Meet SFU Public Square’s 2021-22 Peer Educators!

Tue, 18 Jan 2022

Kim Regala
Communications & Events Coordinator, SFU Public Square

Meet our latest cohort of Peer Educators! Four SFU students joined our team this fall to create space for crucial dialogue, inspire action and learn more about the student experience. Each of them brings a unique perspective of what it means to be a student at SFU, and they'll all lead an initiative to engage with their fellow students on the issues that matter most to them.

Stay tuned for updates about their plans for a student-centred event in March about mental health and accessibility. In the meantime, get to know a bit about them, what brought them to the program and what they're passionate about!

Charlene Aviles

Charlene is a fourth-year transfer student majoring in criminology and psychology. She transferred to SFU after working as a Faculty of Arts research assistant at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Passionate about contributing to the SFU community, she has volunteered with the SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre and completed the Passport to Leadership 1 course.

Why did you want to become a Peer Educator?

“I wanted to become a Peer Educator because this opportunity would allow me to build a community with other students. Through our event, I hope that we inspire students to step outside of their comfort zones.”

What are you passionate about?

“I am passionate about mentoring students. My faith, family and friends motivate me to work towards my goals.”

Elena Le

Elena is a second-year environmental science major at SFU. What drove her to become a part of SFU Public Square’s Peer Education Program was the realization that it is not only the world that is changed through community engagement, but herself as well. She also believes that meaningful dialogues are central to fostering deep connections and shedding light on important issues in society. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her friends and family, getting lost in a good book, and trying out different recipes.

Why did you want to become a Peer Educator?

“I became a Peer Educator because I wanted to be engaged in a community where people collaborate to foster deep conversations, facilitate meaningful actions and create compassionate relationships.”

What are you passionate about?

“I’m passionate about the natural world, volunteering and fiction!”

Nikita Banga

Nikita is an international graduate student pursuing engineering science at SFU. She enjoys working with technologies and never shies away from learning something new. She believes in working with the community, for the community, and tries to involve herself in society-related issues. She wants to work alongside SFU Public Square to bring awareness with respect to racism, diversity and the hardships people face because of these factors. She loves adventures and is always up for a hike. She also likes trying out different cuisines and making new recipes during her free time.

Why did you want to become a Peer Educator?

“The idea behind the Peer Education Program fascinated me. It gave me a medium to interact with like-minded individuals and take initiative to work with the community and solve problems.”

What are you passionate about?

“The thought of being able to widen our own horizons and learn every day is what motivates me to get up and face the world. I am passionate about living life to its fullest, enjoying small and big moments alike.”

Punit Garg

Punit is a second-year SFU student from India majoring in business administration with a concentration in accounts and finance. His interest in community engagement began during the spring 2021 semester when he had the opportunity to volunteer with the SFU Surrey – TD Community Engagement Centre. He recognized the need for community engagement and how it could also help him out in his career. His great passion lies in working towards the greater good. When he is not busy reading about current affairs, he enjoys playing football or analyzing the stock market.

Why did you want to become a Peer Educator?

“Being a Peer Educator has helped me to engage in the community and work towards the greater good. It gives me a platform to use my skills to engage in active conversation aimed towards solving community issues.”

What are you passionate about?

“I am passionate about working towards ideas that aim for a better future. I value honesty the most. I am more attracted towards ideas or actions that are practical and could actually make a difference.”

Learn more about how you can get involved with SFU Public Square by visiting our SFU Public Square + You page, and sign up for our newsletter to hear more about the Peer Educators’ upcoming event on student mental health and accessibility when it launches!