Congratulations to Future 15 Selectee, Loizza Aquino
Our mission at CampusRankings is to empower students to make a significant impact in the world. CampusRankings’ Future 15 award is recognizing 15 extraordinary Grade 12 students across Canada who are already well on their way to impacting positive change in their schools, communities, and beyond.
From entrepreneurs to athletes, we have selected an incredible group of students. When selecting these students, we looked at factors such as grades, involvement in extra-curriculars, impact on their school and community, and their entrepreneurial spirit.
This is Loizza’s Story.
Liozza Aquino’s story is unique because of the tragic nature of the impetus for her mental health advocacy. In June 2015, she lost her best friend to suicide. Sadly, this was not an isolated event and within just weeks, three other teens nearby ended their own lives as well.
Loizza decided to take that pain and turn it into courage to honour not only these individuals, but others who were lost to suicide as well as those who were still suffering. Her single-minded focus on addressing this deadly epidemic resulted in the Peace of Mind 204 committee.
Peace of Mind 204 was made up of like-minded teens across the province who wanted to erase the stigma of mental illness. Loizza believes that an open conversation can be the difference in life and death for teens suffering from mental illness.
“If I could solve one world problem, it would be the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. Millions of people suffer with mental illness, and the stigma surrounding it only adds weight to their shoulders. The lack of education, awareness, and conversation creates the stigma. If the stigma did not exist, others may have reached out to another person for help instead of ending their own life,” says Loizza.
As a result of Peace of Mind 204 and the event Loizza planned (Youth Against Mental Illness Stigma), multiple media outlets covered her story and spread the word about awareness of this epidemic. She was also chosen by Mayor Brian Bowman to be the first ever Winnipegger of the Month.
“If you know me, you know that I absolutely love public speaking. I enjoy being out there and getting my voice heard. There is nothing I love more than being contacted by new people, getting interviewed, and talking to others.” Loizza is using this platform to make an impact on the lives of teens far and wide.