Two Of Our Young People Shining Their Light

By Andrea Warner   |  Friend  |  Voices in Motion

Youth Chorister Priscila Kumar has been recognized for her philanthropic community work.

Priscila Kumar, a 17-year-old student in grade 11 at St. Andrew’s Regional High School has recently found out that she has been recognized by being placed on the Vancouver Island 2020 National Philanthropy Day Giving Hearts Honour Roll! This award is distributed by the National Philanthropy Day Committee and honours community members who contribute in a positive way to their communities. She was nominated due to her book, I Remember.

Priscila wrote and illustrated this wonderful story, which was inspired by her experience singing with Voices in Motion, and has generously donated all proceeds from book sales to the choir. Priscila expressed surprise at being recognized in this way, but grateful as well. When asked for words of advice, Priscila says that people shouldn’t be afraid to give back to their communities, and that they should aim for a topic or field that interests them. She continued on to say that any positive change you can make is significant, even if it is a small one—small ones will lead to greater change over time. She also highlighted that receiving an award is not what is important to her, but that what is important is doing anything that you can to improve one’s community.

Priscila’s future plans are to pursue a career in the medical field after her graduation from high school, perhaps in the therapeutic/psychology area. We know she will be a great asset in her field; our future will be in good hands!

Youth Chorister Chanel Mandap has been recognized for her work starting up a community program to help isolated seniors

Chanel Mandap is a 19 year old 3rd year UVIC psychology student who has been recognized by the Portraits of Caring program sponsored by Our Place Society. The program is “to promote the good works of great youth in Greater Victoria.” Chanel said that she was surprised but happy when she found out, and appreciated that she had been nominated. Chanel initially started in VIM when a student at St. Andrew’s Regional High and kept up her connection with the choir while attending UVIC. When Covid arrived, her choir experience combined with knowledge gained from her studies led her and couple of fellow students to launch the online program “Well and Wise VIC: a virtual intergenerational community

Chanel and her friends wish to assist those who are suffering from issues of loneliness and isolation exacerbated by the Covid restrictions. They currently offer free online yoga, computer tech help, a balance/strength program and holistic wellness advice.  The Wise and Well VIC program was recently recognized as an official university club, which is another example of the level of respect and acceptance that this new project has already received. Chanel explains that the club is planning to expand by offering things such a buddy phone program in the new year. She explains that many youth wish to volunteer but visiting in-person is not a viable option in these Covid times. This new program will give students a way to develop a relationship with those who could benefit from friendly contact.

Chanel credits her active, giving and supportive friends in the teamwork that has led to success of this project. When asked for words of advice, she suggests stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and being creative by trying new things for your physical, psychological and social wellness. Chanel gave the example that it was very much out of her comfort zone to take a leadership role in the Wise and Well VIC program, but that she is glad she did. She encourages all to find the courage to try something new as it may be something that will have a positive effect on your life. Chanel’s future plans are to apply to medical school, and we know that both patients and collegues will appreciate all that she brings to her chosen field.

As part of the Portraits of Caring program, Chanel sat for artist Elfrida Schragen recently and her portrait should be finished in December. Look to further VIM newsletters for a link to the completed painting!