Kiran Mann has a passion for humanitarian activism, and when she isn’t studying sciences at UBC with the goal to attend medical school and become a physician, she’s getting involved in the community by raising money for local and international charities. Mann is one of the four co-founders of Youth Transforming Society (YTS), which is a youth group that spreads awareness about humanitarian issues.
In 2010, a devastating earthquake and tsunami shook residents of Haiti leaving survivors grief stricken. Mann and her three close friends were deeply motivated by the plight of those in need and started a bottle drive to raise money, and in turn founded YTS. The group raised $1,000 for the Haiti Relief Project, which then motivated them to find more opportunities to get involved in society.
Mann’s motivation to be selfless comes from the happiness people receive from her volunteer work. She provides an example, the volunteers from YTS held a holiday breakfast in December that emotionally impacted her. “I really got to see the effect of our work because the people we were serving at the breakfast had smiles on their face, and we were the reason for that.”
Despite having a busy university life, the 19-year-old has continued working with YTS after she graduated high school and has coordinated recent fundraisers. “When I see someone else smile, it puts a smile on my face, it keeps me positive. I really need that,” she says. During spring break of 2012, Mann and YTS raised $1,500 for the Japan Relief Project through a self initiated bottle drive, and the following year they raised over $2,000 for the Nicaraguan Women Farmers Project.
Mann is the eldest child of an immigrant family that moved to Canada from India over two decades ago. Her grandfather was a teacher in India and fostered the vision of his grandchildren growing up with strong family values and access to education so that they can learn and help others. She says that she is carrying out her grandfather’s dream to help society one day at a time.
The biggest advice she gives to other youths is that donating your time for a good cause without expecting anything in return makes others happy, as well as yourself from seeing people’s gratitude.
“I got a message about a few weeks ago from someone at my school thanking me, because my work has inspired him and his friends to get involved in volunteering,” she says. Mann says that this compliment has given her fulfillment in knowing that she impacted someone’s life to get involved in society.
Seeing YTS grow from four members to almost 90, Mann considers this as one of her biggest achievements. “Our cause is getting out there and more known to people and we can see it in the number of volunteers that come out,” she says.
Her hard work and leadership initiatives in raising money for charities comes from the goodness of her heart. She says that she doesn’t volunteer with the intention of getting something in return, just the satisfaction that she helped those in need.