Giovanni Friestad

Recipient of the Chief’s Youth Courage Award for the Integrated School Support Program, Presented in Partnership with TC Energy

The Integrated School Support Program (ISSP) Chief Youth Courage Award recognizes a child who thrives in a diverse school and community. It celebrates someone who is resilient and who is able to manage factors outside of their control including negative peer influence. The ISSP child responds well to the wrap around support provided by the Program and communicates openly with members of the Calgary Police Service and Educational Staff. The child is known to be gentle, caring, hard-working, sensitive and thoughtful, and well on their way to becoming a responsible and contributing citizen.This perfectly describes our award recipient, eleven year old, Giovanni Friestad.

When Giovanni moved to Calgary four years ago from Brandon, Manitoba, he began attending Patrick Airlie Elementary School, one of two schools in Calgary supported by the ISSP program. While at Patrick Airlie, Gio was adored by his teachers and fellow classmates. He was always smiling and never missed an opportunity to lend a helping hand to others, including his teachers and friends. He benefited from the additional learning support available through ISSP and this helped build his confidence and let his natural leadership skills surface. His positive attitude and enthusiasm also led to Giovanni being the first student in Patrick Airlie to win the coveted S4 (Start Smart, Stay Safe) Award. Giovanni also learned a lot from the Police Officers he met at school. Even at his young age he could see the importance of building strong relationships between the police and the community and this even inspired Giovanni to write a scholarship essay about why he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.

Giovanni’s mother, Angie notes that this positive, caring attitude doesn’t end at school. At home, Giovanni is respectful and always willing to help his mother out with chores. He works hard to stay on top of his homework, enjoys keeping active, and loves playing hockey, no matter what the temperature is like outside. When speaking with Giovanni, he tells us that one of the most important things to him is to always be kind. He doesn’t like seeing kids struggle and knows that it feels good to receive help and offer help to others. He has benefited from many Giants in his life including his teachers at Patrick Airlie and Constable Ron from the Calgary Police Service. If he had a superpower, Giovanni would choose to fly to somewhere warm, like Hawaii, so he and his family can relax in the sun. This positive and caring attitude is exactly the reason we are so pleased to present Giovanni with the Integrated School Support Program Chief Youth Courage Award.

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