Spotlight: Dr. Kes Chetty Award celebrates three recipients

October 15, 2020

By Mischa Milne, Communications Coordinator

While most of the awards presented at the 2020 MOSAIC Awards Ceremony are given to one person or organization, there is one award that often goes to multiple individuals.

Since 1992, MOSAIC has presented the Dr. Kes Chetty Award annually to a MOSAIC client, immigrant or refugee who wants to pursue academic or vocational studies. Named in honour of former MOSAIC Board of Director member Dr. Kes Chetty, the award is given to those who demonstrate a commitment to enriching the Canadian community.

This year, the award will be presented to three incredibly deserving recipients:

Bdoor Albasha – Bdoor is a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada in 2016 from Turkey. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Simon Fraser University, eventually intending to become a pharmacist. She is an active volunteer with the Muslim Food Bank, Option Organization, and with children to teach them Arabic and the Qur’an.

Carmen Aldakhlallah – Carmen is a Syrian refugee who arrived in Canada in 2016. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature which she completed in her home country, and is now hoping to complete her Education Assistant Diploma and eventually become a fully accredited teacher in BC.

Mia Roxas – Mia immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 2016. She is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health from the University of British Columbia, and volunteers as a martial arts instructor for children and adults.

Each recipient has a unique story and set of experiences, but what they all hold in common is a desire to give back and pursue an educational pathway that they are passionate about.

“It is hard and still, as a newcomer who came after living in a war and having lost everything, I found myself starting from zero. None of my education was recognized and I had a lack of Canadian experience,” says Carmen.

For all three recipients, the programs and services offered by MOSAIC played an important role in their transition to a new life in Canada. Whether it was job search support for their parents or help with learning English, Carmen, Bdoor and Mia all became connected with MOSAIC upon arrival in the Lower Mainland.

“The staff from MOSAIC have helped me manage my anxieties relating to school, as well as my social life. I have found a community that I can rely on whenever I have any problems regarding my academics, where help and support were provided to me,” says Mia.

We look forward to celebrating all three recipients of the Dr. Kes Chetty Award at the virtual awards ceremony on October 22.