She’s 11-years-old and already Hannah Taylor heads a charitable foundation that has raised $1 million to help homeless people.


The reasons are pretty simple, says the Winnipeg girl, attending a conference at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo this week for talented young Canadians.


“I have a wonderful family. I have a wonderful home. I have a fridge to go to and a bed to sleep in, and a lot of people in Winnipeg don’t,” she says. “And we all have the power to help them and we’re not. So why don’t we?”


It’s that kind of spirit that has drawn 39 prize-winning youth under 20 years of age to the leadership conference, organized by Youth in Motion and hosted by the Laurier School of Business and Economics.


Every year, the national, non-profit organization names the top 20 Canadians under 20 years of age who show leadership in improving their communities.

This conference, which ends today, brings together finallists and past winners of the Top 20 Under 20 award to network and further develop their young leadership skills. Taylor was a winner in 2006.

“There’s some unbelievable young people in this country,” said Youth in Motion co-founder Akela Peoples. Whether they’re working on a cancer cure, writing a musical or bringing clean water to families in developing countries, “they have a big dream and they won’t stop until they accomplish it.”

Taylor insists anyone can do what she’s doing.

She’s a regular person with a regular life that included a summer spent at her grandmother’s house where the cat had three kittens under the doorstep, she says.

“Follow your heart and you know you can help no matter how old or young you are.”

performance reviews

  • For a growing number of employees, the annual performance review is no longer a once-a-year occasion, a new survey by OfficeTeam staffing firm shows. Nearly four in 10 executives interviewed recently said their companies schedule these meetings either twice a year or quarterly, up from 29 per cent in 2002. With that in mind here are a few tips to help professionals make the most of performance reviews:

  • Jog your memory. Before your review, make a list of your accomplishments and how your efforts benefited the firm.

  • Arrive with ideas. Your manager will likely solicit your input on what you hope to achieve in the coming months and if you would like any changes made to your role. Carefully consider the support you might need to meet your objectives.

  • Treat the review as a two-way conversation. How you listen and respond to feedback is crucial. Think of the meeting as an opportunity to work with your supervisor to develop a plan to move your career forward.

  • Dish it out — carefully. Use the review to diplomatically provide your manager with feedback. This is your chance to request more guidance or resources.

  • Create an action plan. Always finish the discussion by setting specific goals to work toward. To make the next review more productive, start tracking your achievements and challenges now.