Raaj Chatterjee, Seymour Schulich Foundation entrance scholarship winner

First-year mechatronic systems engineering student Raaj Chatterjee, a Burnaby volunteer with over 700 hours given to community clubs, received a 2014 Schulich Leader Scholarship.

Chaterjee developed his interest in the environment and sustainability in high school, where he began a school composting project, and later organized a conference at Science World to link high school students on environmental issues. In 2013, he became co-chair of the Surrey Youth Sustainability Network, which includes giving leadership clinics at local elementary schools and supporting environmental stewardship.

ā€œIā€™m hopeful that my contributions will result in strong, lasting collaborations among students across Surrey and Metro Vancouver,ā€ says Chatterjee, who also hopes to work and volunteer abroad through the UN and Engineers Without Borders to improve living conditions in developing nations.

Together with his family, Chatterjee developed a bi-weekly homemade food delivery program to distribute hot, nutritious food to the homeless in North Surrey. He also finds time for music, earning the 2013 Best Surrey Senior Trumpet Player award at the annual Envision Jazz Festival.

Seymour Schulich, a Montreal-born Jewish Canadian business leader and philanthropist, created the annual awards program three years ago to cultivate the next-generation pioneers of global scientific research and innovation in Canada and Israel.

Managed by the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto in Canada, the awards go to two promising high school graduates entering 20 selected universities. They must demonstrate two of three attributes: academic excellence, social and/or business leadership and financial need.