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Drive To Help Community Leads To Major Scholarship

Jan 7, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Drive to help community leads to major scholarship

By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun - May 3, 2010 8:39 AM


Privia Randhawa, of Surrey, BC, is one of 20 students across Canada who has won the TD scholarship award which pays up $70,000 over four years for post-secondary education and accommodation.

Photograph by: Jana Chytilova/ TD Canada Trust, Special to the Sun

Surrey high school student Privia Randhawa was so mortified by the gang violence in her city that she wanted to do something to prevent it.

So the highly motivated Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park secondary started a mentorship program in elementary schools to get kids involved in sports and participating in positive activities after school.

"Where I live in Surrey there is a lot of gang violence and shooting in our very own neighbourhood. It's scary to have this in your community," she said. "I wanted to change the way the kids think as they grow up so they don't get involved in these negative activities."

The aspiring ophthalmologist is one of 20 Canadian students and three B.C. students who won the 15th annual Toronto Dominion scholarship worth up to $70,000 to cover post-secondary tuition and living expenses as well as summer employment with TD Bank for the next four years.

The award goes to students who have made a significant, positive impact on the world around them.

Randhawa, 17, said getting the award has changed her life as she prepares to head to Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., this year after graduation to study life sciences and then medicine.

"It means I won't have to give up my charity work or give up basketball and get a part-time job while I go to university," she said.

The teen's list of achievements is long. Apart from the mentorship sports program for students, in 2005, she implemented the Adopt-A-Street program in her community, which involves more than 20 youth in her neighbourhood who get together every other week to pick up garbage in the streets.

She also volunteers with Nature Matters, an organization dedicated to teaching children about protecting the environment and spends countless hours teaching kids about sustainability.

"The first time I volunteered, I dressed up as a tree and I think the children could really relate. I love doing outdoor activities and I hate to see the environment deteriorate. I want to make a difference in my community and I want to teach others to care."

Randhawa, a keen basketball and field hockey player, is involved with the Hoops4Hope charity and has collected used shoes to send to South Africa; her effort has helped raise more than $5,000.

She believes that getting kids involved in sports from a young age and teaching them about healthy living will discourage them from wanting to get involved with violent activities.

She said a boy was shot outside the basketball court at her school and a young woman was found dead in a creek near her house.

"I was horrified and I didn't want this to happen to anyone else."

Randhawa was one of three B.C. teens to win the scholarship.

Taneille Johnson, a student at North Peace secondary school in Fort St. John, also won for her dedication to science.

She has competed in science fairs nationally and internationally for more than 10 years and her passion inspired her to develop a science education program for elementary school students in her region.

The other recipient was Aarman Rahim, a student at Port Moody secondary school, who works with his city to involve youth in environmental restoration projects.

He is also president of Amnesty International at his school, helping to raise awareness and funds for Amnesty's human rights programs.


© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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The shabd is composed by Guru Teg Bahadur ji and is contained on Page 633 of the SGGS. The complete shabd is as follows:

ਸੋਰਠਿ ਮਹਲਾ ੯॥ Sorath Mehla 9

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