SASSY night for award-winning Surrey youth (photos)

SURREY — Seven teens and one young adult were awarded for being “SASSY” last Friday night (May 8) at Surrey Arts Centre.

The Rotary Club- backed event celebrates Service Above Self Surrey Youth, or SASSY.

Each of the eight award winners were feted with $1,000 bursaries, a SASSY trophy and $500 to donate to a charity of their choice.

In “Oscars” style, winners were announced during the fifth annual event. Nominees must be aged 15 to 21 and live in Surrey or White Rock.

Award winners are:

❚ Amrit Rai (age 17, Enver Creek Secondary) for Community Service;

❚ Lovdeep Singh (age 16, Enver Creek) for Environmental Leadership;

❚ Joanne Wong (age 20, Kwantlen Polytechnic University), for International Service;

❚ Rae-Anne LeBrun (age 18, Douglas College), for Overcoming Adversity;

❚ Ali Shabbir (age 18, Panorama Ridge Secondary), for Performing Arts;

❚ Jordan Doi (age 18, Fleetwood Park Secondary), for Sportsmanship;

❚ Clarissa Chupik (age 17, Johnston Heights Secondary), for Visual Arts;

❚ Cecilia Pang (age 16, Fraser Heights Secondary), for Youth Leadership.

Young performers at the gala event included Richard Tichelman, Kwantlen Park Secondary School Glee Club, Kwantlen First Nation Youth Dancers, Street Kings Hip Hop Crew, Ava Carich and the band Panic Panic.

Proceeds from the SASSY awards help fund projects led by local Interact and Rotaract clubs furthering the theme “youth helping youth.” More details are at

See more photos on the Now’s Facebook page:

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SURREY — Seven teens and one young adult were awarded for being “SASSY” last Friday night (May 8) at Surrey Arts…

Posted by The Now Newspaper on Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Biographies of the award winners, from the event program:

AMRIT RAI is actively involved in the Youth Arts Council of Surrey, planning events that promote youth engagement in the arts. She was instrumental in forming and chairs the Leo’s Club at her school, and regularly helps out at the Surrey Urban Mission preparing and serving meals, the Surrey Food bank and the Surrey Christmas Bureau where she trains new volunteers. Amrit also spends time at the Fleetwood Place Care facility, is co-president of the student council and has earned both the Bronze and Silver levels of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. She goes above and beyond to help make her community a better place.

LOVDEEP SINGH chairs the Surrey Youth Sustainability Network, a network of Surrey youth connected to create positive, bigger sustainable change and is a significant member of the Canadian Youth Sustainability Network. Applying what he learned at the Metro Vancouver sustainability toolbox leadership camp, and ShAD Valley Summer camp, Lovdeep planned, organized and launched the International Sustainability Conference last year. He has contributed over many hours of volunteer service with Global Green Alliance, and through his work with Kids for Climate Action, he advocates for stronger political action on climate change.

JOANNE WONG has committed many hours of local and international community service between her time with the YMCA, City of Surrey, Interact, Rotaract, Umoja and Church. She has used her creative talents to organize large dance competition fundraisers and spent many hours on diverse projects to raise funds for international projects. She has supported fundraising for the hermosillo wheelchair project as well as fundraising and travelling to very low income communities in Uganda and the Amazon. She manages a hip-hop dance group that performs and speaks to youth both locally and internationally. She began producing custom designed scarves which she has sold to support fundraising efforts. Joanne is an incredibly mature and caring teen who is seen as a leader by all parents and peers. She is very diverse, demonstrating an ability to succeed academically and in sport as well as her many talents in the creative arts. She has always proven herself to be very reliable and willing to take on new challenges.

RAE-ANNE LEBRUN is attending the Child, Family and Community Study Program, Aboriginal Youth Care stream at Douglas College. She has spoken at Girls’ Groups about being safe, having a voice, women’s rights and homelessness. She has organized and facilitated a drumming circle with Surrey Aboriginal youth at risk. She has lead workshops for youth and volunteered in the community at Christmas and at the Urban Native Youth association helping youth at risk in arts and community. She received the Outstanding Personal Achievement Award from the Federation of BC Youth in

Care Network (2014) and was Valedictorian at the Aboriginal Graduation Ceremonies for the Surrey School District (2014). Through adversity she remains positive. She is a natural leader and role model.

ALI SHABBIR started Panorama Ridge Secondary’s Breakdance Club! Many of the students would have never joined a team or club, but being in the Club allows them to be a part of “something” and represent themselves and their school is a positive way. Ali pushes them to be better human beings. This year, Ali expanded his involvement in the community by becoming a member of the Surrey Youth Council for The Surrey Steps Campaign which has allowed Ali to not only perform at various events, but spread the word about getting his school and community involved in a “By the Community for the Community” initiative that aims to bring positive growth to the community. Ali has great leadership and communication skills. he has manages to keep a high academic standing and is enrolled in several AP courses.

JORDYN DOI has been a committed teammate in several sports all while maintaining a superior grade point average. She has been named either MVP or most valuable teammate in each sport. Twice she was named Outstanding PE Student for always giving one hundred percent and having a positive attitude. Jordyn has demonstrated her leadership skills, support for teammates and coaches. Not only has she been recognized for her skills but she has also been rewarded for the support and leadership she gives. Last year Jordyn created her own charity, Sports For Kids, to help kids in the community fulfill their athletic dreams. She has collected close to 400 pieces of new and gently used sporting equipment which has been donated to elementary schools.

CLARISSA CHUPIK was the Grand Prize winner of the “here is Canada” art competition – a national competition chosen for excellence among 1,300 applicants. She has been the winner of the Johnston heights Secondary School Gala Award for Visual Arts four times and has exhibited her work at the Surrey Art Gallery. Claire has attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design in the headstart in Art program and will attend full-time in the fall. She volunteers at the Surrey Art Gallery, supporting visual arts education programs and has been involved at school in planning arts related field trips, exhibitions, arts events, and has provided tutorials for her peers. Her joie de vivre provides her with a natural ability to lead by example, positively influencing those around her, quickly establishing a rapport with a diversity of people. Claire has a great sense of integrity and is conscientious.

If issues do arise she is communicative and works through challenges with grace.

CECILIA PANG created a website: A Journey to Success, with the goal to build confidence and inspire others and started an Art2Heart Program at the local community centre to help youth find confidence and have the opportunity to explore their passion through the arts. Through the We are Silent campaign, Cecilia created a local art/writing competition for youth to use their talent to express their thoughts about bullying and abuse. She is president of Free the Children Club and holds workshops to focus on issues like education, hunger, mental illness, and sanitation around the globe. Cecilia strives to unlock the potential in others.

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