"Despite being two of the smartest, kind-hearted, and hardworking individuals I know, my grandmothers did not have the opportunity to go to school. The right to education in addition to all the many other privileges I am afforded are not something I take lightly''- Manreet Sandhu
The Cmolik Foundation believes in investing in tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders and transforming students’ lives. The Cmolik Foundation awards up to 20 undergraduate scholarships each year to outstanding students graduating from B.C. high schools.
Manreet Sandhu, is one of the best and the brightest minds within our community. A graduate of L A Matheson Secondary School and a recipient of a whopping $40,000 scholarship from the prestigious Cmolik Foundation.
Surrey born and raised Sandhu has been actively engaged within the community and embodies a spirit of volunteerism.
She has given her time to various community activities and initiatives with her interest running the gamut of sports, politics, dance and much more within high school. So it’s no surprise that this brilliant and talented young lady is the winner of the coveted Cmolik scholarship.
She is involved in community organizations such as The City of Surrey’s Youth Events Squad. Here, she has spent numerous years planning events in hopes of inspiring her fellow peers and providing them with a safe space to grow and learn.
Sandhu dabbled in politics through the Surrey Centre Youth Council. She spoke with numerous ministers and cultivated various projects. Often meetings were spent researching, discussing, and preparing for meetings with ministers. Minister Gould and Minister Hajdu are among those she had the privilege of forwarding various stances too. Manufacturing a report regarding the status of youth was a focal point of the last term. The Status of Youth Report has been shared widely across parliamentary branches and online.
At school, she coached Bhangra, and was selected to be captain of the basketball team, and played for the soccer team. Leadership was something she has always felt passionate about on and off the court. She made herself available to teammates and peers to help them with various needs.
Through Mustang Justice she engaged in several panels, including the Kaur Project and the Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships. Most recently, she transcribed her thoughts for part of an article for the BCTF on anti-racism.“In the past, with Mustang Justice, I have aided with events such as screening of “My Name Was January,” raising money for the Salvation army, handling admissions and donations at the Shakti Awards, and facilitating activities at the woman shaping Surrey conference” says Sandhu.
She is extremely thankful for all opportunities she received to have a positive impact on her community.
Through initiatives like yearbook, robotics, and student council, she learned copious new skills and was exposed to different parts of the world than what she had formerly known.
She recalls how much she enjoyed creating activities for the Next 100 Years Mentorship program. The program helps bridge the transition from elementary to high school and enables them to make good life decisions. Sandhu has put her heart and soul into all the work she has done.
Not only has she volunteered widely, but she truly made the effort to create change and empower those around her. Every role has been important to her. She has managed to give everything proper time, incredible energy, and typically goes above and beyond the call of duty while giving things her own creative spin.
Sandhu will be pursuing Sciences at UBC in the Fall and will take her time exploring which stream within sciences she would like to take up.
Her message for South Asian youth is education is a privilege. Sandhu says “Despite being two of the smartest, kind-hearted, and hardworking individuals I know, my grandmothers did not have the opportunity to go to school. The right to education in addition to all the many other privileges I am afforded are not something I take lightly”.
She further adds, “I know I am not alone when I say that my parents worked extremely hard and sacrificed far too much in order to provide better opportunities for their children. I think we should all honour that and do our best to use the chance we’ve been given. Lastly, it can be hard to navigate through different cultural norms and life overall but our best is all we can do and as long we strive to do better and learn from our mistakes that I think that’s more than enough”.
Sandhu is excited for the next chapter in her academic career filled with adventurous experiences and looks forward to thriving on challenges that will shape her the future as an unstoppable young woman.