Surrey students come together for the Power of One

SURREY — With the season of giving underway, some students at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary are doing what they can to help out the less fortunate.

Called the Power of One, the group of male students was down in Vancouver this past Friday (Dec. 5) to help serve lunch for the needy at the Salvation Army Harbour Light.

The group was founded by Lord Tweedsmuir principal Sukh Rai and a colleague after they noticed a lack of male leadership opportunities at the school.

"Most of the leadership groups in the school are predominately female," Rai said. "We were wondering why males don’t step up to do any of the leadership roles in schools so we started this group two years back."

In that time, Power of One has grown to 30 members from all grades and Rai said the goal of instilling self-confidence and leadership qualities in students has proven to be successful.

"Last year one of our members – he came from poverty, had a rough home life and the program helped him," recalled Rai. "Now he’s at UVic, has a $30,000 scholarship and is going to be a teacher. Just talked to him and he’s been doing really well and that’s what it’s about."

For Grade 12 students Justin Mason and Amar Narar, Power of One has not only given them the confidence to make change, but brought together a group of individuals that may otherwise not have connected.

"They brought together people they thought would be good leaders, no matter their clique," explained Narar. "So if it was a leader in skipping school, athletics, academics in any aspect of the school, they were brought in because the idea was to take what they had and use it for positive leadership in our schools."

Narar said he comes from a primarily academic background while Mason is a star basketball player and both have found friendships within the group.

Mason noted that initiatives like the Salvation Army lunch were new for the group, as they look to expand their reach.

"This year we started branching out to more than just the school, so we want to try making a difference in more than just our school."

So far, Narar said the group has been a positive experience for all involved and both he and Mason hoped it would last far beyond their days at the school.

"It makes you feel better about yourself, helps you with self-confidence and really does a lot of good," he said.

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