Reach Child and Youth Development Society Executive Director Renie D’Aquila was named Citizen of the Year by the Delta Chamber of Commerce on November 17, 2023. The Delta Optimist wrote an editorial: a Champion of Children on Renie and articles on her accolade also appeared in the North Delta Reporter and the Surrey Now Reporter !“There is always a way we can help children and families who are struggling, and even in the most complex situations and that’s what we do,” Renie said . “We want families to know that help is within reach.” D’Aquila was instrumental in forming the Reach Foundation Board and spearheaded the $5.7 million Building for Children Together campaign to construct the 20,000-square-foot Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children in Ladner, which officially opened its doors in February of 2018. The organization also operates from two other locations in North Delta and three more in Surrey.
Phyllis With, a volunteer with Reach and president of the society’s board of directors, has worked closely with D’Aquila for almost 20 years, and says she is impressed by the “quiet, unassuming ways Renie works with others to achieve positive change in so many aspects of our community.”“Renie does not look for recognition for herself but shares her knowledge and expertise to improve the lives of children, youth and their families,” D’Aquila’s tireless efforts extend far beyond her professional role. She has been a steadfast advocate for inclusivity, education and social progress in the community, inspiring countless others to join her in making Delta a better place for all. “Renie D’Aquila’s compassion, dedication and relentless pursuit of positive change serves as an inspiration to us all. Her impact on Delta is immeasurable, and her recognition as the 2023 Citizen of the Year for 2023 is truly well-deserved,” said Jill McKnight, executive director of the Delta Chamber of Commerce.