Seven Surrey residents were among 48 students from across B.C. to have their outstanding efforts recognized with Coast Capital Savings Education Awards this year.
Bethany Hutchinson, Raquel Baldwinson and Julia Pirog each took home $5,000 Standing Tall Awards for making a positive impact on their community in the face of personal challenges.
The same day Hutchinson’s mother was admitted to palliative care after a four-year battle with cancer, Hutchinson received the news that she had a brain tumour. In the face of this, Hutchinson fought back and focused her attention on school, performing in a musical and a play, participating on student council and tutoring English.
“I can’t express how thankful I am to be recognized with an education award from Coast Capital Savings,” said Hutchinson, who is studying literature and medieval studies at UBC Okanagan. ”I know there were many deserving applicants this year and to be among such outstanding recipients is a huge honour.”
Jason Farra, Cynthia Bhourji, Qadeem Salehmohamed, and Sara Williams, also of Surrey, were each awarded the credit union’s Citizenship Award valued at $2,000 for their achievements in juggling school, personal activities and community involvement.
In addition to his outstanding academic performance, Farra led Kwantlen Park’s climate change challenge and helped reduce his school’s carbon footprint, organized a coin drive to benefit the Surrey Christmas Bureau, presented anti-bullying seminars to students as part of Pink Shirt Day and handed out meals to students in need at lunchtime.
“This is a wonderful way to kick off the start of a new school year,” said Farra, who is taking general studies in the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia. “It is exciting to be recognized by an organization that shares my passion and commitment for the community.”
Wendy Lachance, director of community leadership for Coast Capital Savings, said the credit union received nearly 1,000 award applications this year from across the province.
“Coast Capital Savings is committed to helping build a richer future for youth in our communities,” Lachance said. “One of our goals is to help youth succeed during their school years and through our annual Education Awards program we recognize students who have overcome personal challenges and students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to their communities while attending school. It is an honour to support these outstanding young people.”
This year Coast Capital Savings presented 48 awards totaling $144,000 to deserving students from across British Columbia. Coast Capital Savings also fosters student leadership through internships on its Youth Team program.