Two Richmond high school teachers have been awarded a prestigious accolade only given to those nominated by former scholars they taught.
The Loran Scholars Foundation’s Teachers Building Leaders Award has been given to Andrew Wong and John Shim for their impact on student Bonnie Zhang, when she attended Palmer secondary.
Zhang, a 2015 Loran Scholar, nominated the pair for the award, which can only be given when a former student and scholar.
Loran Scholars are selected for one of Canada's most comprehensive undergraduate awards from a pool of over 5,000 applicants, on the basis of character, commitment to service and leadership potential.
Shim, who is still teaching at Palmer and is in his 25th year in the profession, said he was “honoured to be considered for this award.
“…it's really about the whole village's success, because we raise one another up,” he told the Richmond News.
“Community and leadership development is one of the most rewarding and fun things I get to do in my day job as a teacher.
“Bonnie was one of those people who really also connected with this theme in her life too.
“For me, this means starting with a sense of genuine care, sharing values, envisioning creative goals, creating deep community, mentoring and then encouraging leaders to spread their wings, fly, and then soar.”
Shim said he was “privileged” to have Bonnie work with the non-profit organization that Palmer alumni and students originally co-founded with him, called QCC (Quantum Continuum Community).
For more than 10 years, QCC focused on encouraging, inspiring and educating hundreds of different youth and young adults reach their highest potential in various community challenge projects.
“For example, Bonnie was part of this amazing team of about 25 or so very key QCC leaders who helped raise the bar and made huge contributions,” explained Shim.
One of Shim’s other former students, Caitlyn Li, said the teacher was also a “mentor, leader and counsellor.
“Now, years later, I'm also on my way to becoming a teacher and his role in my life has morphed into a friend, distant family member and a representation of my youth.
“In the future, I aspire to be a teacher that can inspire others as much as he has impacted me. Thank you for always supporting me, John.”