Surrey RCMP and partners inviting youth to step up

Inspector Ghalib Bhayani kicks off the 2015 Youth Surrey Steps Up initiative with local students.
Inspector Ghalib Bhayani kicks off the 2015 Youth Surrey Steps Up initiative with local students.
Inspector Ghalib Bhayani kicks off the 2015 Youth Surrey Steps Up initiative with local students.

THE Surrey RCMP, Surrey School District, and City of Surrey are inviting Surrey youth to share how they are making a positive difference in their neighbourhoods and schools with the 2015 Youth Surrey Steps Up initiative.

From February 21 to April 2, youth in the Surrey are encouraged to submit a community project that shows what they are doing to make positive change in their community using the medium of their choice (video, music, dance, theatre, visual art, etc.) Youth Surrey Steps Up was launched this past Saturday during the Surrey Leadership Action Conference in Cloverdale.

This initiative is part of the Surrey RCMP’s commitment to community engagement and mobilization with youth, residents, and businesses.

“Together with our partners, we want to build resiliency and citizenship in youth throughout the city,” says Inspector Ghalib Bhayani, Surrey RCMP Community Services Officer. “The police spend a lot of time with people who made bad choices, so it is particularly important that we engage with young people and encourage them to take a positive path in life.”

Last year, 300 youth submitted 40 projects, including one from Ecole Panorama Ridge student Ali Shabbir who started a dance club to give student who felt they didn’t belong a place to go at lunch and after school.

“The Surrey Steps Up initiative provides an excellent opportunity for our students—our youth—to demonstrate, in a very public way, the quality of work and quality of character I have had the privilege to witness close-up as a trustee,” says Surrey Board of Education Chair Shawn Wilson. “Our district welcomes the opportunity to work the RCMP and City of Surrey in support of this project.”

Youth have been leading this project from the beginning with approximately 20 youth involved in the planning process, along with the RCMP, City, and school district.

“It was important to all partners that this year’s Youth Surrey Steps Up be youth-led,” says Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. “By having youth involved from the beginning, we are able to mentor students and build leadership in our youth throughout this initiative.”

Projects will be featured at the Youth Surrey Steps Up Showcase on April 17 at City Hall’s Centre Stage.

The 2015 Youth Surrey Steps Up is open to all secondary and elementary schools students in Surrey. Complete information on is available at www.psst-bc.ca