2021 Founders’ Award Recipients

Nick Pang

Nick Pang - Nick was born in Harbin, China and immigrated to Vancouver in 2006. Right away, he felt welcomed and connected to his local community and has since always had a passion for community service and hearing the stories of those around him. In high school, Nick had a strong interest in biological and health sciences and was given the opportunity to further his studies at the University of British Columbia.

At UBC, Nick studied Microbiology and Immunology before obtaining his Pharmacy degree. He has learned to be a passionate health care professional, following in the footsteps of many encouraging family members. Nick has continued to stay true to his roots, volunteering within the community and providing telephone counselling support at the Fraser Health Crisis Line. As he continued to meet people in the community with diverse health care needs, Nick realized that his passion was in primary care and addressing the needs of the people within his community. Upon further reflection on his duty as a health care professional, Nick decided to pursue a degree in Medicine starting Fall 2021 to continue his education to better serve those around him. Nick is humbled to be given this opportunity to continuously push his abilities and awareness of the issues most pressing to patients in Vancouver.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys swimming, volleyball, hiking, and caring for his dog, Luna.

Tasha-Aliya Kara

Tasha-Aliya Kara - Tasha-Aliya is an MPH candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she will focus on social, behavioural, and global health. She obtained her BA from McGill University, where she interned with Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) and volunteered with the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). Tasha also had the unique opportunity to work with the Women of Uganda Network based out of Kampala, Uganda, where both her mother and grandmother were born. There, she was able to reconnect with her family history in East Africa while also conducting research related to gender equity in the region.

Tasha is a firm believer in ensuring equal access to health care for all and places social justice at the heart of what she does. She wants to continue to critically examine the societal determinants of health and wants to innovate more equitable solutions to the most pressing health emergencies of our time. Since 2019, she has been the community of practice coordinator for the Canadian Coalition for Global Health research (CCGHR) and this year she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Free Periods Canada, a grassroots organization dedicated to achieving menstrual equity across the country.

In her spare time, Tasha enjoys playing her piano, which she intends to take with her to Toronto from Vancouver.

Husayn Jamal

Husayn Jamal - Husayn recently completed his first-year in the combined Juris Doctor (Common Law) and Master of Arts (International Affairs) program at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. He previously completed his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development Studies at McGill University with a focus on refugee and forced migration studies. Husayn's academic interests include the gendered dimensions of refugeehood, perceptions of refugee resettlement in host communities, and human displacement due to climate change.

Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Husayn was previously elected as one of two Student Trustees to represent 64,000 students in the Waterloo Region District School Board. Since then, he has been involved in refugee and migrant rights advocacy efforts at McGill while working for the Students' Society of McGill University and for various Government of Canada departments. He continues to be involved in advocacy for LGBTQ2S+ refugees through his volunteer work with Capital Rainbow Refuge in Ottawa.

Husayn hopes to pursue further studies in law at the intersection of gender and international refugee law after completing his combined program in 2024. He has also discovered an interest in labour and employment law since starting law school, and hopes to find a way to bridge these two interests, such as by working in the area of seasonal and agricultural labour migrants who work in Canada.

In down time, he enjoys developing vegetarian recipes and tending to his balcony garden.

Amy Pietrantonio

Amy Pietrantonio - Amy was born and raised in Woodbridge, Ontario where she grew up one of seven children. As a first-generation student, Amy attended Western University and received a Bachelor of Medical Sciences in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences. She is continuing her studies at Western University as a Master of Science student in the Anatomy and Cell Biology program.

Apart from her studies, Amy has been actively involved in support work for vulnerable populations. She worked as a City of Vaughan camp counsellor and York Region District School Board tutor, teaching and mentoring children of all ages. During her undergraduate studies, she was involved with CARE, a club partnered with Autism Ontario, where she volunteered with children with autism. Additionally, Amy participated in a community project to streamline the circle of care at Children’s Hospital in London, Ontario. She worked closely with Ronald McDonald House, Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Children’s Health Foundation, Childcan, and Camp Ooch to ensure that critically ill children and their families are provided with comprehensive care. Her passion for healthcare and mentorship has directed her to the Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women as a Community Service Worker. She led exercise programs to support physical and mental health, distributed healthy meals, and collected donations for immigrant and low-income women, seniors, and families.

Amy hopes to further continue her education upon the completion of her master’s degree and obtain a career that will allow her to continue helping vulnerable populations in the healthcare field.

Steven Schan

Steven Schan - Steven was born and raised in Parksville, British Columbia, by a single mother from who he learned the value of integrity and hard work. Steven attended the University of Western Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with an Honours Specialization in Kinesiology. He will be continuing his studies at the University of Toronto as a Master of Science student in the Physical Therapy program. In his future career as a physical therapist, Steven aims to play a role in ensuring that everyone has access to not only healthcare, but also to relevant and useful information regarding the maintenance of their short and long-term health. This goal includes cultivating a practice where determinants of health such as socioeconomic status and physical environment have virtually no influence on an individual’s quality of care, or their ability to access it. Furthermore, Steven aspires to utilize a preventative approach to physical health, by advocating for the implementation of infrastructure and community-based planning that facilitates accessibility and health promotion. Subsequently, his ultimate goal is to empower those in his community, and beyond, with the tools they need to create their own health and happiness.

In his free time, Steven enjoys reading, hiking, and surfing on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Leo Fang

Leo Fang - Leo was born and raised in Kunming, China and moved to Canada with his family in 2004 for the pursuit of better educational opportunities. As the first person in his family to pursue post-secondary education, Leo attended York University and recently received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Honours in Kinesiology and Health Science with a certificate in Fitness and Counselling.

As a firm believer in community involvement and care, Leo has been supporting his community through various activities, including teaching literacy skills to kids with Toronto Public Library and cooking with seniors at North York Community Housing.

In September 2021, Leo will be attending Georgian College of Arts and Technology to earn a diploma in Pre-Service Firefighter Education and Training while hoping to work as a full-time community firefighter and a part-time personal trainer in the future. In his spare time, Leo can be found hiking, biking and paddle boarding.

Annah Setter

Annah Setter - My name is Annah Setter, I am Secwepemc and Ktunaxa, from the Whispering Pines Clinton Indian Band. I was placed in the foster care system from birth until I was formally adopted by my forever loving Secwepemc family at the age two. I grew up in Golden B.C., playing hockey and struggling to find my footing. My supportive parents sacrificed a lot so that I could move around to play hockey competitively. I began my undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice degree, torn between going into policing and attending law school. I continue to play hockey, work out at the gym and enjoy my spare time in the mountains, hiking, hunting, fishing and really anything active. Time flew by and all of the sudden I was studying for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) in the summer going into my final year in undergrad. I have finally found my footing as I will be attending the University of Calgary in the Faculty of Law department starting in Fall 2021. With my law degree, I aspire to work for my Indigenous community in combatting the overrepresentation of Indigenous people within the justice system. I want to thank the CSTF Founders' Awards committee for their support in helping me pursue my law degree, I am forever grateful.

Shadia Adekunte

Shadia Adekunte - My name is Shadia Adekunte, and I recently finished my Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at Western University specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I will be beginning my first year of Medicine at the University of Toronto in late August. Becoming a physician has been a dream of mine since I was a child, so I am incredibly excited to begin this journey! In the future, I aspire to become a physician who advocates alongside vulnerable and marginalized populations. To tell you a bit more about my family background, my parents immigrated to Ontario before I was born and I have lived in this wonderful province my entire life! I am also the oldest of three girls. The value of community has been instilled in me, so I believe it is important to use my skills to get involved wherever I can! I am passionate about mentorship and positive role models in my community, so I help lead a program that encourages Black youth to pursue post-secondary education. Outside of school, I am very excited about opportunities to play in bands! I played the flute throughout high school and I was also a part of Western's pep band. In my spare time, you can often find me reading, strength training, or watching a Marvel movie!

Darwin Jimal

Darwin Jimal - My parents came to Canada as refugees. I grew up in Scarborough and just finished my second year of medicine at Queen’s University. I look forward to practicing medicine in underserved communities one day. In my spare time I like playing soccer and cycling.

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Lakhpreet Chalal - I was born and raised in a small town of British Columbia. As my parents were first generation immigrants, it was difficult settling in a western society. This struggle is also the reason why I am deeply connected to my culture and am passionate about serving multicultural communities in and around my home town. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and am currently a J.D. candidate. After receiving my J.D., I hope to work with marginalized communities in the lower mainland who may not be able to access justice and protect their legal rights entirely due to economic, cultural, or language barriers. When I am not studying or doing outreach work in the community, I spend time with family and friends who inspire and support me throughout this journey and encourage me to reach my career goals.