Bio

Simon Harmgardt is a nineteen year-old young man with boundless enthusiasm and a contagious smile. The Oakville, Ontario native is a second-year student majoring in Commerce at Queen’s University.

Simon is a charismatic leader that enjoys thinking outside the box. Always eager to experience new opportunities, Simon enjoys the challenge of creating and implementing innovative volunteer projects. In 2007 Simon developed a dynamic stunt juggling performance called Simon’s Tour of Positivity (STOP). He juggles balls, pins, knives (yes they are real!) rings and diablos, while incorporating ladders, balance boards and plate spinning.

In addition to entertaining at private and corporate functions, Simon has donated his talent to a multitude of charities, performing 128 STOP shows at a variety of not-for-profit events. Nowadays many organizations don’t have budgets to provide entertainment at their fundraising/social functions … STOP helps to fill this void. An engaging orator, Simon delivers a motivational message to his audience, encouraging them to dream large and always be the best they can be! STOP has been featured on TVO and CP24 Breakfast Television.

Combining philanthropy with environmentalism Simon founded his Life Cycle initiative in 2008. He believes that since our society advocates environmentally conscious behaviour, it is not responsible to throw bikes away, needlessly filling up landfills. Moreover, in these economically challenging times it’s not financially viable for everyone to buy a bike. To date Simon has repaired 375+ bikes. In his community Life Cycle has enabled a teen to complete his paper route, provided a new immigrant transportation to school, and created a source of recreation for a single mom and her kids. Life Cycle bikes have also been distributed in the Dominican Republic, where disadvantaged persons have used them to transport wares to market and children to school. Dominican teens use Life Cycle bikes to start their own micro business – a bike rental shop. The latter allows them to earn an honest living and to contribute much-needed funds to support their families. Visit http://lifecyclebikes.wordpress.com/ to learn more.

Lastly, Simon is the co-founder/co-president of Teens Organizing Local Entertainment for Seniors (TOLES). The club’s focus is to bridge the multi-generational gap between youth and seniors through entertainment. Since its inception in 2004, TOLES has presented seventy-five, hour-long, themed talent shows at a multitude of local seniors’ residences.

Simon is an avid ambassador of youth volunteering. His dedication and ingenuity has garnered him an array of prestigious awards: the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation Loran Award, Toyota Earth Day Scholarship, Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers, Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award, Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer Award for Students, YMCA Peace Medallion, Police Chief’s Commendation Award and Blakelock Student of Excellence.

Personal highlights for Simon include acting as a Parliamentary Page at Queen’s Park, performing his STOP show for Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, David Onley, an Algonquin Park Outward Bound canoe trip with fellow Loran Scholars and representing his school provincially at OFSAA in tennis and badminton.

Simon is passionate about making a positive difference in this world, and works tirelessly to support causes he believes in. His personal mantra: let’s make a better tomorrow today!