Surrey firefighter Todd Schierling looks on as SFU student Samia Kamal chats with South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts.

Inaugural legacy award presented to Surrey engineering student

Surrey firefighters create scholarship in honour of former mayor Dianne Watts.

An SFU student eying a career in biomedical engineering is the first recipient of a scholarship from Surrey firefighters created in honour of a former mayor of the city.

Samia Kamal received the $2,500 Dianne Watts Legacy Award Wednesday (Nov. 18), during a presentation by members of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Association at South Surrey’s fire Hall 17.

“You should be really proud of yourself,” firefighter Matt Johnston told Kamal.

According to Johnston, 18-year-old Kamal was chosen from among 19 applicants for the inaugural award, which was developed to support inspiring female students who show leadership as well as a strong social conscience.

In the selection process, committee members considered not only applicants’ high academic achievements, but also their potential to contribute to Surrey in the future, Johnston said, noting it was “very apparent” Kamal fit the bill.

“We know that you’re going to be coming back in your mid-20s and making a difference,” he said.

The Princess Margaret Secondary grad came to Canada with her family from India in 2002. Her volunteer efforts have included time with the YMCA family and Connections programs, the latter of which focuses on helping new immigrants feel at home in Canada.

In Grade 11, Kamal helped in the UBC chemistry lab on a project that looked at how gases move. She is currently involved with SFU’s Women in Engineering Group (WEG), which aims to support and guide women as they study for and embark on an engineering career.

Kamal said she is interested in developing synthetic organs and improving prosthetic limbs.

Watts, who served three terms as Surrey’s mayor before leaving the role last year to run for a federal seat – which she secured last month, as MP for South Surrey-White Rock – was on hand for the presentation.

“I know you will do great things,” she told Kamal, later offering to connect Kamal with the Health Tech Innovation Foundation, for which Watts is chief executive director.

Kamal said the award brings the total she’s received in education funds to more than $17,000 – nearly half of what she’ll need to finish the SFU program over the next four years.

Firefighter Todd Schierling said the legacy award recognizes Watts’ 20-plus years of support for Surrey firefighters – including the Mayor’s Charity Ball – which has “opened the door for more donors to come to us.” The charitable association supports more than 50 community-based programs.

 

 

Just Posted

5,000 ducks race at Surrey beach

‘Ducktona’ event raises funds for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 5

Seventh lane now open on Alex Fraser Bridge

Four lanes heading southbound, three heading northbound for now

Developer looks to build 25-storey office tower by Surrey mall

Proposed for site of former Best Buy store

Infant’s sudden death at Surrey complex for vulnerable women prompts police probe

Officials say child was two years or younger; won’t comment on cause of death until investigation complete

New survey aims to create a ‘vibrant downtown that all of Surrey can be proud of’

Downtown Surrey BIA’s 20/20 Vision project asks residents for input

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

Most Read

l -->