British Columbia Teachers for Peace and Global Education
A Provincial Specialist Association of the BC Teachers' Federation


Gandhi Peace Award

2013 Recipient

B.C. Peace And Global Educators is pleased to announce Erina Park as the recipients of the seventh annual B.C. Gandhi Peace Award for youth. We offer this award because we want to celebrate the high level of compassion and understanding that students like Erina demonstrate.


This award recognizes and rewards secondary school youth who exemplify non-violence, compassion, seva (service to community), simplicity, and humility, and who show an understanding of “the big picture” politically, socially, philosophically, and spiritually. It is not necessary that the nominees demonstrate all of these to the same extent; however, it is desired that they be sincerely aspiring to live up to these ideals. This year's recipient does that remarkably well.

Erina took the Social Justice 12 course in grade 11, when most students were in grade 12. She was an impassioned leader, constantly bringing opportunities forward for others to become more engaged in a socially just world. She was able to understand and engage in so many areas of injustice within her school community and the larger world.  All this done with a compassion and smile for those around her, students, staff, etc. Erina is exceptionally hard working and dedicated to Gandhian principles, the greatest example being in the area of Seva. She has worked with many groups within Fraser Heights Secondary School.  The groups she has worked with are mostly based on action with a strong philosophy behind it. She has in the past gathered students to start up a composting program which was then used in the school garden. Erina advertised and gathered a large group of students to collect the compostables each day. Organizing this took great dedication and organization. She would do all this with a humility unseen in many youth her age.  She would speak to various groups (teachers, administration, classes and the environment club) with passion and explained the bigger picture ideas of why composting was necessary. Erina saw and promoted composting within our greater world.  She also attended meetings at the school district, quietly promoting these ideas.  

Erina’s greatest achievement so far has been in supporting a more compassionate school community.  She and a schoolmate brought forward an idea to include greater social activities for our special needs members of the school community. Erina's research brought together many students and began the “Best Buddies” program at her school.  Best Buddies is a national program that works at Secondary and post-secondary levels to engage peoples with special needs to create real friendships within and outside of the school setting.  There are 25 students in the special needs class setting.  Erina and others were able gather nearly 50 others to create a club that did social activities on a larger scale and more individualized level. It was the first time some of the special needs students have had friendships outside of their special education classes.  The understanding and compassion that has grown from this at all levels in the school is outstanding.  

Erina’s personality and volunteer work has brought Gandhian principles to the forefront within the Fraser Heights school community.  Both through her sharing of ideas and the living of Gandhi’s idea, Erina has earned the respect of her classmates and her teachers and become a role model of quiet simplicity, compassion, and seva for all those she meets.  She was highly recommended as a recipient of this year’s Gandhi Award.  

For background on the award itself please see Gandhi Award Information.

For any further information please contact Pummy Kaur.