Jaspreet Johal Memorial Award
To honor the memory of their daughter, Mr. Tejpal Singh Sidhu and his wife Mrs. Rajinder Kaur Sidhu established the Jaspreet Johal Memorial Award at Simon Fraser University. The annual award is given to a student enrolled in the Professional Qualification Program, who has demonstrated excellence in the face of adversity.
Jaspreet, formerly a teacher in Punjab, India, aspired to be a teacher in Canada. Before she moved across continents, she excelled in her studies in her home country. She earned a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from Rajindera College Bathinda India, a Bachelor of Education (BEd) from Mint Gumri College of Education Jalandhar India, a Masters of Arts (MA) from Kmao Uni. Uttaranchal India and Masters of Education (MEd) from Malwa Training college Ludhiana India.
When she arrived in Canada, she enrolled in the Professional Qualification Program (PQP) in the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, a preparatory program developed for individuals with teaching experience and qualifications from outside Canada. During her studies Jaspreet was diagnosed with cancer. Despite her health challenges, she was determined to fulfill her dream, undergoing chemotherapy during her long practicum at Seaquam Secondary School in Delta, BC. “Jaspreet always faced each day with a smile and positive attitude and remaining hopeful about the outcome of her illness, ”reflected her parents.
Jaspreet successfully completed the program and graduated with her class. In 2008, she spoke with a group of PQP students, and her advice to them was as follows:
- Never give up on your dreams.
- Have open communication with others.
- Always be optimistic about life.
On Saturday, March 7, 2009, Jaspreet Johal, wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, and colleague passed away at the age of 32 years old, but her parents celebrate her tenacity, strength, and determination to become a teacher in Canada through the establishment of this award.