Bill Conconi — Above and Beyond Award

This award acknowledges an emerging student leader who demonstrates exemplary leadership, positive impact and influence on their peers and community, and a selfless contribution to improve the world around them. The Above and Beyond Award will help to secure the legacy of dedicated leadership that Bill Conconi has shown over his tenure with CSLA (formerly CASAA).

Bill Conconi led the Canadian Student Leadership Association from a well-intentioned group of volunteer advisors to an official, registered not for profit organization. He has mentored dozens of advisors, contributed thousands of hours of his time, secured literally millions of dollars of sponsorship funding and, along with his wife, Ellie, hosted hundreds of student leaders on the Oriole tall ship experience. Bill leads by doing; by working; by providing opportunities and the support for others to lead. He invites others to make their greatest leadership contribution using their unique skillset. This award will be an extension of the CSLA award program, choosing from the top award submissions for the annual student bursaries. In addition to the attributes identified by the bursary selection committee, sustainable impact or change influence would have significant weight in final decision.

The award will consist of a $1000 bursary paid to the winners post-secondary institution, an individual trophy/plaque, and publication of the winner’s bio. (The inaugural award was a hand formed glass ‘trophy’ created by Don Wheler at the studio of Keith Walker Glass in Edmonton, Alberta)


2020 Winner – Charlie Reist, Ontario

Charlie is a Co-Premier at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute in Ontario and is actively involved in his school and his community in an exceptional number of ways including volunteering at Ray of Hope, the House of Friendship and Knox Presbyterian Church in Waterloo Region. He is the co-founder if the Raidy Bunch, his schools junior leadership program that brought 250 junior students together to build connections and spirit!⠀

Charlie’s advisor, Ms. Gingerich, had this to say about Charlie: “From the beginning of his mandate, Charlie has consistently sought to create connections with a wide variety of students and has provided strong, principled leadership to our group. Charlie exemplifies all that a KCI Leader should encompass. He not only seeks to continually learn and grow as a leader, but he is also passionate about building the future of KCI’s Leadership and leaving the school a better place than he found it.”⠀


2019 Winner – Isabel Szollosy, Quebec

Isabel is a student leader who is described as someone who brings out the best in the entire community through her leadership skills and hard work. An active member of her school leadership team, Isabel has organized countless events and activities and dedicated herself to developing as a leader. She is the founder of a non-profit entitled “Sparkes of Hope” that raises funds for a school and summer camp program in the Dominican Republic. In addition to raising funds, Isabel volunteers her time at the camp along with other organizations back home in Quebec and Canada. Isabel will continued her studies at the University of Ottawa studying International Economics and Development. We congratulate Isabel on her achievements and wish her much success in the future.