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

Just Posted

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

White Rock senior ‘just sick’ about lost rings

Wedding, engagement bands discovered missing on Oct. 7

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

LETTER: Oppal should delay Surrey’s policing plan until we can vote in new mayor

In case of transition plan, red tape and bureaucracy might actually save Surrey’s skin

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

Most Read