Contributed by the Central Okanagan Foundation
Awantika Mittal is only 22 years old but has been volunteering for most of her life already. With her parents Parveen Kumar and Neeru Mittal as her role models, volunteering is just a way of life for this ambitious young student. She learned from her parents that it is important to be kind and “to have a good heart before everything.”
She volunteered extensively in India where she participated in fundraisers to help build schools and wells, tutored math and Punjabi to children who could not afford school, volunteered at the Special Olympics for three years, was president of her University’s “Prakriti” club for two years, and volunteered at a cow shelter for 13 years before her family moved to Canada two years ago.
Her volunteer work didn’t stop there. In Kelowna, Mittal is highly involved in volunteering for organizations such as United Way, Kelowna General Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), Canadian Blood Services (CBS), is the president of CBS UBCO for the next 2 years, and numerous on campus activities that earned her Volunteer of the month for November 2016 at UBCO.
She has joined CNIB and the Wise and Well volunteer program for this year, showing her dedication to continuing to help those in need in her community.
Volunteering is important to Mittal because it “increases your gratefulness toward God” and serves as a reminder to be satisfied with everything she has because if others who are much less fortunate can still find reason to smile, then so can she.
When she is not studying or volunteering, Mittal likes to sing and can be found having meaningful chats with her mom, or eating “a lot, a lot!”
The Volunteer Spirit Scholarship Award will assist in Mittal’s education journey by allowing her to purchase pricey textbooks and take the MCAT admission test for medical school, which will bring her that much closer to her dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon.
The Central Okanagan Foundation celebrated their 40th Anniversary by awarding five deserving post-secondary students with a $1,500 scholarship from the newly created Central Okanagan Foundation Volunteer Spirit Scholarship Fund. Each of the five scholarship recipients will be featured.