Nominator: Anny Marie Djan-Eby, Nursing student, receptionist and community volunteer. From Ivory Coast. Arrived in 2012.
Gilles and Anny met when her children enrolled at École élémentaire catholique Montfort. Gilles consistently impressed Anny by going beyond classroom duties to help her son and daughter feel at home.
“During a visit to the school, I saw Mr. Bourgeois under the burning sun teaching Kevin how to ride a bike,” says Anny. “He encouraged and congratulated Kevin for his fine progress. I had tears in my eyes. He knows my children so well, their weaknesses and their strengths, and he found a way to help them to trust and give the best of themselves. I want him to know that everything he does is so important, and I encourage him to continue on this path.”
“Receiving this recognition, I realize that the little things we do to help people have greater impact than we understand,” says Gilles. “These actions also have a domino effect. Helping a child helps a whole family.”