Sal Sabila knows that when it comes to inspiring change in this world, it takes a village.
That’s why she’s made it her goal “to collaborate with youth across the nation and gravitate towards positive change.”
Sabila, a Grade 12 student at Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, was presented with this year’s 55 Division Community Police Liaison Committee Scholarship on June 14.
The $3000 bursary is given to a student attending a public or Catholic school in 55 division boundaries, and is mainly based on community involvement.
She’s also the recipient of the second annual Danforth East Community Association’s Young Leaders scholarship, which honours community activism.
Sabila, who immigrated to Canada when she was in the Grade 6, founded Youth Gravity, a Regent Park-based youth council and non-profit organization, helped to develop a survey that the Toronto Community Housing Corporation used to develop safety zones in her community, volunteers with Youth Empowering Parents, Youth Safety Project — a newcomer’s orientation week program — and tutors students in mathematics and Bangla.
She also founded a group at her school called Rise Above, which aims to help students “rise above” the stigma surrounding mental health, has been a member of student council for two years, is a contributor to her school newspaper, runs clothing and food drives, and is a member of several other organizations at her school.
According to Constable Farzad Ghotbi, who worked with Sabila in the Youth in Policing Initiative, Sabila also just won the ProAction Cops & Kids Youth Award.
Sabila said that the award will help her with the costs of tuition and books, and that it was “an honour” to receive.
Sabila has been accepted to the University of Toronto, where she will be studying mathematics and physical science, with the long-term goal of becoming a teacher.