Wherever Aman Parhar ends up, the community will benefit.
The Nanaimo District Secondary School graduate is not a pushy or loud leader, but a calm, empathetic one.
Parhar always tries to keep any situation light and make sure people are enjoying themselves while at the same time ensuring they stay on task.
“No matter what I do, I just try to have fun with it,” he said.
As student council co-president, Parhar used his leadership and teamwork skills to ensure events went smoothly and duties were delegated fairly.
“We have one of the biggest student council groups in the district,” he said. “It’s a little overwhelming.”
Parhar sets high goals for himself academically and achieved a grade average in the high 90s despite a demanding math and science course load.
His aptitude for the sciences got him selected to work with some of Canada’s leading cardiovascular researchers last year through the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon’s summer research program for high school students – his placement was at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
Academic achievements combined with community work also got him named a finalist for the Loran Award, a national scholarship that rewards students who are high academic achievers and involved in leadership and extra-curricular activities.
On top of student council, Parhar has put in hundreds of volunteer hours at Fairview Elementary School – his old elementary school – coaching basketball and running an after school mentorship program with a few friends.
For a couple hours each week, the students would do fun leadership and team building activities with a group of 10-15 students.
“Since entering high school, I’ve tried to go back and help out as much as possible,” he said.
And as if his work at NDSS and Fairview didn’t take up enough time, Parhar also volunteered at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, tutored science students and was captain of the senior boys’ basketball team at NDSS last year.
Parhar heads to the University of British Columbia in September and hopes to become a doctor one day.
“It joins my love for science and my passion to help others,” he said.
Fairview principal Gregg Halfyard said the school will greatly miss Parhar, who was willing to devote hours of his time before and after school to Fairview students.
“Kids like [Parhar] go and then you don’t replace them,” he said. “The kids here can be really challenging.”
Parhar was a self-effacing and funny leader, but he wouldn’t put up with kids horsing around, added Halfyard.