Sukhmeet Sachal

Tamanawis teen learned early to give back to the community

17-year-old Sukhmeet Sachal wins Better Business Bureau’s Student Ethics Award

by Kevin Diakiw

As a child, on each of his birthdays, young Sukhmeet Sachal went to Pingalwara near Amritsar in India to donate his gifts to kids in need.

Poor, abandoned and mentally disabled children call the Pingalwara Charitable Society home.

Sachal was struck by what he saw.

“The first time I went, I was in shock that people are different like this,” Sachal says. “It made me realize how people around the world are living and I can make a change.”

For Sachal, the seed had been planted for the Sikh practice known as seva (selfless service).

In Grade 3, he and his family came to Surrey, and Sachal soon began applying those principles here.

In Grade 7, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, a youth group that involves a lot of volunteerism and fundraising for the less-fortunate.

After that, there was no stopping Sachal, who is now 17. He ventured into the debate club, the Global Awareness Club, iDEAS 36 (student leadership), student council and Cure for Cancer Club.

He also started Students Without Borders, which has raised $5,000 to build a well in Kenya, as well as distributing food to those in need. The work continues on another well and even more food distribution.

Then, on Father’s Day in 2009, when two Surrey teens were killed by their stepfather, Sachal moved to help organize an empowerment night at his school – Tamanawis Secondary – to end domestic violence.

The list of his work continues.

All the while, he remained undistracted from his studies at Tamanawis, where he holds a 4.0 Grade Point Average.

Sachal recently caught the attention of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which awarded him the Student Ethics Award last week.

The $2,250 scholarship is awarded to a student with the greatest dedication, integrity, and academic excellence.

“Sukhmeet showed true leadership and is wise beyond his years,” said Lynda Pasacreta, BBB president and CEO. “Not only did Sukhmeet meet our academic requirements, he also put in nearly 1,600 hours of his own personal time to take the lead in a wide range of activities that have positive local and even global impacts.”

Sachal’s plans are to study sciences at university, then become a medical doctor.

“My long-term goal is to then apply my knowledge and serve alongside Doctors Without Borders to provide for those lacking in basic medical care in underprivileged areas,” he says.

Sachal says he gets his drive to give back from his parents, who are also very involved with non-profit initiatives.

As to how he finds any time to be a 17-year-old, Sachal says it’s a matter of being organized.

He describes himself as a compulsive planner, who schedules both his work and his free time.



Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Tamanawis boys repeat as B.C. high school wrestling champs

Sehijvir Sandhu and Karanpreet Gill earn gold medals for the Surrey team

OUR VIEW: Be vigilant when looking for love

Surrey Mounties say they’re seeing increase in sexual assault complaints related to people meeting after using online dating apps

MINTY: It’s never too late to create, as these Surrey seniors show

Pacifica Never Too Late Art Collective members are ‘late bloomers’ with works shown at Newton gallery

Storm, Totems win South Fraser senior girls basketball titles

South Surrey hoops teams now prepare for provincial championships in Langley

North Delta’s Brandon Bassi honoured in throne speech

Former NDSS Huskies captain died in following a car crash in Surrey on May 18, 2019

Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrators from the Extinction Rebellion have blocked the Langford driveway

B.C. budtenders become first private cannabis workers to unionize in Canada

Two of seven Clarity Cannabis storefronts vote to join UFCW 1518 union

Kids exposed to household cleaners as newborns more likely to get asthma: B.C. study

Air fresheners, plug-in deodorizers, antimicrobial hand sanitizers and oven cleaners were the worst culprits

Victoria, Abbotsford record biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Convoy of forest industry supporters on its way to Victoria

Rally at the B.C. legislature begins with participants setting off from Campbell River

Teen snowmobiler found safe after overnight search in Okanagan

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Woman arrested in Cariboo after fuel stolen, police car rammed

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

Most Read