.” said Education Minister Judy Streatch. “By celebrating the achievements of our students, we inspire others to make a difference.” The idea for the awards program, in part, came from the actions of David Shepherd and Travis Price, two Central Kings Rural High School students who rallied behind a new student bullied for wearing a pink shirt. Within days, students across the province and around North America wore pink to support victims of bullying. “The action taken by these two young men is just one example of the difference individuals can make to create positive change,” said Ms. Streatch. Students can be nominated for showing leadership in promoting safe and positive environments, building social cohesion and cultural diversity in school or in the community. Criteria for the Premier’s Power of Positive Change Awards, nomination forms and other information related to the program are available online at www.powerofpositivechange.ca . Successful candidates will be selected by a committee comprised of representatives from the Premier’s Office, the Department of Education, the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations and La Federation des parents acadiens de la Nouvelle-Ecosse. The deadline for nominations is March 31. Bursary winners will be notified by letter from the Premier’s Office by June 1. The premier will host a ceremony to honour the recipients in late June.