Kids Corner

Images below: first from bottom - the new atrium at UBC's Sauder School of Business. Second from bottom - Vancouver, British Columbia. Thumbnail - Ivneet, with his parents.


Ivneet Singh Bains:
In The Pursuit of Excellence



So how many scholarships and honours has Grade 12 student Ivneet Singh Bains, 18, of Panorama Ridge Secondary School (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) won in just a month or so?

Five? Ten? More? Read on.

As he listed the string of scholarships, I kept telling myself, "This must be the last one," but it just went on and on and on!

Simply inspirational. And staggering.

So what does such a brilliant person ultimately want to be?

His one word reply: "Happy."


He elaborated: "My ultimate goal is to help people. You would expect a high-scoring student to become a doctor. ... But a doctor can help at most 100,000 people in his life. But I want to become an entrepreneur and then become a philanthropist, so that I can help millions of people in Third World countries."

Ivneet came to Canada a mere two years ago in August, 2007, from Chandigarh, Punjab, with his parents and entered Grade 11 at Panorama Ridge Secondary School. He graduated on June 25 and has joined the prestigious Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.

A month earlier, Ivneet won the UBC major entrance scholarship for $40,000. The school can nominate three students and he was one of the nominees. The scholarship is based on a combination of community service and academic achievement. He will receive $10,000 per year for four years, if he maintains his grades.

Ivneet also won the President's entrance scholarship of $1,000 from UBC. This is based solely on academics and a student must get 95 percent or above.

Out of his seven Grade 12 courses, he got 100 per cent in six of them: Physics 12, Chemistry 12, Biology 12, Math 12, Calculus 12 and Peer Tutoring Math12. In English, he got 86 percent.

Ivneet was also offered the Gordon M. Shrum scholarship for $24,000 from Simon Fraser University, but he decided to accept the UBC scholarship because, he notes, UBC has a more reputable business school.

Besides those major ones, Ivneet got a raft of other scholarships in different fields.

He received the J.S. McDonald scholarship of $2,000 from Surrey School District for academic excellence and community service.

Then he got one of the two Teal scholarships of $2,500 for ESL students in B.C. who have excelled in academics and extracurricular activities from the David C. Lam Foundation.

And then, Ivneet headed to a summer camp - a month-long leadership and entrepreneurship program - in Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario, thanks to yet another scholarship: the Shad Valley scholarship.

He also received the Coast Savings Capital Citizenship Award for $2,000 and the Westminster Savings Youth In Action Award for $2,000.

But that's not all.

Ivneet bagged the UBC Sauder School of Business Euclid Math Contest Scholarship for $1,000 from the Dean.

Then he got the Surrey Principals and Vice Principals Association Scholarship for $400.

And then he won the Artona Scholarship for $700. This is an internal school scholarship given to a student based on his grad picture and academic excellence and community service.

In May this year, he bagged a 2009 Millennium Excellence Award (entrance level). He received $4,500.

He also received the Surrey Youth Recognition Award for $500, and the South Asian Family Association (SAFA) scholarship for academic excellence for $1,000.

Last November, he also received the Gandhi Peace Award.

He's also won a Toronto Book Award from the University of Toronto. He received a Historical Atlas of Canada.

And then he got the Superintendent Book Award from the Surrey School District.

The Superintendent visited Ivneet's school for exit interviews and he was so impressed with Ivneet that he wrote him a glowing reference letter. Ivneet said: "He told me that he had never written a reference letter for any student before. I was the first one."

And that's not all.

Last year, he won the Grade 11 actor of the year award. An actor, too?

He replied matter-of-factly: "That's why I am winning all these awards - I love acting, that's my passion. I think in everyone's life, everyone is an actor. Since I love public speaking, acting helps me a lot to eliminate that nervousness."

Ivneet humbly attributed all his success to "the blessings of parents."

He's the only child of Haropinder Kaur and Baldev Singh Bains.


[Editor's Note: And here's more! Soon after he arrived in Canada in 2007, he immediately began playing cricket with Master Blasters CC. Under the watchful eye of his captain/manager, his cricketing skills have improved tremendously in a very short time. During this season he has been "borrowed" by such clubs as Shaughnessy, Cloverdale and Fraser Valley and has consistently contributed in no small measure to their success.]

[Courtesy: Voice

July 12, 2009

Conversation about this article

1: Kanwal Nain Singh (Lindsay, Ontario, Canada), July 12, 2009, 8:17 AM.

What an allrounder! Well done, Ivneet. Having taught Chemistry in the high school system for 30 years, I have seen some graduates who score over 90% in Chemistry and Physics together, but achieving a perfect score in five subjects is unheard of. It's a remarkable achievement indeed. My best wishes are with you, Ivneet, for continued success in your chosen field of future endeavours. You have made your teachers, and your parents, very proud indeed.

2: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, U.S.A.), July 12, 2009, 9:59 AM.

I am glad to see young Ivneet Singh's educational achievements. I thank and request editors of - please keep on publishing more real-life stories like this one, so that young Sikh students can get encouragement to pursue high education and remain committed to Sikhi as well.

3: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), July 12, 2009, 10:20 AM.

Wonderful! You have earned an extraordinary distinction for yourself and an inimitable pride for the community, Ivneet. May God help you in your pursuit of excellence in studies and to achieve your aim of becoming a philanthropist - 'Vidya vichari taan paropkaari' [Guru Nanak]

4: Gurpal Singh (U.K.), July 12, 2009, 1:08 PM.

Shabaash! What a role model for everyone - hope parents out there are introducing their children to

5: Bakhsish Singh (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), July 12, 2009, 2:29 PM.

This guy is wonderful. I saw his interview on 'Des Pardes'. Awesome, inspiring kid! This shows how much energy our youngsters have, and what they can do if they direct it in the right direction. Other youngsters must learn a lesson from him, especially those who indulge in narcotics, drinking, and losing their identity too. Being a turbaned Sardar, he is a true inspiration for all. He reminds me so much of Ishmeet Singh, the winner of 'Voice of India' who had blossomed into an icon. May God bless Ivneet Singh.

6: Harinder (Bangalore, India), July 12, 2009, 9:12 PM.

I pray that his dreams come true.

7: Dharamveer Singh (Mumbai, India), July 13, 2009, 7:08 AM.

Absolutely phenomenal! Is he really that good or is he just a smart Sikh outsmarting the other Canadians (no racism intended, please!) Buddy, if you are seriously planning to become an entreprenur, can I have a job when you are one? Seriously! The editor has my e-mail ID ... Please contact! and in the meanwhile, may you achieve feats unheard of, break all records, and make this human birth of yours a fulfilling one! Also, remember - Gobind milan ki eho teri bariaa ... Cheers for you, Ivneet!

8: Gurjeet (District of Columbia, U.S.A.), July 13, 2009, 11:12 AM.

I forwarded this article to my children who, as many American-born children do, look for excuses why not to excel. Here is a perfect example of "how to excel". Keep it up, Ivneet, and don't lose sight of your goal ... of helping millions of people in third world countries!

9: Ricky (Sydey, Australia), July 16, 2009, 10:12 PM.

That's quite an achievement. Congratulations. Hope you continue to prosper the way you are and, again, Well done!

10: Vibhakar (India), May 12, 2010, 3:11 AM.

Congratulations, Ivneet, I hope you read this article. You left us three years ago. We had never thought you would break all old contacts. I am really happy to see you achieve so much. But I wish you could share all of this with your old friends also.

11: Vasir (Delhi, India), May 31, 2010, 7:42 AM.

Good work, Ivneet! I shall be joining Sauder soon. See you there.

12: Dr. Gagandeep Dhillon (India), January 08, 2012, 6:42 AM.

Congratulations. May he have many more successes, and continue to achieve greater heights.

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In The Pursuit of Excellence "

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