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30 UNDER 30: Dayah Johal, student
High School: Hugh McRoberts
Dayah Johal long thought her future was in the health care field, following in the footsteps of family members, including her sister who is a nurse.
And though that might still come true, it might not be in the fashion she’d originally envisioned in high school.
It was during the summer of her Grade 11 year, after she enrolled in the Shad Valley four-week summer enrichment program, that her eyes were opened to new possibilities.
While featuring classes on the sciences, health sciences and nuclear sciences, the program also included a mini-business plan competition.
Armed with a commerce skill set, Johal sees herself bringing efficiency into the health care system. The Shad Valley experience also revealed to Johal how she could help the community in her own way.
Johal is currently helping Richmond developer Amit Sandhu to introduce an entrepreneurship program to the Richmond School District for the next school year. Young Entrepreneurship Leadership Launchpad, or YELL, will be hosted at Hugh Boyd Secondary, and Johal is serving as the district manager. Students will earn credits toward graduation by taking the after-school program which will be taught by local business leaders.
A decade from now, Johal will consider herself successful if she is doing meaningful work that makes a difference in the community, remains approachable, and her community, family and friends are proud.
During that journey, she hopes to continue perfecting her seven languages including Mandarin, and her international business skills.
Inspiration? “Unwavering determination, empathy, spirituality—these are only a few of the life lessons I have learned from my many heroes, however at the core of it all, the people that I learn and grow from the most are my chauffeurs, my personal pep talkers, aka my family. In particular, my mom has inspired me to reach for the stars. No matter how burnt out or blue I’m feeling, she is a constant helping hand, ready to rekindle my spirits and propel me back into action.”
Most proud of? “Being born in the charming country of Canada with good health and happiness, where diversity is embraced and opportunities are plenty, makes me so incredibly fortunate. Having been blessed with so much motivates me to give back, and make a positive difference. I am most proud of my efforts to enhance our community, which in turn motivates others alongside me, creating a chain reaction of positivity.”
Advice for others? “I am humbled to be asked for advice. As a student with a thirst for knowledge, this situation is usually the other way around, with me asking others for guidance. My main advice is to be satisfied and fulfilled with what you have, but don’t settle. Strive for more, and challenge yourself to reach greater heights. You’ll never know unless you take that vulnerable first step, and try.”