Young Leader Award

Honouring an individual 30 years or younger who has been recognized as a leader, created change, and strengthened leadership in their community.

2023 Nominations

Nominations for OMSSA's 2023 Awards are now CLOSED! 

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

OMSSA encourages nominations that reflect the diversity of its membership, in particular from individuals from racialized groups and Indigenous Peoples to ensure that our awards are reflective of the racial diversity of the populations its members serve.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The recipient must be 30 years and under in the year the nomination is made

  • Has been recognized as a leader in their community and seen as a person who has created change, as well as strengthened leadership in various capacities

  • Special consideration to be given to someone involved in human services sector work

  • Able to travel to a future OMSSA Exchange Conference to receive award and speak during a plenary session

Nomination Process

Nominations for our 2023 Awards are CLOSED!

  • Any OMSSA member can nominate another individual, including themselves
  • Only one nomination per member will be accepted
  • Nominators must receive sign-off from their Commissioner/Lead

To submit a nomination:

*NEW for 2023* Nominators can now submit nominations online! Click on the button below and fill in the form to submit your nomination directly to OMSSA. If you have any questions, please contact OMSSA at

Current and Previous Recipients


2023 | No Award Was Given


2022 | Joseph Friedman Burley | City of Toronto

Joseph Friedman Burley is a public health professional with a background in 2SLGBTQI+ health research and policy. He holds a BA&Sc from McGill University and an MPH in Health Promotion from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. 

Joseph entered the City of Toronto as an Urban Fellow and has since established himself as a champion for equity and excellence in service. In his current role as a management consultant with the division of Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC), Joseph leads a number of files focused on improving services for marginalized seniors across the care continuum, including the Toronto Seniors Strategy and the Leading & Learning with Pride Tool Kit.  

Joseph’s work has been covered by local media, profiled at national and provincial conferences, and recognized by sector leaders like AdvantAge Ontario and the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research, and Innovation in Long-Term Care. 

A driven community-builder with a passion for social justice, Joseph looks forward to a career in which he can create a better and brighter Toronto through inclusive, accountable, and equitable public service. 


2021 | Nohad Abou-Hamad & Ben Reyes-Landicho | The Multiculturalism Group, City of Ottawa

Nohad Abou-Hamad has a Master’s in Counselling Psychology and is currently working as Case Worker at the City of Ottawa. Nohad completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, with a minor in the Social Sciences of Health at the University of Ottawa. Nohad works part-time as a Psychotherapist providing counselling and therapy to individuals at the Joy Health and Research Centre. Nohad is first-generation Canadian who comes from a large Lebanese family and was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario.

Benedict Reyes-Landicho is a passionate and enthusiastic graduated from Carleton University. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Disability Studies, and an advanced Diploma as a Child and Youth Practitioner from Algonquin College. Ben is currently working as a Caseworker at the City of Ottawa. Ben is a first-generation Filipino-Canadian from Ottawa, Ontario who was taught at a young age to love, respect and celebrate diversity from his Filipino parents!

Nohad and Ben are two of the three co-founders of the Multiculturalism Group with the third facilitator being Doha Elmahi. The Multiculturalism Group is a staff lead initiative that strives to educate, engage, and empower staff and community members within the City of Ottawa. Both are dedicated to supporting staff and their clients through collaborative problem solving and implementing innovative and progressive change. In addition to their primary roles as a Case Workers Nohad and Ben have been recognized as leaders for their extraordinary commitment to supporting cultural diversity within the workplace and creating an ongoing and accepting work environment for staff and residents. Both Nohad and Ben continue to develop their leadership skills within the City of Ottawa as they are both motivated to strengthen intercultural awareness within their workplace, facilitate intercultural communication training to staff and collaboratively mentor those around them!

2020 | Phillip Mock | CK Prosperity Roundtable, Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Phillip Mock, Project Coordinator for the Prosperity Roundtable in Chatham-Kent, has engaged the community into taking action to end poverty in the municipality. Mock’s work included recruiting a lived experience group to be involved in advocacy, education, and implementation of actions; creating community-wide poverty awareness through consultations with all communities of Chatham-Kent; developing an action plan and task forces to end poverty with 130+ community leaders; establishing two task forces to effectively tackle housing and homelessness issues such as promotion of tenant rights and transportation issues; bringing in Federal funding for new initiatives to strengthen at-risk and vulnerable youth in the community to complete their secondary education and transition to post-secondary or employment opportunities. Mock’s success has been guided by his engagement of non-traditional stakeholders which has created change and strengthened leadership. He has guided and empowered people with lived experience to be involved in community committees and task forces, as well as increased their capacity to be advocates and educators to reduce the stigma and increase awareness of systemic barriers to exiting poverty.