Surrey’s Fawzan Hussain and Cole Izsak are among 14 B.C. recipients of a Medal of Good Citizenship. (www.fawzan.ca photo/File photo)

Surrey’s Fawzan Hussain and Cole Izsak are among 14 B.C. recipients of a Medal of Good Citizenship. (www.fawzan.ca photo/File photo)

Surrey recovery house operator and technology enthusiast hailed for contributions to community

Cole Izsak and Fawzan Hussain to receive provincial Medal of Good Citizenship

The operator of a Surrey recovery house who successfully fought back after word that five of his sites would be shut down and a Fraser Heights 18-year-old who 3D-printed personal protective equipment for organizations across B.C. are being celebrated by the provincial government for “outstanding service and commitment to helping others in their communities.”

According to a news release issued Wednesday (March 31), Cole Izsak – who calls South Surrey home – and Fawzan Hussain are among 14 people from 10 B.C. communities selected to receive a Medal of Good Citizenship.

“This important honour recognizes people who have gone above and beyond to offer help and kindness to others during these exceptionally challenging times,” Premier John Horgan said in the release.

“The latest recipients of the Medal of Good Citizenship make our province a better place through their contributions and provide an example we can all aspire to meet in our communities.”

Izsak is owner/operator of Back on Track Recovery homes – an initiative that grew through his own journey of recovery. After being deported from the U.S. to Vancouver in 2004, Izsak struggled with addiction and homelessness for several years until he finally sought rehabilitation in 2011. He borrowed $5,000 from family to rent a home, and began recruiting other recovering addicts to live with him as he pursued a better life through abstinence.

According to a biography, most of Izsak’s clients come from the Downtown Eastside or jail, and all are on welfare or disability. “He often takes clients in with no funding and his 65 beds are accessible to a segment of society who otherwise could never afford the quality of service Back on Track provides,” it adds.

“Hundreds of young men have turned their lives around because of Cole’s guidance and inspiration,” the biography continues. “Cole has risen from the depths of despair to a place where he can be an inspiration to others who might wish to take his extended hand of friendship toward a better life through recovery.”

READ MORE: Surrey recovery-house operator given provincial, municipal thumbs-up

Hussain, who graduated from Fraser Heights Secondary last year, is described as a “technology enthusiast, social innovator, and compassionate leader who believes that youth have the power to positively change their communities.”

In response to an appeal for help from Neil Squire Society’s Makers Making Change Program, Hussain self-funded his own 3D printer, and secured grants to purchase 3D printing filament in order to produce 150 assistive devices that were distributed to people disabilities across North America.

The work inspired him to research the role of technology in helping people with disabilities. He showcased his Brain Computer Interface Communication System in Abu Dhabi, UAE in September 2019.

Over the course of the pandemic, Hussain 3D-printed and delivered 1,545 personal protective equipment devices – including visors, goggles and face-mask holders – to more than 30 organizations across B.C.

READ MORE: 3D-printing Surrey student makes ‘Coronavirus Rings’ and more, all day long

The Medal of Good Citizenship program launched in 2015 to recognize people who have made outstanding contributions without expectation of remuneration or reward. It “reflects their generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions to community life,” the release states.

Selection committee chair Melanie Mark described medal recipients as “unsung heroes.”

Other recipients hail from Victoria (Andrew Beckerman and Robert McMinn), Cranbrook (Irene Bischler), Maple Ridge (Kristi Blakeway), Vancouver (Zeeshan Hayat, Stephanie Quon, George Reifel and Cara Sinclair), Rolla (Donna Kane), Nanaimo (Imogene Lim), Richmond (Farouq Manji) and New Westminster (Gale Stewart).

The medals are to be presented at virtual ceremonies in a few months.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AwardsBritish ColumbiaSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Traffic was tied up at the intersection of Scott and Old Yale Roads in North Surrey on Tuesday afternoon, after a semi truck hauling a load of pipes flipped while making a turn. (Shane MacKichan photos)
VIDEO: Semi hauling load of pipes flips in North Surrey intersection

Traffic near Scott and Old Yale Roads tied up by Tuesday afternoon incident

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Tens of thousands of farmers descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Delta council stands in solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

Farmers have been protesting for months new laws they say leave them open to corporate exploitation

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Most Read