The recent graduate is the first student at L.A. Matheson Secondary School to receive the Loran Award and the fifth in the Surrey school district since the award’s inception.
Many of British Columbia’s South Asian youth have been in the limelight the last couple of months for their skills and achievements. One among them is L.A. Matheson’s recent graduate Govind Deol, a recipient of the 2020 Loran Award. The Award is a Canadian $100,000 four-year undergraduate award for character, service and leadership. This Award is a milestone for not only Govind but also his school. Govind is the first student at L.A. Matheson Secondary School to receive the Loran Award and the fifth in the Surrey school district since the award’s inception in 1988. “This award is unique because it not only awards individuals for their past achievements but instead focuses on allowing them to learn and grow through different experiences. Loran Award will allow me to learn and grow from new experiences alongside strong leaders to help make a difference in our world,” expresses Govind.
The Surrey-based Loran scholar is grateful for the community and his school for his experiences and growth. “Over the last five years, my community has become a big part of my life. My community has taught me many valuable skills and has allowed me to learn and grow,” he shares, further adding that L.A. Matheson created the foundation for him to learn the value of community. “It is a great school where everyone is a big family who pushes each other to learn and grow to succeed. One of the biggest reasons that I was able to become a Loran scholar was because I attended L.A. Matheson. I am proud to be an L.A. Matheson Mustang for life, and being able to represent my school is a great honour,” says the math and science genius.
Besides academic excellence, Govind has also been heavily involved in extra-curricular activities and volunteering. He started a basketball program for elementary school students and a summer camp called Camp Next for youth. “The basketball program was my first main volunteer experience. I started it to provide children with the opportunity to play and have fun. However, this experience showed me how a small step can make a big difference, and it motivated me to get more involved in my community,” says Govind. Camp Next was started six years ago by a teacher at L.A. Matheson and some of his students. It began with 60 kids attending the camp and has now grown to approximately 300 children. The camp aims to provide children with the opportunity to have fun while they learn valuable life skills. “It keeps children away from negative experiences such as television during the summer and keeps them engaged with people of their community. Also, it tries to make the transition of elementary school to high-school easier by allowing elementary school children to make connections with student leaders from L.A. Matheson during the camp,” adds Govind, who has volunteered for SAF, Surrey Crime Prevention Society, and Kinsmen Lodge.
Govind will be attending UBC-Okanagan to get a Bachelor of Science degree and fulfill his goal of becoming a doctor. He proudly states that his parents are his role models. “I have always seen them work hard to accomplish their goals. They have shown me the importance of hard work, and their support has constantly helped me achieve my own goals,” says Govind gratefully. His parents, Sarabjot and Harpreet Deol, have seen Govind work hard from a young age and are proud of him for getting the Loran Award.
“We hope that he continues to accomplish great things and achieves his goal of making a difference in our community,” they say. The passionate youth believes that hard work is the most important thing to accomplish one’s goals. “As long as we are willing to put in effort into the tasks that we do, results will come.” His advice for other students is “to try new things so that they can find their path. Sometimes we think that certain opportunities are not made for us, but sometimes we find out that we are passionate about things that we never even knew existed before. So, I believe that we should put ourselves out there, discover our path, and keep an open mindset so that we can continue to learn and grow.”
Photos: Contributed by Govind Deol