A handful of Surrey students – including five from South Surrey – will be among 60 from across B.C. honoured Thursday (June 10) for carrying on the legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh “through their infinite potential.”
Southridge School students Tatum Byrne, Suhaana Bhatha, Yiyang Gao, Gabriel Ma and Phoebe Yu, along with Kiyan Kassam (Ismali Youth Group), Harmannat Pabla (Metro Vancouver Virtual Award Centre) and Nandita Menon (independent) are to be presented with the Silver Level Duke of Edinburgh Award by Lieut.-Gov. Janet Austin during a virtual ceremony.
“On what would have been HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the achievements of these outstanding young people,” Caley Hartney, executive director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award B.C. & Yukon Division, said in a news release.
“The commitment, perseverance, and outstanding achievements of these youth is truly inspirational.”
The program, Austin said in the release, provides “much-needed structure and guidance to youth during these trying times.”
Established in 1956 – and arriving in Canada seven years later – it challenges youth aged 14 to 24 years old to “develop into the best possible versions of themselves.” To achieve a Silver Award, they must be active in community service, development of a skill, physical recreation and an adventurous journey in nature consistently over the course of at least 26 weeks.
“It has helped motivate young Canadians to set goals and challenge themselves to take control of their lives and futures,” states information at dukeofed.org
Award officials noted the latest recipients from Surrey achieved their Bronze Awards in 2018 or 2019; and all but one is currently working towards their Gold Award.
It’s estimated 500,000 young Canadians have benefitted from the program, which is described as the Duke of Edinburgh’s “living memorial.” He died in April at the age of 99.
Austin said she is “delighted to support youth in becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”
““Now more than ever, young people need support,” she said.
“As our communities emerge from the pandemic, I hope to see more youth earning their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, demonstrating that they have persevered through this challenging period and are enacting positive change in their lives and in their communities.”
In addition to a certificate and lapel pin, recipients earn two Grade 11 high school credits for completing the Silver Award.
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