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Today’s Youth Support Their Local Community In A Time Of Panic



Youth Step Up

Joseph Mai and Gurik Mangat are two grade ten students who attended Tamanawismun on February 29th, 2020. On this day, they had the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions and diplomatic arguments at the Model United Nations Conference. They were able to receive a holistic view of various global issues that day. One of the topics addressed was the Coronavirus.

Joseph Mai found it to be a vital topic to discuss as “it is a very current and pressing issue that we all needed to discuss and find solutions for.” Gurik Mangat believed that “talking and debating about the Coronavirus and other infectious diseases/pandemics in general[…] helped put the whole situation into focus.

It showed us how pandemics have major long-lasting social, political, and economic impacts and when governments are dealing with pandemics they have to come up with solutions that respect all those different disciplines.”

The information gained from the conference “showed the extent of the damage done by viruses and how often the general public has to do their part.” He strongly urges that “the general public [does not] panic and stay[s] calm. As long as people follow the advice of experts the virus will go away.”

Grade ten, Jayden Les, strongly agrees with this notion as well. “Coronavirus is a deadly disease; however, the panic level is far too high. People think that this could end their life, but, while that is technically true, it’s only a 3.41% chance, and due to misinformation people are acting like monsters.”

He also believes that humanity has publicized its “worst side” in this crisis. For instance, a few days ago, he had spotted someone with “20 boxes of Kleenex, not to mention the people in the USA who went around buying all the hand sanitizers and reselling it for a higher price.”

Despite these terrible acts, he does not allow them to discourage or hinder him from bestowing kindness in the community. For instance, he “got [his] mom Halls and Nyquil because she got a cold and also offered to bake for anyone under quarantine.”

Additionally, he contacted Senator Julie Miville-Dechêneto to see if he could “be of assistance during this difficult time.” He believes that “we need to share the burden” of this pandemic in unity. To do such, impactful organizations such as Job’s Daughter, are encouraging their young members to lend support to their community.

Grade eleven Regan Holding is part of this organization. She shares how there is a group of women in Job’s Daughter who “are doing craft tutorials, sharing virtual field trips, and tours of museums, as well as making sourdough starters and bread from it.”

Those are some of the things that she is engaging in, as well, and have witnessed “the most interactions with.” She trusts that these activities will alleviate people’s stress, and help with “people’s mental health.”

Like Gurik Mangat she believes that we should follow the instructions of experts, and “encourage youth to stay inside.” This is something she finds “most valuable because some of us may have COVID-19 and are not showing symptoms and we might spread it to people with compromised immune systems such as the elderly.”

Hence, Job’s Daughter is initiating virtual programs. Similarly to Job’s Daughter, Whiterock Youth Ambassadors is a platform for youth to support others. Through Whiterock Youth Ambassadors, Karina Zhou and Ella Ramsay aid their community during the pandemic.

Ella Ramsay shares that “as ambassadors for the community, we thought it was really important for us to be vocal and present during this time. We wanted to continue with our program in any way that we could.”

They hosted a Skype meeting the previous Monday and determined the most suitable way to safely continue would be over social media.“We wanted to encourage people to stay at home and provide a little bit of lightheartedness at the same time. So, we made a plan to release positive videos about our own experiences in self-isolation.

We also asked our candidates to make short videos introducing themselves, as a way for them to interact with the community and continue with their candidacy safely. We hope that we’re providing a bit of levity with our online presence.”

Karina Zhou also brought into light the many other initiatives they had come up with. “We want to reach out to the seniors in White Rock, and one of the ways we discussed is by baking personalized cookies for them.”

Through social media, the team is making sure “our local businesses are still supported and those who are in need can be heard.” They support local businesses by sharing their announcements and news.

“We inform the community of businesses that are still open and ways we can still contribute. For instance online delivery.” Through these actions, the youth of today demonstrate that even the smallest of gestures can amount to positivity in these strenuous times.

However, for those who are not part of such organizations, they can still contribute to flattening this malicious curve. Practicing basic hygiene, social distancing, and following the advice of experts are a few such methods. As Jayden Les eloquently phrases this “stay inside, don’t touch your face, wash your hands, self-quarantine […] and realize that you’re doing it for everyone and not just yourself.”

Please adhere to the regulations implemented by experts, so that we do not subject the vulnerable to extensive and unnecessary problems. We must forever thank those who are contributing more than just their valuable time, but their concern and spirit that keeps our community alive. From medical experts, and the grocery store workers, to the youth of today, you are causing a ripple effect of wonderful deeds.

“Right now, I just want to remind everyone in the community that we’ll get through this. We have to make the best use of our time, stay inside whenever possible, and [not] panic. Support each other by keeping communications open.

There are so many great and easy ways to keep in touch these days, so let’s use them! Self-isolation doesn’t mean total isolation. Now is a great time to utilize the technology at our fingertips, so we can talk to each other and interact with one another.” Ella Ramsay finds human beings to be “social by nature” and that it’s important to support one another and keep in contact safely.

Even as uncertainty continues to persist in our society, we must retain our sense of humanity. We mustn’t allow these difficult times to hinder our sense of community. For some, that is the only source of strength they can rely on.

Sanjana Karthik is a student from Semiahmoo Secondary. She dedicates her time to volunteering, playing badminton and attending choir. Her passion lies in writing poetry.

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Surrey’s Sullivan Heights Secondary opens new expansion for incoming students



Sullivan Heights expansion
The expansion adds breakout rooms, lifestyle labs, a science super lab, an outdoor basketball court, and so much more. ( / Surrey Schools)

Students at Sullivan Heights Secondary will be learning in 28 new classrooms this school year. Construction on a four-storey, $34.3-million expansion has finished and is ready to welcome students for the fall semester. 

“Our board is so excited to welcome Sullivan Heights students into this new addition,” said Laurie Larsen, chair of the Surrey Board of Education, in a press release. “Students and families in the community have been waiting patiently for this additional space, which will allow staff and students to move out of a portable and into a bright, open, and engaging learning space.”

The expansion includes a new outdoor basketball court alongside a gym and a connector to the existing building, so there is a shared main entry and admin workplace. There are also additions to align with 21st-century learning objectives like breakout spaces, education preparation areas, lifestyle labs, a science super lab, large multi-purpose spaces that can be used by the community after hours, and a group of computer labs organized to maximize collaboration and innovation.

Sullivan Heights expansion

The new outdoor basketball court ( / Surrey Schools)

This new space brings the total number of classrooms at Sullivan up to 68, the most of any school in the district, and will provide seating for up to 1,700 students. 

The expansion has been needed for a while—the school had a capacity of 1,000 students but enrolled 1,646 students in October 2021.

The high school was using 14 portables to accommodate all the students, but those will now be removed. 

This expansion will also allow Sullivan to move away from the staggered scheduling system it was forced to adopt to accommodate the growing number of students. 

In the same press release, principal David Baldasso said, “This 700-seat addition means that we are no longer on an extended day, students and staff will more easily be able to collaborate, and extracurricular activities are no longer impacted by the length of the day. These new modern learning spaces such as the tech lab, maker spaces and foods labs will also allow us to offer more choice and opportunities to students for years to come.”

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Surrey Libraries Offers Access to O’Reilly eBooks and Videos



Surrey Libraries is excited to announce the addition of O’Reilly eBooks to its list of online resources. This platform offers over 35,000 eBooks and 30,000 hours of video courses on technology, business, design, science, engineering, travel, hobbies, health and more, all free with a Surrey Libraries card!

O’Reilly has books and videos for makers, gamers and tinkerers. There are more than 100 hobbyist titles including a STEAM Lab for Kids and The Lego Build-It Book, Volumes 1 & 2. More than 900 books from the “For Dummies” series are included, as well as over 150 titles on job-seeking and career development.

The resource also has technology learning paths like SQL Fundamentals – SQL for Data Analysis and Database Design, case studies like “Pinterest’s Journey to the Cloud,” and countless hours of video instruction on topics like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, Linux Fundamentals, or Amazon Web Services.

O’Reilly is one of many online resources Surrey Libraries offers its members. No library card? No problem! Sign up for a card online or visit any one of ten branch locations.

We’re excited to welcome you back to our branches! Check our website for information on hours and available services and what we’re doing to keep everyone safe.

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Canada’s Top Digital Marketing School Partners with MNBC to Launch Scholarships



online scholarship

Métis Nation BC and Jelly Academy collaborated in order to provide growth within New Collar Employment for Indigenous people and together provided 20 scholarships to Jelly Academy’s digital marketing course. Thanks to this partnership, there will be more Indigenous people with the skills and know-how when it comes to online and digital marketing. 

The Indigenous skills training that have previously been available have typically focused on great blue collar jobs such as construction and trades, but this collaboration provides a chance to diversify the available training for Indigenous people with a new focus within varying industries.

Increased demand for digital marketing

Online marketing has had a huge rise in demand especially since COVID-19 and the increased job opportunities opening up in Canada. Indeed reports that by February 2021, jobs in media, marketing, and communications jobs had clicks higher than the economy average per posting, which is why having the necessary skills and training will give job seekers an advantage. Additionally, Indeed reported 28.9% job growth for digital advertising during a forecast period of 2019-2024. 

Jelly Academy has been operating for 5 years with over 600 grads with a successful hiring rate. Over 82% of grads who come with an existing employment get a raise or promotion within 6 months of graduating the course and over 94% of grads who are students or without employment get a job within 4 months of graduation. This is due to in-depth training within the course as well as the additional skill-enhancing certifications provided through Jelly Academy. 

The program focuses on equipping students with the certificates that hiring managers from agencies and individual brands are looking for. Jelly Academy grads will leave the course with evergreen Hootsuite, Google, SEMRush and Facebook certifications that each have transferable skills.

While these additional certifications can be taken online through providers such as Udemy; data shows about 96% of Udemy students don’t finish a course whereas an official curriculum from Jelly Academy will aid students in completing relevant courses.

By providing these new scholarships for a course that has a successful hiring rate, it allows for further career opportunities for Indigenous members of Métis Nation BC.

Jelly Academy was created by industry expert, Darian Kovacs, in order to have a course that provided the foundation in digital marketing. The course is taught by other industry professionals who provide clear understanding in online marketing topics such as social media, PR, SEO, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Facebook Ads. Learn more about Jelly Academy here.

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Surrey Students Awarded Scholarships, New Scholarship Created By Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation.



CLOVERDALE, BC: In June 2020, while the world came to a halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair postponed, one of the things that didn’t stop was the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation annual scholarship. Seven grade 12 students from across the city of Surrey were awarded $1000.00 scholarships for post-secondary education by the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation.

“As a Board we collectively agreed to proceed with awarding scholarships during the pandemic, whether there was a rodeo or not, because people are in a time of financial need more than ever, and this is not a time to hold back, but to give and lend a helping hand”, says Foundation Chair Nicole Reader.”

The recipients, all of whom were part of the graduating class of 2020, will use their $1000.00 scholarships for a variety of post secondary institutions across British Columbia.

The 2020 Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Foundation recipients:

  • Vincent Labador – Johnston Heights Secondary
  • Nisha Niijar – Fleetwood Park Secondary
  • Aashna Thapar – North Surrey Secondary
  • Natasha Kalinic – Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary
  • Alexander Thornton – Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary
  • Taya Suttill – Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary
  • Skye Graham – Clayton Heights Secondary

“Each of these graduates are incredibly deserving of these awards,” says Foundation Chair Nicole Reader. “The entire community should be proud of these young people.”

The foundation adjusted its scholarship criteria, so applicants did not require having previous volunteer experience at the Cloverdale Rodeo in order to be eligible, as long as they had volunteer experience with another organization.

The Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation will also be awarding scholarships this year under its new criteria. The application deadline for the 2021 scholarships is Friday, May 21st, 2021.

Scholarship applications can be found here.

Not only has the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation continued to support the youth community throughout the pandemic, but the organization has also been provided the opportunity to establish an additional scholarship through its organization called The Isabella Olson Scholarship Award “Rising Above”.

The “Rising Above” scholarship was established in loving memory of a Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary student, Isabella Olson, on behalf of her loving family. Isabella was an extraordinary and inspirational young individual who strived to ‘Rise Above’ the various obstacles she faced while always remaining determined to succeed.

To honour Isabella’s legacy a $2,000.00 scholarship has been created to recognize an inspiring Lord Tweedsmuir grade 12 student who is “Rising Above” obstacles, whether personal, mental health, bullying, or family related complications.

A student who has the determination to continue doing well in school, who may participate in school activities community services and/or may have work experience.

“Isabella’s inspiring spirit was a source of strength to all who knew her, and it is our esteemed honour to be able to present this award and assisting inspiring students in achieving their dreams, says Foundation Chair Reader.”

The application deadline for the 2021 Isabella Olson Scholarship Award “Rising Above” is Friday, May 21st, 2021.

Scholarship application can be found here.

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Fossil Discovery Deepens Snakefly Mystery



Fossil discoveries often help answer long-standing questions about how our modern world came to be. However, sometimes they only deepen the mystery—as a recent discovery of four new species of ancient insects in British Columbia and Washington state is proving.

The fossil species, recently discovered by paleontologists Bruce Archibald of Simon Fraser University and Vladimir Makarkin of the Russian Academy of Sciences, are from a group of insects known as snakeflies, now shown to have lived in the region some 50 million years ago.

The findings, published in Zootaxa, raise more questions about the evolutionary history of the distinctly elongated insects and why they live where they do today.

Snakeflies are slender, predatory insects that are native to the Northern Hemisphere and noticeably absent from tropical regions. Scientists have traditionally believed that they require cold winters to trigger development into adults, restricting them almost exclusively to regions that experience winter frost days or colder. However, the fossil sites where the ancient species were found experienced a climate that doesn’t fit with this explanation.

“The average yearly climate was moderate like Vancouver or Seattle today, but importantly, with very mild winters of few or no frost days,” says Archibald. “We can see this by the presence of frost intolerant plants like palms living in these forests along with more northerly plants like spruce.”

The fossil sites where the ancient species were discovered span 1,000 kilometers of an ancient upland from Driftwood Canyon in northwest B.C. to the McAbee fossil site in southern B.C., and all the way to the city of Republic in northern Washington.

Archibald at Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park
Archibald at Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park

According to Archibald, the paleontologists found species of two families of snakeflies in these fossil sites, both of which had previously been thought to require cold winters to survive. Each family appears to have independently adapted to cold winters after these fossil species lived.

“Now we know that earlier in their evolutionary history, snakeflies were living in climates with very mild winters and so the question becomes why didn’t they keep their ability to live in such regions? Why aren’t snakeflies found in the tropics today?”

Pervious fossil insect discoveries in these sites have shown connections with Europe, Pacific coastal Russia, and even Australia.

Archibald emphasizes that understanding how life adapts to climate by looking deep into the past helps explain why species are distributed across the globe today, and can perhaps help foresee how further change in climate may affect that pattern.

“Such discoveries are coming out of these fossil sites all the time,” says Archibald. “They’re an important part of our heritage.”

Archibald fieldwork at Mcabee

About Simon Fraser University

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change.

We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems.

With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

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