A Smithville District Christian High School student has been named the school’s first finalist for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award (OJCTYA) by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association.
Steven Muysson, 16, was selected from 107 worthy nominees to be in the final 12 to meet with the Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in Niagara Falls this spring.
Guidance counsellor Linda Booy-Korvemaker says Muysson is a passionate contributor to his community.
“He’s constantly looking for ways to volunteer and follows up with it, whether it’s popular or glamorous, or whether or not he gets a lot of personal attention for it, it needs to be done, and he does it,” she says.
“He advocates for himself and that takes a lot of courage, but I think that’s huge in terms of what’s open to you,” she adds.
Muysson was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at seven years old, a disorder characterized by multiple physical and vocal tics.
“Steven is in many ways a hero because he shows with a positive attitude and determination that you are no different than anyone else, and can accomplish just as much, if not more, with all his challenges,” says Booy-Korvemaker.
As a testament to his spirit of advocacy, Muysson addressed the subject of Tourette’s in a presentation to his entire school of 184 students in a question and answer period with his principal Ted Harris.
Muysson says he was nervous about the presentation, but received a lot of positive feedback.
“People didn’t know much about my Tourette’s beforehand, but after they heard about that, there was an appreciation for what was going on,” says Muysson.
He’s planning on attending a course to learn more about advocating for people with Tourette’s.
Booy-Korvemaker says this award could open doors for him in the future.
“I think doors are going to be open for Steven anyways, because he advocates and doesn’t hide behind anything,” says Booy-Korvemaker.
Muysson enjoys raising money for charities, like Community Living Ontario and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.