Nominations now open for the fourth annual Maria de Boer Changemaker Award! thumbnail

October 3rd, 2022

Nominations now open for the fourth annual Maria de Boer Changemaker Award!

About the Award

Maria de Boer had been the Executive Director of Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region (EAFWR) for nearly 35 years. She retired in October 2017.

Maria worked hard to put inclusion and belonging first at EAFWR. She encouraged people to be curious and thoughtful. Maria asked questions like, “Who makes inclusion happen?” and “How do we truly welcome and value all members of our community?”

EAFWR believes that people who have been left out or treated differently by others understand better than anyone what we need to do to make everyone feel like they belong.

We need to work with other groups who help create belonging – especially the true leaders, people who are disabled/have a disability.

People who have been left out from areas of community life really understand why everyone needs to feel like they belong and why every person’s voice matters.

For this reason, EAFWR wants to honour someone who identifies as disabled/having a disability who makes a positive impact for others in some way, and is looking for nominations for the fourth annual Maria de Boer Changemaker Award. The award winner will receive $500.

Eligibility Criteria

(You must be able to say ‘yes, this is true’ about all four of these following sentences, or else we can’t accept your nomination package)

• The person you are nominating must be comfortable being described as disabled/having a disability (developmental, physical)*
• The impact of the person being nominated must be mostly in Waterloo Region
• If you are nominating yourself, you must also include a letter, video, or audio recording describing your positive impact from someone else
• The person being nominated is okay with being nominated

How to Nominate

Please see the nomination package for more information about the award.

The nomination deadline is November 14, 2022

We recognize that stories come in all different formats! Some ways you can submit your nomination are:

1. A written story that is 700 words or less submitted to Courtney Horowitz by email at, using our online form below, or in person or by mail to Extend-A-Family Waterloo Region, 91 Moore Avenue, Kitchener, ON, N2H 3S4

2. A two to three minute video or audio clip uploaded to the Changemaker Google Drive folder and shared via email with Check out our tip sheet for tips and tricks on creating a great clip.

3. Contact Courtney by phone at 519-741-0190 ext. 220 or email ( to be connected with someone who can support you in telling your story.

Please reference “CHANGEMAKER AWARD” in the subject line and include your name and contact information, as well as the name of your nominee and their contact information.

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

Nominations for this year’s award are now closed. Congratulations to this year’s recipient, Carmen Sutherland!