MORE than 1,200 students at Princess Margaret Secondary School took part in a career event “Princess Margaret School’s Ignite 2015: Best Laid Plans!” on Tuesday.
With the success of the inaugural Ignite career day in 2014, it was evident to the partners on the planning committee to make this a yearly event for the students of Princess Margaret. The administration and staff of the school, along with the Association of South Asian Professionals of British Columbia (ASAP) and the Surrey School District’s Safe School Department provided the students with an opportunity to learn from over 50 presenters from various professions in 45 panel sessions for students from grades 10 to 12.
This year’s keynote speakers were Ross Laird from Kwantlen Polytechnic University for senior students (grades 10-12) and Stephen Price from Simon Fraser University for the junior students (grades 8-9). After listening to the keynote speakers, senior students attended three different panel sessions of their choice, with each panel session being 30 minutes in length on topics / careers which students registered for beforehand. Professionals from ASAP and other agencies in the Lower Mainland took part as panelists, with careers including medicine, law enforcement, social services, business, media and education, among others. Principal Neder Dhillon noted that the “range and quality of presentations, including the keynote speakers, will serve to strengthen the ability of individual students to make informed and positive decisions influencing their path in life.”
“Shortly after last year’s event the planning committee began the process for this year’s event. We all agreed having so many different community partners working together to ensure the success of the event was the best example we could provide for our students and the community surrounding Princess Margaret,” said Jeff Randhawa, of the Surrey School District’s Safe School Department. The department is committed to providing safe and caring environments in which all learners can achieve academic excellence, personal growth and responsible citizenship. Responsibility for an effective program of support is shared among many partners including the district, schools, students, parents / guardians, community groups, social agencies and the RCMP.
Jindy Bhalla, President of ASAP, said it was a positive experience for the adults to act as role models for the youth and show them the path they took to become successful in life. “Ignite 2015 was a fantastic engagement opportunity for Princess Margaret students to hear about a variety of careers and what it takes to get there from professionals wanting to give their time back to the community,” he said. The ASAP was formed in 2007 by a group of concerned South Asian professionals from various disciplines and included lawyers, engineers, brokers, financiers, doctors, notaries, and media and local business people. The vision of ASAP is to exhibit social responsibility through positive action in the general community, foster leadership by acting as role models and mentors, and advocate for social issues in British Columbia, all in a professional manner focusing solely on need.
The success of Princess Margaret School’s Ignite 2015: Best Laid Plans! event was achieved with the support of Princess Margaret administration, staff, student volunteers and the professionals from A.S.A.P who dedicated their time and experience.
If you are looking to give back and would like to be involved in this type of event in the future contact: Harvey Kooner, Association of South Asian Professionals of BC at [email protected] , Jeff Randhawa, Safe Schools Department at [email protected] or Principal Neder Dhillon, Princess Margaret Secondary School, at [email protected].