Charity & The Artists

Emilia Nowicki is a talented volunteer.

Words by Colleen Munro

Emilia Nowicki, in red, takes a break with friends while performing at the Mssissauga Arts Council media event.

Emilia Nowicki, in red, takes a break with friends while performing at the Mssissauga Arts Council media event.

Emilia Nowicki is a high school student, dancer and volunteer advocate extraordinaire!

Listening to her describe the various charitable causes she’s involved with is undeniably impressive. Two of her main passions are the arts and charitable work. Nowicki finds plenty of opportunities to combine the two in the name of helping people in her own community and around the world.

One cause particularly close to Nowicki’s heart is raising awareness about invisible illnesses. Emilia herself suffers from Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia, which both have serious but not immediately apparent effects. Having lived with this her entire life, Nowicki seeks to share her experiences to help educate others and remove the stigma around these illnesses.

“I’ve become really close to a few people with Crohn’s or colitis,” she relates. “They say that they’ve always been too embarrassed to speak about their illness. They tell me that after seeing me speak out about it, it’s [given] them confidence to do so as well and feel more comfortable about it.”

She works with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, helping with their annual Gutsy Walk for Crohn’s and other fundraisers throughout the year. She also works with Robbie’s Rainbow, a foundation whose president is an 11-year-old boy who suffers from Crohn’s.

Well-spoken and friendly, 17-year-old Nowicki brings an obvious enthusiasm to her charitable work. Besides working with organizations aligned with her own experiences, she has compassion for people in a variety of other circumstances, and often volunteers her time by dancing and speaking at local events. Other groups she has volunteered with and raised money for include Cardiac Kids, Free the Children, the Therapeutic Arts Program, St. Eugene Hope for the Future and SickKids’ A Midsummer Night’s Run.

Nowicki’s efforts have also taken her abroad. She has been active in raising money for Maja Mroz, a young child in Poland suffering from retinoblastoma, whose family Nowicki is in close contact with. Nowicki has also participated in bake sales and charity shows to help raise the funds necessary to save Mroz’s life. Her charitable endeavours have led Nowicki in an unexpected direction. In January, she was surprised to win the Miss Teenage Peel Pageant. Though she admits that she had the wrong idea about pageants initially, Nowicki was swayed to enter by the pageant’s charitable interest.

“They really look at what you’re doing in your community and see what you want to represent and raise awareness about,” she says of her pageant experiences. Nowicki’s journey is set to continue this July, when she moves on to the next round of competition toward the title of Miss Teen Canada.

All of Nowicki’s hard work in the Mississauga community has been noticed. This year, she was nominated for the Mississaug Arts Council’s MARTY Awards in the categories of Emerging Literary Arts, Emerging Performing Arts and Hazel McCallion Volunteer of the Year.

Her impact has been felt, and Nowicki hopes that other young people will get involved in the community and find causes they’re passionate about. “By sharing my story, I hope I can help others find a passion in their lives to get through [tough times] and not give up.”

Colleen Munro is a recent UTM grad. When she isn’t writing for Spirit of the City, you’ll find her voraciously consuming movies.

One Response to Charity & The Artists

  1. Pingback: Emilia Nowicki | A True Princess

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