Denza Phung is helping lead the way for young girls in the community.
The 14-year-old, Grade 9 Lake City secondary student is the SD27 2018 First Nations Role Model and is the first Métis to be recognized with the honour.
She said she prides herself on setting a good example and volunteering in the community.
Among her many talents, Denza plays violin with the LCSS junior band and enjoys creating artwork.
Of her time spent so far as First Nations Role Model, Denza said it’s “been cool.”
“I’ve gone to two powwows and done some cultural days. We went to the Kamloops powwow, and been to a few elementary schools where I think a lot of kids have found inspiration, and a lot of kids have said I’ve inspired them to run (for role model),” Denza said.
“It’s very special to me. I’ve been really in touch with my culture all my life and it’s nice to be the First Nations Role Model now.”
Denza volunteers for the Cariboo Chilcotin Métis Association, and is a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Williams Lake and District.
Asked what advice she would give to young girls hoping to make a difference in their community, Denza said don’t be afraid of hard work.
“If you really want to work toward something you can,” she said. “I’d say work toward anything. Hard work and perseverance will pay off.
“I’ve had a lot of fun (in my role). I’ve been to a few schools and it’s been really nice to meet all the kids.”