A can-do attitude earned Afraj Gill high marks, including a $34,000 SFU scholarship to study business at the Surrey campus. Now he’s encouraging high school students to work hard for their futures

Youth advocate urges kids to get motivated

November 4, 2010

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You could say Afraj Gill is a perfect student. The 100-per-cent grade-point average is right there on his high school transcript.

That, and a mountain of community work helped land him 16 scholarships, including a $34,000 SFU entrance scholarship to study business at the Surrey campus this fall.

But it wasn’t always this way. And the message he’s been taking to local school kids—on his own initiative—is to get motivated.

Around the end of Grade 8, “I started thinking about what a person needs to do to be successful,” says Gill, who emigrated from Chandigarh, India to Canada a decade ago with his parents, who sacrificed their jobs to give their two sons a better life.

“I realized that working hard, at everything, was the only way to succeed. It was a revelation for me. I began looking at everything differently.”

Gill worked intently on his studies and completed all his Grade 12 courses in Grade 11 at Surrey’s Enver Creek Secondary School. He spent his final year active
in more than a dozen clubs and served as president of the student council and the graduation committee.

He also earned a black belt in tae kwon do and learned to fly as an air cadet before he could drive.

Gill plans to become involved in extra-curricular activities at SFU as well, once he has a good feel for his classes.

His goal is to be an entrepreneur and “financially independent.” He wants to travel the world and help “wherever there is a natural disaster”.

Meanwhile, the 18-year-old hopes to continue visiting local schools to encourage young people to take a realistic look at themselves and life in general.

“It’s the time to look ahead,” he says, “and right now, for young people, there are more distractions than ever.

“The feeling you get when you’ve worked hard for something, it just doesn’t get better than that.”


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Congratulations to this young man. Glad to see that there are positive youth who still focus on education.


wow nice!!! motivative


Inspiring stuff.

Andrew Kumar

What in inspirational young go-getter!


Way to go and keep up the good work!

Often we care about ourselves and rarely look back, good for you for being so involved in getting high-school students motivated.

Giving back is truly a great feeling.


You earned it! I wish I could be like you, not where I want to be in Grade 11 is it to late for me?

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