Simran Kaur Dhillon
Top 30 Under 30 2020
Between studying and volunteering, Simran is the president of the FLY Youth Engagement Initiative, aiming to support underprivileged children in achieving their academic goals. She fights for justice and equality in order to achieve a harmonious society that opens its arms to all people without discrimination.
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Currently Residing In: Edmonton, Alberta
Projects and Organizations
Present: FLY Youth Engagement Initiative – Founder
I am founder and president of First Love Yourself (FLY) Youth Engagement Initiative, a program that gives children across Canada support and mentorship to help them understand their unique potential and work toward success within their academic careers. We use fun and creative kinaesthetic learning projects that allow these children to fall in love with learning and think outside of the box. In 2019, FLY organized a toy drive through which we gave hundreds of toys to children who live in underprivileged living circumstances.
Present: Sangat Youth Group – Founder
I am also founder and president of Sangat Youth Group, which works toward increasing awareness and education about the Sikh community.
2017–Present: Public Speaker
In 2017, I was a TEDxYouth Edmonton speaker on the power of youth and how we have the capability to start pursuing our passions (TEDxYouth). I also spoke at International Women’s Day at Edmonton City Hall.
Other Affiliations: Edmonton World Health Organization; World’s Challenge Challenge 2020; University of Alberta National Model United Nations Team; 2020 United Nations Peace Summit in Bangkok, Thailand; Kids Cancer Care Team, CPA Young Emerging Professionals Award
Which of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals resonates most with you?
The SDG that best resonates with the work I have done in my community is SDG 4: Quality education. Educational institutions are built on a middle-class ideology and can disregard the special needs of those who are marginalized, underprivileged, and lack the necessary support to fulfill their potential. At the FLY Youth Engagement Initiative, our main focus is to keep the children on track with the standard academic requirements in a system that often ignores them. In this program, I have met hundreds of “diamonds in the rough”–children with brilliant potential that have not been supported or encouraged. FLY is more than an educational program; we work to advocate for the needs of these students and to mold a positive mindset.
What change would you like to see in the world by 2030?
I want to see a reduction in our society’s poverty rates and economic disparity. I would like to see society’s outlook change from “I” to “We.” When those who are impoverished climb up the financial ladder, we succeed; when children from disadvantaged living situations attain academic success, we succeed; when those struggling with their health receive proper medical, physical, and mental support, we succeed.
What advice do you have for other young adults looking to get involved in sustainable development?
- Find what drives you to make a change and look for opportunities that work toward achieving that goal. Reach out to clubs in your school and to community programs including food banks, women’s shelters, and distress lines.
- Create your own initiative! Find what needs to be changed and find people who support this change, such as mentors and sponsors, and work together to create that positive impact. Power lies within a team, and together, any goal can be accomplished.
“Education has the power to change the world. In order to catalyze positive change for humanity, we must inspire educational success amongst the future generation of leaders and innovators.”
-Simran Kaur Dhillon