Surrey names SFU students and alumni in Top 25 Under 25

"Top 25 Under 25" winners - Surrey Board of Trade

During its fifth annual reception on May 28, the Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) recognized the initiatives of select youth in Surrey, aged 25 or younger.

The ‘Top 25 Under 25’ award honours individuals based upon their business or community achievements, demonstration of leadership, and community involvement. The following list highlights the eleven SFU students chosen by SBOT for the award.


Ridge Pinto — Business (Entrepreneurship and Finance)

Recipient of RBC’s Students Leading Change Scholarship, Pinto currently works as an intern at Microsoft. His future plans include either attending law school in the Fall of 2016 or potentially going back to an internship employer.

“It’s humbling to be recognized amongst Surrey’s youth; as a proud Surrey resident, I owe a lot to a city and to a community that have provided me with so much. I hope one day to return the favour.”


Deepak Sharma — Sciences (Behavioral Neurosciences)

Sharma currently works alongside a former teacher organizing a TEDxSurrey conference to showcase the youth of Surrey. He is also the VP Student Life at the Simon Fraser Student Society, as well as an advocate for the #WESayYES student led campaign, encouraging students to vote “yes” in this year’s transit plebiscite.

“The honour of being recognized as one of Surrey’s Top 25 under 25 is very humbling and motivating. It’s a recognition that speaks to the community of supporters, mentors and role models who have without hesitation always taken out the time to assist me in all my accomplishments.”


Felicia Rafael — Alumni

Rafael is the President of Beneath One Sky, a non-profit group from Vancouver devoted to conquering poverty in our neighbourhood and around the world, and she currently sits on the Surrey Christmas Board. She is developing a volunteer program within the organization that will focus on engagement with disadvantaged children which she hopes to launch the program in the next two years.

“I am humbled to receive this honour, and thank my parents and friends for their love and support. This honour not only represents what I have done but really it represents the entire BOS team, who have worked so hard and so passionately these past 5-plus years.”


Shantelle Medel — Health Sciences

Medel is one of the founders for the organization the Beneath One Sky Community Support Society. She just completed coordinating the “Walk and Learn Program: Engaging and Inspiring Seniors and Youth,” which she hopes to sustain and carry into the future. She is also the jewelry designer for her business “A Vintage Enchantment.”

“It is an honour to win the Top 25 Under 25 award as it recognizes and is a reminder that transforming your passions into reality is key to helping you grow as a leader and in providing support and opportunities for our community.”

Lourence Singh — Business (Accounting and Finance)

Singh is the founder of an importing company Lorcorp as well as a Sponsorship Specialist for SOAR Philanthropic Society, a non-for-profit student-run organization that provides scholarships to high school graduates entering post-secondary institutions who are in financial need. He is also the Logistics Manager for Soap for Hope, and a licensed realtor.

“It was truly an honour being recognized among a group of such talented and passionate individuals who all strive for personal growth while making a positive impact on society. The award reinforces my entrepreneurial spirit and will drive me to attain continued success.”


Naina Grewal — Business and Communications

Grewal has been volunteering as a radio show host at Red 93.1 FM, working on a show targeted towards children and youth.

She is also part of the SFU Student Ambassador Club and has been a guest speaker at events throughout the lower mainland. For the future, Grewal plans to step into the world of broadcasting and media while continuing to serve her community.

“Knowing that my efforts as an engaged community member and volunteer are recognized and appreciated serves as a pillar of moral strength. It is truly a humbling and inspiring experience and a memorable stepping stone to keep moving forward in the right direction!”


Jeremy Pearce — Criminology and Sociology

Pearce created “Transit Watch,” a program aimed at improving transit safety in Surrey, after being inspired by a class presentation. Recently certified as a Canadian Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Jeremy hopes to be employed as an RCMP officer in the future.

“This award means a great deal to me. It is humbling to be recognized among the other [award winners] who have all accomplished so much in their lives and have all contributed so greatly to benefiting their community in whichever way their passion allows.”


Sean Warwick — Interactive Arts and Technology

Warwick is the founder and coordinator for “Away From Keyboard” (AFK), a game development symposium, and is currently a teaching assistant in the foundations of game design in the School for Interactive Arts and Technology. His plans include entering the gaming industry and gaining experience, as well as working towards a position as a game development instructor.

“Receiving this award meant a lot to me. It proved to me that the time and effort I spent creating AFK was worthwhile and will continue to have a positive impact on SFU and SIAT after I graduate.”


Rhythm Tang — Business

Tang is a Beedie School of Business student. She manages Hunger Actions, a four-week interactive workshop series that empowers low-income families in Metro Vancouver with the knowledge to lead a healthy lifestyle on a tight budget.

“It isn’t easy being an entrepreneur, but being awarded the Surrey Top 25 Under 25 Award has led me to realize that hard work and dedication really pays off in the end. It is only with the ongoing support from my Hunger Actions and Enactus SFU Team that we were able to create such a large impact in the lives of low-income parents and their children.”


Rizwan Qaiser — Business (Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

Qaiser was one of the the co-founding president of SFU’s Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurship Association (IdEA). He is also a research assistant in the Beedie School. Qaiser hopes to explore the role of the university in the process of becoming an entrepreneur and look for barriers at an institutional level. For the future, he is looking to create a cheaper alternative to motion control equipment for filmmaking using robotics.

“I wish it was more of an opportunity to acknowledge to the professors who have helped me and the team at IdEA SFU. The only reason it makes me feel better is because of my mum; as an international student it is almost as a confirmation for all the hard work.”