St. Andrew's College
St. Andrew's College News
May 8, 2017

Devoted to giving back

We have many remarkable students in our SAC community; however, two stand out for their commitment to community.

Last week, Eric Asgari and William Deo were two of those recognized among local high school students for their community involvement.

Every year, Magna International Inc. and Neighbourhood Network donate a cash prize - The Give Back Award - to graduating students from high schools in Aurora, Georgina, King Township, and Newmarket.

Eric and William were selected based on their “exceptional contributions to fellow students and citizens, and their ongoing dedication to community involvement.”

Reading their contributions, it’s clear to see why they were chosen. 

Both William and Eric earned an impressive number of the community service hours during their high school years — 380 and 450 respectively. Both have leadership roles as Prefects, and both maintain a 94% average while taking many AP courses including, the most challenging the School offers.

William was formerly a Middle School House Captain, member of the Outreach Committee, and currently an Admission’s student ambassador. He is a senior chapter leader for the School’s chapter, as well as a member and Prefect advisor for the Academic Council, and leader for the SLG program, helping other students with assignments, homework, and test preparation. He is vice-president of Model UN, trumpet section leader for the Wind Ensemble, bugler for the Cadet Corps, and committee co-chair for the COSSOT STEM Council. As well, William is captain of the Varsity Swim team and plays 1st Cricket.

In addition, William volunteers within his local faith community in Richmond Hill. He holds a second-degree black belt in karate and assists in teaching classes. 

As well, William founded iWillSwim, a foundation that educates people about water safety and raises money to provide swimming lessons for those with limited funds, mostly young new immigrants in our local community.

William is a staunch advocate of water safety and does not believe that costs should ever be a barrier to becoming water safe. "I founded iWillSwim after looking at the importance of swimming in my own life and how much the sport had given me,” he says. “I thought it such a pity that many individuals would never have the ability to enjoy swimming for what it is: an activity, a sport, and life skill.”

The key to volunteering for William is discovering something you are fortunate to possess (be it a sport, life skill, or talent), and then find a way to share that gift with the community. “Only through this will passionate volunteering occur,” he asserts.

Eric is a member of Model UN, on the Outreach Committee, tutors other students as a member of SLG, is the clarinet section leader in the Wind Ensemble, and is a member of the Varsity Swim team and captain of the Varsity Triathlon team. Many of Eric’s community service hours were earned at the Southlake Regional Health Centre, volunteering in the cardiology and diagnostic imaging departments. Another of his favourite organizations is 360°kids, where he is co-chair of the 360° Experience Youth Leaders Edition.

“If you’re looking to simply get community service hours, you are not going to come out of the experience a better person nor are you likely to help people as much as if you were truly passionate about your volunteer work,” says Eric.  He advises others to immerse themselves in their chosen roles and observe how what they do benefits others around them.

“After all, what’s the point of volunteering, if you’re not trying to make the world a better place?”

Currently, William and Eric are weighing options for the fall. William is deciding between the VIPER program (science and engineering dual degree) at the University of Pennsylvania and the Engineering Science program at the University of Toronto.

Eric has been awarded a $30k entrance scholarship from Western University, one of 35 national scholarships offered by the school in recognition of all-round excellence. He is also one of 50 incoming Western students to receive entry to the Scholar's Electives program. It offers students the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research in any field with a chosen faculty mentor in their second year.

Story by Cindy Veitch

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