A Red Deer student who’s given back to Central Alberta in many ways — from helping Syrian refugees to fundraising for local charities — is being honoured with a Queen’s medal for young citizens.
Poshika Dhingra said she’s been committed to making her community a better place — starting from her first stint as an organizer for a seniors’ luncheon in Grade 8.
“I decided I wanted to get involved in everything and anything… because it’s always the small steps that can lead to a big change,” she said.
Dhingra is now being honoured for her volunteerism as the only Central Albertan among eight young Albertans who are receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal.
The medals, to be presented on Tuesday afternoon in Government House in Edmonton, are given out to young people who have made the most remarkable contributions out of a list of names submitted by the principals of every high school in Alberta.
“I’m very excited,” said Dhingra, who hopes to work as a science journalist some day, helping spread the new about “amazing discoveries.”
She graduated from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, where she helped guide leadership planning events, organized a school-wide drive to gather winter clothing for Syrian refugees, and fundraisers for United Way and Cystic Fibrosis.
Dhingra also acted in the cast of Butt Ugly, a program that travels to middle schools with an anti-tobacco message.
Outside school, she volunteered with the City of Red Deer’s Greater Downtown Committee, helping make decisions about the future development of downtown Red Deer.
Dhingra is described as promoting “the spirit of feminism and gender equality” on the Youth Panel of the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association. She’s a spokesperson with the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee, where she voices her opinion about issues affecting youth.
As a University of Alberta science student going into her second year, she’s involved in Science FUNdamentals, which promotes science to elementary school children. As well, Dhingra volunteers at VIDA, a university organization that helps provide better health care for the citizens in impoverished countries.
Other medal recipients are: Blaine Badiuk of Grande Prairie, Brandon Bosma of Sherwood Park, Chu Qian Li, Andrew Min, Srishti Shrivastav and Emilie Xiao, all of Calgary, and Emily Vilcsak of St. Albert.