Deven Azevedo

Deven was an Environmental Science student and one of two recipients of the $60,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship.

While at the Langley Fine Arts School (LFAS), he contributed to sustainability by diverting a portion of the school’s waste away from the landfill through composting.  To do this he helped design and construct three composters that hold up to 200 litres of organic waste.

He subsequently helped found the LFAS Compositing System with the participation of over 900 students and teachers. This project helped raise awareness about sustainability throughout the entire school and was a great success by any standard. However, Deven was not satisfied, feeling he could have encouraged more participation and challenged more students to become leaders. So he kept at it.

Deven believes leadership is paramount in creating sustainable schools and communities. “A leader must not only lead others in change, but must engage and empower others to be leaders as well,” he wrote in his Schulich Leader Scholarship essay.

He feared the composting system he established would fall apart without adequate leaders. Deven was motivated to leave a legacy behind in his community. The LFAS Green Team and the Fort Langley Community Garden Committee was established in hopes of engaging new leaders through the creation of a community and school garden. Between November 2012 and April 2013, he led a fundraising effort that raised over $45,000.

Not only did Deven engage his school he also engaged the local community and First Nations. After he discovered LAFS was located on unceded Matsqui, Katzie, and Kwantlen First Nations land, Deven invited elders from these bands to bless the garden. This act of respect was well-received and is encouraging Fort Langley residents to be involved with the community garden. The construction on the garden began in March 2013 and was completed in July.

Deven hopes to apply his past leadership experiences to help solve the world’s most pressing environmental issues like climate change and ocean acidification.

In 2013 Deven was elected as Vice-President for SFU 350, a club that was established in the spring of 2013 and works to raise awareness about climate change. Deven was elected undergrad student rep on Board of Governors: February 2014 and re-elected February 2015. In 2014 Deven and his bandmates from Derrival won $75,000 in the PEAK Performance Project!

In September 2015, it was announced that Derrival, Deven's band, was one of 3 bands from across the country to win a spot in the Allan Slight JUNO Masterclass in Toronto. From October 25th to October 31st, Deven and his bandmates had the opportunity to meet and learn from the Canadian music industry's best, including Sam Roberts, Kardinal Offishall, Max Kerman, and Gavin Brown. The week ended with an industry showcase at the HMV Underground with top label representatives and booking agents present. All three bands played during JUNOfest at the 2016 JUNO weekend in Calgary.

Written by EVSC Student Yoko Lu