Abbotsford teacher Nerlap Sidhu is the 2021 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford teacher Nerlap Sidhu is the 2021 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from University of the Fraser Valley. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford teacher receives UFV community service award

Nerlap Sidhu honoured for work on Equity Backpack Project and more

An Abbotsford teacher who is behind the recent Equity Backpack Project at Eugene Reimer Middle School is this year’s recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award.

The award is presented annually by University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) to a group or individual who has made a significant impact on the community through their volunteer work on a specific project or with an organization.

Nerlap Sidhu is this year’s recipient for her work as a teacher, dedicated volunteer, community engager and change-maker.

Sidhu, who earned a bachelor of arts at UFV in 2004, is described as “a relentless volunteer with a strong ability to articulate the vision and need for community connection.”

Sidhu has planned and executed a series of community and school projects that include Lean on Me, We Are Canada, Character Matters, Walk of Integrity, Random Acts of Kindness, Voices of Courage, Empathy Fence, and the Antiracism Education Project.

Her latest, the Equity Backpack Project, focuses on anti-racism and has drawn attention from educators across B.C.

RELATED: Equity Backpack Project in Abbotsford addresses inclusion and anti-racism

Another one of her projects involved the creation of a music video to the song Lean On Me as a dedication to front-line workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking part in the video were seven school principals, 13 students from eight schools, 13 teachers from several schools, and local doctors, paramedics, police officers and others.

Another project she initiated, We Are Canada, encouraged individuals from small and remote communities across Canada (including Abbotsford) to share their stories of what it means to be Canadian in 2020.

The project resulted in both a web page and a short video.

RELATED: Abbotsford students create ‘We Are Canada’ video and web page

RELATED: Abbotsford class creates Lean on Me music video to thank front-line workers

Sidhu said she is inspired by a strong desire to see her students and other children succeed.

“Children are our future and setting every child up for success is at the heart of my work,” she said.

Sidhu said also important to her in all the projects she initiates is the theme of bringing people together.

She said that bringing students together from across Abbotsford, B.C. or Canada around community work allows them “to feel heard and empowered.”

“I choose activities that allow our students to see a bit of themselves in others and celebrate each other’s stories.”

Suki Grewal, who nominated Sidhu for the award, is an admirer of her dedication and passion.

“I am proud to know Nerlap and am continually inspired by her passion for learning, for community outreach, and, ultimately, for improving the life experiences of all those who are involved in these projects,” she said. “Her service has made a significant difference to the community of Abbotsford.”

Betty Urquhart was one of the first employees of the university and believed strongly in volunteering and giving back to the community.

She passed away in 1995, but UFV keeps her memory alive by honouring a person or group each year who exemplifies her commitment to life-long learning and community.

Abby SchoolsEducation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church at 35063 Page Rd. in Abbotsford was among three Fraser Valley churches that the B.C. government tried to get a court injunction against for holding in-person services. (Google Maps)
B.C. churches in court to attempt to overturn ban on in-person services

A judge will hear arguments Monday through Wednesday

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition after Harrison Mills incident, homicide investigators deployed

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Hospital outbreaks included in Fraser Health update Feb. 28, 2021. (Black Press file)
Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreaks at Chilliwack General and Surrey Memorial

The medicine units are temporarily closed but ERs remain open, according to Fraser Health update

Chilliwack's David Leger couldn't see Mt. Cheam for all the smog back in 1998, and that led him to eventually found Loop Energy, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel-cell technology. (Facebook photo)
Loop Energy: How a humble Chilliwack startup became a multi-million dollar fuel cell pioneer

This is part 1 of a 3-part series on the rise of Loop Energy, now being traded publically on the TSX

The Bug Girl, written by seven-year-old Sophia Spencer, is being given to 500 B.C. classrooms as part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. (Submitted photos)
Reading challenges part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Abbotsford-based BC Agriculture in the Classroom participates in 10th annual event

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

A GoFundMe campaign for Riley Stevens and his family has raised more than $5,700 since launching last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock mom of sick tot ‘totally blown away’ by donations, offers help

GoFundMe campaign to help family of Riley Stevens crests $5,700

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

(Pxhere)
Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

Most Read