Rotary awards high honour

Oak Bay High grad Steven Wong given Paul Harris medal

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay continued on its path to honour those who provide “service above self” with a recent award ceremony.

The Rotary Club of Oak Bay presented University of Victoria student Steven Wong with a Paul Harris Fellow Medal and  citation.

After graduating from Oak Bay High with honours, Wong attended the University of Victoria and continued his association with Rotary by becoming active in the Rotaract Club and the Circle K Club where he continued to organize initiatives to help others. In 2011 Wong was awarded the prestigious “Youth Leader of the Year” Award during the C-FAX 1070/Telus Community Awards.

“I (am) impressed with a multiplicity of initiatives that Steven has ventured at such a young age and completed them so successfully, while at the same time, doing his scholastic work and passing exams with top marks,” said Rotarian Perry Bamji. “Steven’s vision, enthusiasm and the tenacity to do something tangible for youth in general, and special needs children in particular, is what caught my eye.”

Wong’s contributions to community include working with the Eldercare Foundation, the Circle K Club, as a candy striper at Royal Jubilee Hospital, visiting residents at Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion, organizing fundraisers for the B.C. Cancer Foundation and B.C. Children’s Hospital and volunteering as a camp leader at summer programs serving special needs children through the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health. Wong founded the UVic Nutrition Club to educate students on the importance of healthy eating and active lifestyles.

He did all this while achieving top marks through high school and earning his Honours in Biochemistry at UVic.

As a UVic student he worked in the departments of biochemistry and microbiology; the department of chemistry and the department of biology conducting research.

“Volunteering and community services are ways to impact those around me. These experiences have taught me much,” Wong said. “To know my hard work went towards valuable humanitarian causes or earning that delightful appreciation from others is empowering. I helped many people throughout the years; this all led me to understand I want to study medicine. With great hopes of becoming a doctor, I have ambitions to continue impacting my community for the rest of my life.”

The award of a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) is the Rotary Club’s way of expressing appreciation for a substantial contribution that an individual makes towards social, humanitarian and other voluntary causes. The award is the highest recognition conferred on an individual who exemplifies Rotary’s principal motto Service Above Self.

“In Rotary, we are placing a great emphasis on youth – be they local or overseas. We sincerely believe that amongst the youth of today there will be some leaders and we are simply paving the way to achieve their dreams and their goals. Steven is a leader par excellence,” Bamji said.

The Rotary Foundation authorizes Rotary clubs throughout the world to make one PHF award for every U.S. $1,000 club members contribute to the Rotary Foundation.

Last year, Oak Bay members donated more than $20,000 to the Rotary Foundation.