Surrey Board of Trade's Top 25 Under 25 Awards Recognize 13 from SFU
Thirteen SFU students and alumni are among 25 Surrey youths being recognized with the Surrey Board of Trade’s 2018 Top 25 Under 25 awards. The awards are given annually to Surrey youth for their business, community and professional achievements, as well as their leadership and community involvement. The awards were presented on April 26.
SFU’s award recipients are from diverse fields of study – many are from the Beedie School of Business while others are studying in health sciences, mathematics, computing science, political science and gender studies.
Five are involved with Enactus SFU, a student-run organization that helps students develop skills and leadership while making a difference in the community. Enactus SFU has nearly 150 student participants who have dedicated over 73,000 hours to improve the lives of more than 6,600 individuals.
Two others are connected to the Bridge for Health initiative, a cooperative committed to social innovation to advance health and wellbeing practice. Another is benefiting from SFU’s Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, SFU's flagship early stage incubator, which mentors and supports young entrepreneurs.
“It’s always so inspiring to see how dedicated these young leaders and innovators are, and how engaged they are with their community,” says SFU Surrey Executive Director Steve Dooley. "We're extremely proud of all of them."
Award recipients from SFU include:
• Larissa Chen, a 2018 Fellow at RADIUS SFU, and the co-founder of Böues, a personal care brand that promotes healthy aging and environmental sustainability, and a winner of the 2017 #MadeBySFU competition. A former Simon Fraser Student Society president, she also serves as communication specialist for the Bridge for Health initiative;
• Cody de Leijer, Enactus SFU's president, one of three students globally to speak at the 2017 Enactus World Cup. Working with SFU Innovates, RADIUS SFU and Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection, he advocates for entrepreneurship opportunities. An award-winning local hockey officiator, he volunteers with the Youth Entrepreneurship Learning Launchpad (YELL), mentoring high school students to develop their businesses;
• Gurneet Dhatt, a criminology alumna and founder and CEO of Fast Lane Traffic Management Ltd, which provides traffic control services and training. Created to meet a need for such services in the construction and paving industries, she has expanded to work with several municipalities, and has made over $1 million in sales. She hopes to grow her company to more than 50 employees by the end of the year;
• Prabh Dhillon, founder and president of Students for Humanity, which helps to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with social and health issues. Its intent is to create an inclusive and discrimination-free environment for people and students of all background to work towards a common goal of helping others. He also volunteers at Surrey Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, providing support to patients, visitors and staff;
• Stefanie Huffman, program manager for Axis Consulting, an Enactus SFU program that helps businesses grow to increase their environmental, social and economic impact in the community. She has also played a role in Enactus SFU’s Hunger Actions, helping mothers gain financial literacy through nutritious meal planning, which led her to create Refresh, and develop a line of fruit jams from blemished fruits. The nationally certified figure skating coach also organized the Surrey’s Syrian Refugee Youth Task Force;
• Harleen Jagpal, an SFU Beedie School alumna, is the founder of Cambridge Doors Ltd, a new family-business transitional brand developed using her entrepreneurial skills. She leads a workforce of over 15 employees. She also fundraises for the Cancer Society of B.C. and is working with Fraser Health to set up a clinical prevention program for South Asians in Surrey;
• Shilpa Narayan, a mental health advocate, and an undergraduate in SFU’s Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program. Her involvements include Youth for a Change, the Lookout Emergency Aid Society, and the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre. She is also involved with Enactus SFU’s Coast Cards, a social enterprise that creates greeting cards by upcycling coasters and scrap paper and employs marginalized individuals;
• Dorothy Ng, a political science student, and recipient of the Shrum Major Entrance Scholarship ($24,000), who netted an eight-month product management internship at Blackberry. Part of SFU RADIUS’ Change Lab cohort, she is the program manager of Enactus SFU’s Axis Consulting, and former director of marketing for Enactus SFU’s Soap for Hope project;
• John Nguyen, co-founder and president of Technovus SFU, which enables students to work on creative projects while learning from each other’s experiences. Since its creation Technovus has grown to 40 members and has hosted 15 community events, from robotics workshops to technical competitions. Its flagship event is an annual Mechathon, which draws more than 100 competitors;
• Chirag Patel, a business alumnus who was one of the faculty’s top entrance scholarship recipients. He is the director of finance for the SOAR Philanthropic Society, which aims to inspire youth and young adults to reach their potential. Now pursuing his CPA, he finds time to run his own janitorial services business, Lower Mainland Building Maintenance and is employed by the accounting firm PwC;
• Gerogiy Sekretaryuk, a computing science and math student, co-founder of Cerig Technology Inc, a wearable-technology startup that seeks to make women’s lives safer by letting them discreetly signal for help. His company now works out of SFU Surrey’s co-working space and has created its first designs, partnering with local jewelry designers and developing their smart gem technology in China;
• Tony Jure Vukasovic, an SFU business student, co-founder of Smart Parks Canada (SPC), a cloud-based analytics platform that enables municipalities to monitor facility and park usage through proprietary and off-the-shelf sensors. He developed his startup as a co-op student at SFU’s Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship. SPC is currently trialing their technology with the City of Surrey;
• Marco Zenone, an honours student in health sciences, is co-lead of the SFU Student Health Advisory Committee and youth engagement lead for the Bridge for Health initiative. He was recognized in 2017 as a Canadian National Cooperative Champion for his work on youth engagement with the Bridge for Health cooperative. A recipient of academic several awards, he is coordinator of Fraser Health’s patient safety and injury prevention team.