ASAP: Who are we? And what are we up to?

AMNEET AULAKH
VANCOUVER DESI

Who we are not is  ”As Soon As Possible.” Although, the kinds of things we are involved in are worthy of your attention, as soon as possible!

The Association of South Asian Professionals of BC (ASAP) is a non-profit organization consisting of South Asian professionals from various disciplines including law, engineering, education, sales, marketing, finance, medicine, accounting, media, technology and business. ASAP is a non-political, nondenominational organization.

The vision of ASAP is to exhibit social responsibility through positive action in the general community, foster leadership by acting as role models and mentors, and advocate for social issues in British Columbia. In addition, ASAP provides a forum for South Asian professionals in various disciplines to interact, network and learn from each other.

Have you ever considered how it would feel to move and inspire a young person? Tony Robbins said that one of the six human needs is contribution. To be able to contribute to another human being without expecting anything in return.

The ASAP mentorship program is a great way for South Asian professionals to give back to the community and contribute to our youth.  Our intentions are to:

  • Be positive role models for the youth
  • Educate them about the career options available to them as they move towards graduating high school
  • Get them thinking and asking questions about what is possible
  • Guide them to take steps towards discovering what they enjoy doing

During the last two years while I have been involved with this program – organizing and presenting to Grade 6, 9, and 10 students, meeting with teachers and principals of schools – I have been amazed by the overwhelming need for mentors and role models for our youth.

Our involvement in schools has been greatly appreciated by the students and teachers.  We have been to grade 8 and 10 career planning classes at David Thompson Secondary and even to classes of students in Grade 5 and 6 at the Walter Moberly Elementary school  –
we talk with the students about our professions, how a day in our working life is like, skills to learn in school, and the value of teamwork, discipline and commitment. We make it interactive and fun to exchange information such that they feel comfortable asking us questions.

Moving forward, we plan to expand this program by having ongoing presentations, seminars, job shadowing and having an online forum where students can get information and ask us questions.

We want more professionals to step forward and participate on a consistent basis so that this program can run independently with a pool of people who are committed to making a difference for kids.

I am inviting you all to get involved, either with ASAP or within your own communities, because I can tell you from personal experience that it is deeply rewarding and enriching to make such a meaningful contribution in a young kids life.

The programs and schools we are currently involved with are:

  • David Thompson Secondary School
  • Surrey iLearn
  • Walter Moberley Elementary School
  • Y.E.S. Vancouver
  • Junior Achievement of British Columbia

If you are curious about Tony Robbin’s six human needs, click here.

Amneet Aulakh is a mentorship committee co-chair with the Association of South Asian Professionals. She works as a Clinical Pharmacist Specialist at Vancouver General Hospital. She can be reached by email at amneet.aulakh@yahoo.com

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