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Abbotsford’s Christel Mazzek is building bridges with those facing isolation

Grade 12 student Christel Mazzek from Abbotsford, BC has been selected as one of 14 recipients of the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award. She is the chief marketing officer at the Vancouver Kindness Movement, a youth-led non-profit that focuses on positive change and sustainability in the community. Christel has helped with digital marketing for cleanups, fundraisers, and drives. She is also the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and is part of the social justice team.

In the fall, Christel will be attending the University of British Columbia to study science. The scholarship covers up to $28,000 over four years, with a $7,000 stipend issued directly to the institution each school year. Additionally, Christel has received the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship and the Trevor Linden Community Spirit Award. She wants to encourage other students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. Christel is grateful for the support networks available, especially as a young immigrant.

Christel has overcome many challenges in her journey from Syria to Canada. She had to leave her home country because of war when she was six years old. After spending five years in Lebanon, she resettled in Canada. Despite facing difficulties in adapting to a new culture and language, Christel has excelled in her studies, maintaining a 99% average in high school. Known for her artistic talent and determination, she uses her experiences to connect with others who may feel isolated. She has founded an art club at her school and is the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper.

Christel is actively involved in social justice initiatives and volunteers at local art galleries. Her story inspires many and shows the power of resilience and kindness in overcoming challenges.

Looking ahead, Christel aims to make a positive impact beyond her academic achievements, focusing on the well-being of others and the environment. She plans to start her undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in the fall and hopes to pursue a career in medicine in the future.