Mentorship program for Surrey girls initiated by trio of high-school students will return (with gallery)

Published: January 18, 2013

LARISSA CAHUTE 
VANCOUVER DESI

Surrey mentorship program for girls

Kiran Mann, Livleen Pannu and Amneet Athwal stand in front of a collage their North Ridge Elementary School I AM workshop participants made in their last session. Submitted photo

Surrey Grade 12 student Kiran Mann wishes she had more support making the transition into high school.

“When I was in Grade 7 it was overwhelming,” the Ecole Panorama Ridge student told Vancouver Desi. “When you step into high school there’s so many cliques right away.”

Mann wanted to create a support system for young students so she, along with friends Amneet Athwal and Livleen Pannu started the “I AM” workshop (an after-school mentorship program for girls) in fall 2012.

“We wanted to be able to provide younger girls with an easier transition into high school … and unify the girls,” she said. “In elementary school you’re in the same class the whole day and when you get to high school it’s a much, much bigger environment.”

So every Friday in October and November, Mann, Athwal, Pannu and a team of volunteers met with about 40 Grade 5, 6 and 7 girls from North Ridge Elementary School. They hosted activities and discussed topics like nutrition, sports and fitness, maintaining and building friendships, exams, study habits, bullying and answered “any questions they had about high school.”

“In the program we try to get everyone together so it doesn’t matter who you were, what grade you were from – it’s a big group of girls and we just had a good time at each workshop, so we all learned something,” said Mann.

North Ridge Elementary principal Teresa Starr was “absolutely blown away” by the program.

“There’s not a lot of activities that the girls go to — there’s a lot of activities as far as the boys doing the soccer and the basketball camps, but there’s not as many activities for the girls,” Starr said. “The moms were very, very pleased to have this … it was so well received.”

Originally hoping for at least 20 girls to sign up for the program, nearly 40 out of 58 girls within the age group enrolled.

“In Grade 7 they get really nervous about transitioning,” said Starr. “There’s a definite need (for a support system) before they go into high school.”

As Starr supervised the seven-week program, she saw the young girls’ confidence blossom: Many expressed a desire to perform and present in front of their peers and the Grade 7′s were eager to prepare for high school.

“It’s so beneficial to our female community,” said Starr. “It’s a culture that puts a lot of emphasis on male and male role models and I think this really is allowing them to see some really positive female role models and want to be like these girls.”

Her students “begged” Mann, Athwal and Pannu to return in the spring, said Starr.

And fortunately, they will be back in March — and hopefully for the long haul.

On Wednesday, Mann, Athwal and Pannu met with the school board and discussed expanding the program throughout the South Surrey district and plans are already in place to mentor some girls from Fraser Heights to establish their own program.

Mann expects registration for North Ridge’s spring “I AM” workshop to roll out in February.

“I’ve kept the Friday slot open,” said Starr.


“I AM” workshop


Picture 1 of 4

I AM workshop participants.


Tags: , , , , , ,





Featured

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

India-Kashmir-Obama

Pakistani PM Sharif asks Obama to play role for resolution of Kashmir issue

MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday asked the U.S. President Barack Obama to play a role in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

crime-British Columbia

Three arrested after Surrey RCMP-involved shooting in Newton

AMY REID SURREY NOW NEWTON — Three people are in custody following a police-involved shooting in Newton Friday afternoon. Shortly after noon, plainclothes officers attempted to…
Continue Reading »

Whitecaps2

Spice Sports: Whitecaps announce new USL PRO team!

GOPI AND THE GORA FOR VANCOUVER DESI An exciting announcement was made this morning at UBC’s Gerald McGavin Rugby Centre. Soccer fans in Vancouver will…
Continue Reading »

Immigrant-language test

Woman loses Canadian citizenship for failing language, knowledge tests after it was granted in error

ADRIAN HUMPHREYS POSTMEDIA NEWS A would-be Canadian who received a grade of zero out of six on her citizenship language test and four out of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

desi bride loaded in gold

Indian bride draws flak for wearing $700,000 jewellery at her wedding

CEN AGENCY An Indian sweet maker made sure his daughter was the golden girl at her upcoming wedding by covering her in gold jewellery worth…
Continue Reading »

India

Video: Bear mauls Indian farmer to death, injures second man (Warning: Graphic Content)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian farmer was mauled to death and another left seriously injured after a terrifying and unusual bear attack in Karnataka on Monday,…
Continue Reading »

Spiderman

Video: India’s real-life Spiderman scales buildings with bare hands

VANCOUVER DESI A 27-year-old man in India who is nicknamed the “real-life Spiderman” has become one of Karnataka’s leading tourist attractions for his ability to effortlessly…
Continue Reading »

desi victim

Victim of ski accident to open spinal-cord recovery centre in Richmond (w/video)

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Dhruv Kapoor realized he was in deep trouble as he barrelled down a ski run in Russell, Man., on an icy…
Continue Reading »

op-ed

Aziza Sindhu: How do you grieve for a tyrant father?

AZIZA SINDHU CALGARY HERALD My father, Salim M. Sindhu, passed away on Nov. 10. As a child, I wished he smiled at me, as a…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone the next hit Bollywood couple?

HINDUSTAN TIMES Bollywood actors Aamir Khan and Deepika Padukone are known to deliver hits on their shoulders alone. Now, audiences may be in for a…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood sex video

I can’t take nonsense: Sonakshi Sinha on why she lashed out at KRK on Twitter (w/gallery)

HINDUSTAN TIMES Some Bollywood stars tend to be diplomatic about controversies, and choose not to react. Sonakshi Sinha isn’t one of them. Last month, she…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood wedding reception

Photos: Khan-tastic wedding reception for Salman’s sister Arpita

VANCOUVER DESI While celebrities have reached the wedding reception for Salman Khans sister Arpita and businessman Aayush Sharma to wish them their best, photos have…
Continue Reading »