Violet Richardson Award 2022 Recipient – Manpreet Dhesi

Manpreet Dhesi
Tamanawis Secondary School
Violet Richardson Award (2022) Recipient

My name is Manpreet Dhesi, I am a grade 11 student at Tamanawis Secondary School. Firstly, I would like to thank Soroptimist International of Vancouver for being acknowledged for my community and school wide, volunteer efforts. As a volunteer I run a club at my school known as girlscantalktamanawis in which we strive to make a positive impact through issues we see within the community and throughout my school.

I am also one of the co-founder’s of GenConnect. We help seniors feel more comfortable in this new era and assist them in connecting with their community and grandchildren. With the help and support of Solid State, my four friends and mentors we took the initiative to address our community’s mental health and intergenerational connection issue.

When the pandemic started in 2020, we noticed how seniors were impacted more dramatically due to being stuck in their homes. They also suffered from other situations, such as a lack of communication with their grandchildren caused by unacquainted cultural language skills. To counteract this, in August 2020, I, three of my other friends and I met as a group with some mentors. We launched our project as GENTECH, where we focused on teaching seniors’ technology so they could engage with others. Through our initiative, we taught seniors about Zoom and created virtual events to help them become more accustomed to the new environment. Over time, as our project grew and restrictions were lifted, we changed our project to “GenConnect”, which then shifted gears into in-person events.

I have learned multiple lessons, grown as a person, and made unforgettable memories. Once again, I would like to thank Soroptimist International of Vancouver for this award!