Growing up, Andria McAulay was waiting for the day she was old enough to start doing things for others. By Grade 9 she was filling her calendar with a wide range of activities from planning school events to helping out at her local dance studio.
Flash forward and it’s no wonder that now, as an entrepreneur and Rotarian, she is coordinating an event to celebrate the achievements of youth in Langley.
The SASSY program (Service Above Self in Students and Youth) is put on by the four Rotary clubs in Langley to recognize youth efforts in the community.
Nominations for the awards are due by the end of March (postmarked by March 29 for snail mail entries or received by 11:59 p.m. April 1 for email entries).
The program had been introduced and the background work was in place when McAulay joined her Rotary club less than a year ago and in her words, she “jumped on it.” She is planning the awards evening to be held at Chief Sepass Theatre on Friday, May 6.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to show the good that’s happening in Langley,” she said.
McAulay’s interest in Rotary goes back to her own youth growing up in Chilliwack. Her brother was responsible for starting Rotaract in that community.
McAulay has seen the positive impact youth are having in Langley and believes that recognizing them in a meaningful way can have a profound ripple effect of good.
“There are some pretty amazing kids out there that are choosing to give back and are choosing to do good,” she said.
Youth aged 15 to 21 are eligible for the SASSY awards in one of the seven categories of: Community Service, Overcoming Adversity, International Service, Sportsmanship, Arts & Culture Performance, Youth Leadership, and Environmental Leadership.
One youth in each of the categories will receive a $1,000 bursary, a SASSY trophy, and a $500 donation for the charity of their choice.
No one will know who the winners are until they are announced at the May 6 Juno-style event complete with entertainment from past Langley Has Talent participants.
“I just feel that it’s such a perfect opportunity to really showcase some of those students that aren’t the star athlete, nor get the best grades,” McAulay said. “Opportunities like that can effect some change in others. That’s my hope. I want to expose those [youths] that are doing anything for anyone other than themselves.”
Nomination forms are available at www.sassyawardslangley.ca. This is the inaugural year of SASSY in Langley, but the event originated in the Surrey and White Rock area six years ago.