15th Annual Student Achievement Awards
The 15th Annual Student Achievement Awards Banquet organized by the Indo-Canadian Business Association (ICBA) of BC took place at the prestigious Crown Palace Banquet Hall on June 23 2011 in Surrey. The event was attended by notable members of BC’s South Asian Business Community including Dilber Kang from OMNI TV, Dr. Kanwal Neel, Jolly Dha
liwal, Gurpinder Lally and Arvinder Bubbar among others. The event was made possible through the partnership of notable local businesses that, in turn, rewarded scholarships to students that excelled in the fields of academics, sports, arts and community involvement in the North Delta and Surrey school districts. Students were judged in various criteria including academic success, sports achievements and community involvement through a comprehensive application process followed by reviews and recommendations made by senior members of educational staff, panelists and previous recipients.
Jolly Dhaliwal, President and Founding Member of I-CBA, stated that the organization was originally founded in 1992 by a few visionaries when Indo-Canadian businesses in BC did not have a presence within mass and mainstream media in addition to access to resources within the community. At the time, many Indo-Canadian business owners felt that an organization was needed in order to open a dialogue and bridge the gap between the Indo-Canadian business community in BC and various levels of the government. Over the last fifteen years, this initiative brought about more partnerships and collaborations within businesses, which has resulted in an increase of awareness and growth for Indo-Canadian businesses. The ICBA continually strives to reach out, educate, communicate, support and provide resources to small businesses, youth and its members. ICBA has been a longstanding facilitator in providing assistance and promotion for
Indo-Canadian bus inesses in addition to analyzing and monitoring a forum to discuss important issues, topics and concerns of the community. Guest speakers for ICBA have ranged from educators, politicians, business leaders, prominent media figures, youth and public members at large.
The purpose of the Awards Banquet was to recognize, encourage and support young Indo-Canadian students who are the leaders of tomorrow. Every scholarship recipient demonstrated key values including focus, dedication, discipline and perseverance in their own particular field. Awards, scholarships and bursaries are handed out to Indo-Canadian students for their scholastic and academic achievement; excellence in sports and the arts, community involvement through volunteer work in addition to a special needs award. “Every student wants to be recognized as an individual in their particular area of excellence, and this is an opportunity for them to be rewarded for their hard work and ef forts” states Jolly. “My heartiest congratulations to all the recipients and their families in addition to the teachers and principals who have really helped these youngsters achieve their goals and dreams” adds Jolly. Jolly highlighted the importance of education in shaping a person’s life. By encouraging and fostering young people to attain high levels of academic excellence, I-CBA is working hard to create a bright future for the next generation.
Students who were awarded on the night for academic excellence were Barinder Khehra, Sherya Khanna, Jaspreet Lehal, Harmeet Shergill, Amrita Grewal, Manjoot Sidhu, Steven Shergill, Sanamerjit (Sahil) Mann, Mandheraj Chana, Attar Boparai, Gurjot Aulakh and Andrea Watson. Raman Johal took home the award for ‘I-CBA Sports Person of the Year’ in addition to Prabhdeep Sanghera taking home the ‘I-CBA Special Needs Person of the Year’ for her dedication, hard work and perseverance. The recipients were joined by their families, teachers, principals in addition to notable members of Vancouver’s Indo-Canadian business and media community who all offered their support and encouragement. The night also included energetic and lively performances by the talented vocalist Sreedha Varanasi, the BC Cultural Bhangra Academy and Surrey India Arts Club.
Jolly aims to take I-CBA to new heights and is in talks with several businesses within the Lower Mainland for collaborative purposes. In the near future, he plans to organize more collaborative educational business-related workshops, seminars, events and meetings to form a bigger umbrella that is not simply restricted to a municipality level but also reaches out provincially and federally. “These networking events are a great way for businesses to mingle with each other and communicate their ideas and opinions on important business-related topics and concerns. It creates a nurturing and professional business environment for the entire Indo-Canadian community here in BC. For instance, we recently held educational seminars on taxes, governmental policies and provincial policies for small businesses which offered tons of insight for everyone that attended”. Jolly links I-CBA’s success to its core values that include the power of business-to-business networking, community involvement and building a solid foundation. I-CBA also plans to add more scholarships to broaden its horizons and reward Indo-Canadian youth in all areas of achievement. “One particular area that definitely deserves more recognition is towards those who have special needs as they struggle each and every day in learning new things and reaching academic goals.” states Jolly.
The Indo-Canadian Business Association of BC has played an integral role in fostering community growth, encouraging young leaders and forming a creative and supportive business environment. The association is always looking for support from new members to expand their network and continually grow. Application forms are available on their website. The membership in the association is open to all who are interested. I-CBA is a non-political and non-partisan association. For more info on how to become a member, visit www.i-cba.com.