November 15, 2019

Scroll for more

Page 21

Surrey Now-Leader

www.surreynowleader.com

Friday, November 15, 2019 C21

SEVENTEENTH ANNUAL COMMUNIT Y LEADER AWARDS

NOVEMBER 12, 2019

YOUTH VOLUNTEER

TOP HONOUR

Shawna Narayan

S

hawna Narayan has devoted much of her volunteer time to helping others just like her. Among other achievements, she is the founder and executive director of Empower The Future (or ETF, empowerthefuture. info), a non-profit organization that connects inner-city students with post-secondary students to encourage personal and academic growth, and also help with the transition from high school to post-secondary studies. In 2018, the UBC student was among 19 British Columbians to receive the province’s Medal of Good Citizenship. “As a young woman from a diverse city, Shawna showcases what the next generation is capable of by helping inner-city students with similar difficulties that she overcame,” says a bio posted to the provincial government’s

website. Shawna, 23, helped launch Empower The Future in the spring of 2016 at Frank Hurt Secondary in Surrey. Since then, she has helped more than 1,000 students through mentorship, and has volunteered with 20 non-profit organizations. “I know that there are students that don’t know where to start and may give up when they can’t accomplish something,” Shawna said in a story published in the Surrey Now-Leader in 2017. “I want to help them with their goal. It’s difficult to navigate through post-secondary life by yourself and we want to help prepare inner-city students who are worried about moving forward with higher education and fulltime careers.” Shawna continues to study at UBC in the Experimental Medicine Program.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Fawzan Hussain SPONSORED BY

W

hen you ask Fawzan Hussain what motivates him, his answer is simple. “I was born and raised in Surrey and I really like to give back to the community in any way I can,” he says between classes at Fraser Heights Secondary School. “And I enjoy being a mentor to my peers to help them find their passions.” In one of his Grade 10 classes, Fawzan noticed a student with a disability having trouble taking notes. This led him to develop partnerships and spearhead a project that utilized a 3D printer to initially produce 150 assistive devices to help people who needed them. Since then, Fawzan has produced additional assistive devices to support people with disabilities in the community, including students in his school. Not only does he support his fellow students – he is president of the Fraser Heights Information Technology (IT) Club, president of the Student Council, and co-president at the Fraser Heights IMAGINE Innovation Fair – he also runs a number of initiatives that serve the greater community in Surrey. In his role as president for Youth for CARE, for instance, he raises awareness

for the Surrey Memorial Hospital while integrating youth in the community through various volunteering opportunities. Fawzan also joined Surrey’s Health and Technology District as a volunteer for Surrey Doors Open. While supporting the community event, he connected with local researchers and technology entrepreneurs – one of whom he would eventually co-develop an award-winning science project with: The BCI- Neurokey, a brain computer interface speller. Presenting his work at the recent Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF), Fawzan was awarded a scholarship to attend the York University STEM Entrepreneurship Program and selected as part of Team Canada to showcase his project, at MILSET 2019, an international science fair in Abu Dhabi. He is also a concurrent studies student, studying Computer Science at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus. Known as a humble and kind young man, Fawzan says he hopes his recognition at the CLAs sends a message to his fellow Surrey students. “It shows that doing small things can have a big impact on our community.”

T H E B U I L D I N G B LO C K S O F O U R CO M M U N I T Y - I T ’S A L L A B O U T CO M M I T M E N T