Prachi Khanna emerged as the winner of January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award. (Submitted photo)

Prachi Khanna emerged as the winner of January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award. (Submitted photo)

Surrey residents make it big in January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership Award

Award given out by Sher Vancouver recognizes people making a difference in LGBT community

SURREY — Three Surrey residents are among the recipients of this year’s January Marie Lapuz Youth Leadership award given out by Sher Vancouver.

Surrey’s Prachi Khanna, 18, grabbed the top spot and $500 prize. Khanna is known as the driving force in facilitating consultations with students and the administration in her school community for an all-student washroom.

“For all those South Asian kids who may not be in a safe environment, hang in there, things will happen and things will change,” Khanna said. “You did what matters to you and you did not give in to the fear.”

Khanna is known for the volunteering work within the community including organizing SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) awareness campaigns.

The annual award and the prize money issued is based on the applicants involvment within the community, both locally and internationally. The award given out in honour of Lapuz is on merit and if two applicants are tied, the committee looks at their social adversity.

Erjon Tela and Ran Ya Chib are two of the runner-ups who live in Surrey. Tela, a recent immigrant was one of the organizers of the first gay pride in Albania and trained students of the country’s police academy on LGBT issues.

According to Alex Sangha, the founder of Sher Vancouver, some of the applicants are in difficult situations with their sexuality rejected by their families and are living in foster care.

Lapuz, who passed away in 2012, was an immigrant from the Philippines and was a transgender. Sangha said that her loss was hard for the group and devastated them.

“We are very happy to remember January this way,” Sangha said. “She had a really tough life but on the outside, she had a bright spirit.”

Sher Vancouver is a non-profit society for LGBT South Asians, their friends, families and allies. It will mark its 10th anniversary in April 2018.

More to come.



yogesh.bala@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Yogesh on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Marchers supporting Indian farmers rallied in Surrey last month, from Bear Creek Park to Holland Park along King George Boulevard. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey MP says mayor’s motion to support Indian farmers is his to make

“He has his own sovereignty, right,” Sukh Dhaliwal says

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

(Photo: Creative Outlet)
YOUR MONEY: Tax tips for a complicated tax season involving CERB and more

With April 30 tax deadline, ‘it is important to understand the tax implications (benefits) will have’

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read