- Can you please elaborate on your role with SOAR? How did you begin, and what was your contribution to the growth and development of the organization?
SOAR Philanthropic Society is a non profit organization that provides scholarships and educational resources to local students in the Lower Mainland. Since the inception of SOAR in 2012 the organization has funded over $75,000 in scholarships.
Currently, I am a Director with SOAR Philanthropic Society, where all team members donate their time to support and organize community youth projects. My involvement began in 2015, after witnessing the strong impact the organization has made in the community, allowing me to also take part and contribute in helping our local youth. Projects of the organization, where myself and other team members had a strong role consist of scholarship funding, mentorship programs where students meet professionals to learn about career opportunities, and also holding a large leadership conference for high school students across the Lower Mainland.
The importance of community building and being involved is crucial as I encourage all youth to take part and learn from the various different opportunities out there. As a 23-year-old I say it is up to us to become the leaders of tomorrow and continue to building strong growth within our communities, while focusing on education and many other important topics that require attention.
- What draws you to SOAR’s cause? What other causes/initiatives do you stand for, and what are you involved with currently?
My focus has always been stepping outside of my comfort zone, along with going above and beyond in life. For me if I wish to pursue any discipline then I give my fullest to it. The impact that SOAR Philanthropic Society has had on youth is remarkable and knowing that being in a team of local community members who started off with ideas have grown the organization to a much higher scale. SOAR is a strong network of youth.
Staying close to my local roots has allowed me to take on various leadership roles, which consisted of working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, along with various other community groups and organizations. My time with such groups has always been focused on volunteering and not expecting any personal returns, as the pleasure of knowing positive accomplishment has been fulfilled amongst our youth is priceless. This path opens various different opportunities and encouragement that I tell all youth to purse. Such as, being involved with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation since 2014 I had the opportunity of being appointed on the Board Committee for Surrey CIBC Run For The Cure all while overseeing annual foundation projects to financially support research, education, and aid for those factors related to breast cancer. Such a project was so dear to me, due to the stigma in gender specific health issues.
- What are your education and/or career aspirations? Do you currently work? What do you hope to do soon?
After completing high school at Southpointe Academy in Delta I attended the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. My degree consisted of pursing a Bachelor of Science with a triple major in life science, chemistry, and earth and ocean science. Having a strong perspective on attending medical school later to become a physician fully changed for me, as I experienced other opportunities that have brought me to where I am today. Currently I am at Bond University in Australia, completing a Juris Doctor (JD) degree to become a lawyer focused as a barrister and solicitor. I aspire to combine my law degree with my science degree to later focus on law related to health sciences and the important legality mechanisms within that filed, while working as a professional lawyer.
Policies and laws play a detrimental role in shaping institutions and in the lives of individuals. As an aspiring lawyer, I believe that it is one’s responsibility to ensure that the respected citizen is well informed of all the boundaries that restrict or provide justice.
- What other interests do you have besides philanthropic work? Is there anything else you would like to mention who you are/where you come from/what defines you? Any advice for young youth leaders who are looking for inspiration?
We are blessed to be living in an amazing environment that offers many educational and community resources for youth to further pursue professional careers. Coming from a family that has worked extremely hard to provide a strong future for myself and my siblings I am thankful for them, along with all other friends and members of the community that have supported along the way.
All the opportunities I have explored would not have been possible had I not taken any action. The only missed opportunities in life are the opportunities that we did not walk towards. Any aspect that we have failed in carries much more weight than an opportunity we did not go towards, as it allows us to learn from our failures and one day turn those failures into success.
Most importantly, learn to value yourself—your time, your energy, your happiness.