Micah Messent/Instagram

The provincial government has launched a new annual award in honour of Micah Messent, a BC Parks employee who lost his life in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in March 2019.

The $20,000 Micah Messent Young Professional Award of Excellence will be provided annually by the  Canadian Parks Council, with funding support from BC Parks, to one outstanding young employee, intern, contractor or volunteer from a Canadian Parks Council member agency.

See also: Vancouver Island man among 18 Canadians killed in Ethiopia plane crash

Courtenay resident 23-year-old Micah Messent was one of 18 Canadians and 157 passengers who perished in the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 crash earlier this year.

He was on his way to Kenya to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly and meet with youth and leaders from around the world.

Messent graduated from Vancouver Island University in 2017 and since then has been working as an Indigenous Relations Analyst for BC Parks.

The new provincial award in his honour will be between 18-30 years old and chosen among those who show the same passion and potential for their job as Messent did.

“Micah was a bright light in the BC Parks family who left an impression on those he worked with in a short amount of time,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“Micah was enthusiastic about the environment as well as promoting cultural awareness and reconciliation within BC Parks. Naming an award after Micah will help honour his legacy of conservation, protecting our parks and environment and advancing reconciliation.”

Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 was leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 8:38 a.m. local time on March 10th, en route to Nairobi, Kenya, when it crashed just six minutes after takeoff, killing all passengers and crew on board.