SFU students and alumni swept the majority of the Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25 awards last month. Eighteen of the youth recognized for business or community-related projects in Surrey are recent graduates or current students of the university.
Most of the students and alumni who received awards at the April 20 ceremony were from the Beedie School of Business. Many were involved with Enactus SFU, the local chapter of a national organization that facilitates social entrepreneurship among university students.
Janice Ng, one of the recipients, is a student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology and a co-founder of Farmooo. In her own words, Farmooo is a “virtual reality farm simulation game that helps teenage cancer patients cope with pain during chemotherapy treatment.” Ng said that, along with co-founder Henry Lo, she hopes to further develop Farmooo and eventually implement it for patients in Surrey Memorial Hospital and BC Children’s Hospital.
Another of the recipients, Rajin Shokar, is the president of Enactus SFU and helped create two new projects this year: Coast Cards and the Enactus SFU Hackathon. Coast Cards recycles restaurant coasters and turns them into greeting cards. The Enactus Hackathon held earlier this year offered students a platform to learn from technology, health, and design experts, while working to create business solutions to relevant community problems.
When asked what the award meant to him, Shokar replied that he is “honoured to be selected” and the award “encapsulates the sacrifices [his] family has made and the support they have given [him] through [his] time at SFU.”
Calvin Cheng is a Beedie student and a part of Enactus SFU where he got the opportunity to lead the team in two environmental sustainability programs: Banner Bags and Refresh. Banner Bags, a project which also involved fellow award recipient Crystal Lin, encourages students to take “street banners that would otherwise go into the landfill and [bring] them into high school sewing classes to be turned into reusable shopping bags,” Cheng explained.
Refresh turns fruit that does not meet grocer standards into jam. Cheng noted that “the goal of this process is to offer work opportunities for refugees.”
Napassorn Limapichat, also a Beedie student, is the public relations manager at Soap for Hope, a social enterprise at Enactus SFU that gathers lightly used soap bars from hotels, turns them into liquid soap, and sells them to businesses and community members. Limapichat noted that all revenue goes towards the transitional work programs to provide a source of income to marginalized individuals.
A further 14 students were also recognized at the award ceremony, including Simrenjit Boyal, William Brenner, Joseph Fredrick, Yosof Hakimi, Crystal Lin, Henry Lo, Madeline Millsip, Alexandria Mitchell, Hassan Murad, Bukhosi Nkosi, Braeden Peterson, Robbie Sebullen, Emad Sholi, and Karamveer Virdi.