InHye Joo, centre, is a Grade 12 student at Fraser Heights Secondary School. She received a Volunteer of the Year award for her work with Youth for CARE, a Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre initiative. Surrey city council presented the award to Joo at Monday’s (Sept. 17) council meeting. (Submitted photo: Oliver Lum)

InHye Joo, centre, is a Grade 12 student at Fraser Heights Secondary School. She received a Volunteer of the Year award for her work with Youth for CARE, a Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre initiative. Surrey city council presented the award to Joo at Monday’s (Sept. 17) council meeting. (Submitted photo: Oliver Lum)

Surrey student receives volunteer award for youth hospital initiative

InHye Joo has been part of Youth for Care since 2015

A Grade 12 student has been recognized for her volunteer work with a youth initiative for the Surrey hospital foundation.

InHye Joo, a Fraser Heights Secondary School student, received the Volunteer of the Year award for Youth for Care, a Surrey Hospital Foundation initiative. The award was presented by Surrey city council and the Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre Foundation at the Sept. 17 council meeting.

Joo said she felt honoured to receive the award.

“Just the fact that I could represent our Youth for Care was really a good experience,” Joo said. “I believe it’s not just me, but everyone else getting the award.”

In her volunteer work with Youth for Care, Joo said she has created care kits at the hospital, helped with fundraisers as well as decorated Christmas trees during the holiday season. She said the work is fun, “but handing it out just really gives you a feeling of satisfaction and thankfulness.”

Joo said she’s been interested in hospitals because as a child she had to spend “a long period of time” in the hospital.

“After going through that phase… I kind of realized this is a place where we really need help and it’s nice to have someone bring life into it.”

Hebah Hussaina, the chairperson and founder of Youth for Care, said the organization has been around since 2015 and the idea for an award had been floating around for a while. Hussaina said this was the first Volunteer of the Year award for Youth for Care.

“Usually, we keep track of every event or volunteer opportunity that we host. We have a list of the people who sign up to attend and then we keep attendance during all of those events,” Hussaina said.

Hussaina said she and a couple of other executive team members went through the lists and tallied up people that were consistent in volunteering and contributing.

Joo, Hussaina said, has been with Youth for Care since 2015.

“Even though she might not have racked up the most amount (of volunteer hours), she was very consistent and you could see that throughout her times with us.”

Hussaina said told the city’s council-in-committee before the award presentation that Youth for Care is “an independent youth entity affiliated with the Surrey hospital foundation.”

“Our mission is to raise awareness for the Surrey Memorial Hospital and increase youth empowerment and participation in the community,” Hussaina said.

In her presentation with Youth for Care’s incoming president Fawzan Hussain, Hussaina said the initiative currently has more than 415 school students from 32 high schools and 21 university students from five post-secondary institutions.

“These students have contributed over 1,150 volunteer hours over 35 different volunteer opportunities,” Hussaina said.

Joo is one of 126 Youth for Care students at Fraser Heights – the most amount of students from one school. North Surrey High School comes in second with 57 students taking part in Youth for Care. Hussaina said Fraser Heights has a specific Youth for Care club.

In the lead-up to her award Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said Joo is a “valued member of our community.”

“She is on student council and she’s a member of the social wellness club as being active in school athletics, but outside of school, she volunteers as a member of the Surrey Leadership Youth Council and she’s also a teaching assistant helping students learn Korean,” Hepner said.

“But what we want to recognize her for tonight is a Youth for Care volunteer, and (she) has been since its inception. She has been named as the Surrey hospital foundation’s Youth for Care Volunteer of the Year as an exemplary role model and as a valued member of our community.”



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

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