Oye! News from South Asians Abroad
Category: South Asians Abroad Published on Monday, 05 March 2012 10:43 Written by Tamara Humphries
A young environmentalist from Halton Hills has been nominated for an award for raising awareness of ecological sustainability and helping protect the Credit River.
Harnoor Gill, 14, will be presented with Credit Valley Conservation's Young Conservationist Award at CVC's annual Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards, held on Thursday March 22nd, 2012 at Mississauga Grand.
The award recognizes a youth under age 25 who has made a significant contribution to the health of Credit River watershed.
Gill, has been occupied with many environmental issues since Kindergarten both inside and outside of the school. He has been in the Recycling club at his elementary school where he contributed in many diverse green projects and in an effort to raise awareness of going green, walked to school.
Throughout his middle school years from grade 6-8 Harnoor has been active in many initiatives of their Green team simultaneously encouraging others to have a voice in the community’s economical growth. He raised a tremendous amount of environmental awareness through his articles and last year on ‘Lets celebrate Diwali as an Environ-Thon!’, for the Star Buzz publication. Harnoor made the point that the festival of lights should be able to avoid fireworks and to include the planting of more trees locally and internationally. He even encouraged his peers by demonstrating the idea to volunteer by showing his example of ‘If I can do it then you can do it too!’.
While participating in the 360.org International Day of Climate Change in Halton Hills, he inspired a group of youths to lowered carbon emissions, and tried his best to heighten awareness by lending their hand in community initiatives. Gill was also very active in the environmental projects including recycling, a school garden and yard clean-ups.
Founder of Jean Green Drive, a non-profit initiative of action-oriented volunteers that does much work to collect gently used jeans to donate, says Gill, “I wouldn't be receiving the award without help from the community”. Before Harnoor turns 12, he would have established a gently used jeans drive as the Jean Green Drive, raised in excess of 1000 jeans which supports 1000 frontline homeless youth. He even traveled from Canada to India speaking to tens of thousands of Indians and influencing some of Canada’s most powerful business executives, politicians and entertainers.
At the age 12, he joined the Youth Advisory Council of Volunteer Halton as the youngest member ever for their regional volunteer centre to Change The World! Youth volunteer challenge campaign. He led this campaign and encouraged thousands of local students to participate into it. His leadership skills and dedication were a tremendous support to create an excellent and remarkable event. To achieve his goals, he contacted high school students, local youth organizations and clubs to inspire them to give for their generous support.
Last year, Harnoor supported the establishment of the Green Team at his school, Stewarttown Middle School. He contacted many professionals and did research too so that he could ask questions whenever he got a chance. He met with staff and students at the Brookville Public School where he had an opportunity to visit the Brookville’s Nature Garden.
Gill is a part of the two major environmental groups in the Town of Halton Hills. The first environmental group is the Willow Park Ecology Centre (WPEC) located in Norval, Ontario where he is the Youth Volunteer leader at WPEC. He is the leading member of the youth caucus for the ages of 8-15. This group is called P.O.W.E.R and it’s located in the heart of Halton Hills. P.O.W.E.R stands for Protect Our Water and Environmental Resources and was formed by the citizens of Halton Hills who were concerned about a plan to use the Acton quarry as a landfill in 1987. So far he partakes in all of the youth led projects with POWER. Due to many of Gill's accomplishments, in 2011 he was the recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award from Regional Chair of Halton.
Being a student member of the Town of Halton Hills’s Sustainable Advisory Committee in the environmental sub-committee helps Gill interact with local environmental issues from a youth perspective. An active environmentalist, Gill, who was the youth volunteer leader of the Halton Hills community, brings a youth perspective to initiatives and spearheading new projects.
Environmental Youth Advocate, Gill, who speaks about environmental sustainability to inspire his peers to take action to protect their health and the environment. He started a Cross-Globe Campaign to raise awareness about the environment and to encourage humanity to become enviro-friendly and use our natural resources wisely. He set an example that age is not a barrier to volunteer and 40 hours of community work for students are not enough, indeed it is just a starting point. He has inspired the thousands of youth worldwide to contribute their time for their respective communities. He is passionate about the natural environment, the Credit Valley river system and the natural environment.
Recently honoured with, “Canada’s Top 15 under 15” recognition by the national magazine, Canadian Family, Gill who has also featured in City Parent, Canadian Immigrant, South Asian Focus and on Omni TV. “My interests and hobbies helped me to connect with other youth because of the extra-curricular activities that I am involved in. I am also involved with POWER Halton, EcoReporters of Earth Day Canada, Volunteer Halton Youth Advisory Council, Town of Halton Hills and so on,” said Gill a Stewrttown Middle School, Georgetown student who initiated a environmental awareness along with the message that age is not barrier to volunteer to encourage youth of his age to step forward and lend their hand to their communities.
Gill says that he feels more connected with society while working in his community for any specific cause. He demonstrates responsibility, maturity, teamwork, commitment and leadership in all the activities he takes part in. "I am very fortunate to contribute my part to the Credit which is one of the strongest and most effective grassroots organizations. Volunteers’ level of commitment and passion from Halton, Hamilton and Peel residents is unbelievable and immeasurable to other communities,” said Gill.
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