Simon Miyashita, an aviation student and community volunteer, is the 2019 winner of the Lynn Papp Award.
Miyashita, a Maple Ridge secondary Grade 11 student, is working towards getting his pilot’s licence and hopes to one day aid in delivering packages with the Red Cross in Third World countries to those in need of food, water and medicine.
He’s always felt that society should help others and do for the greater good.
“I guess it’s just a responsibility, as humans, to help each other out.”
He has been volunteering and doing community service for years, but for the past two has been involved with the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries, with which he started an initiative to get as many fellow cadets out each month to help in the kitchen, cleaning and prepping.
“We just went around and helped out where we could,” he said.
Volunteering has taught him is that uniting as a community is the greatest strength.
“Never underestimate and never give up on what people are capable of.”
Miyashita works at Fit4Less in Pitt Meadows and his boss, Marsha Salonga, nominated him for the award. She has known Miyashita for 10 years and noticed all the community work he’s done.
“I’ve watched him as the years have gone by, volunteering in the community, and I’m very impressed with him,” she said.
His mother, Pitt Meadows Coun. Tracy Miyashita, said her son is often one to start something.
“He’s always looking for ways to contribute to the community, so I really admire that spirit of him,” she added.
Simon Miyashita was at work when he learned he received the award, by surprise.
Carole Kubb, of the Pitt Meadows Day Society, came to his work to give a short speech. At first he thought that Salonga was going to receive the Papp award.
But then Kubb turned and announced his name.
He was honoured and said he remains focused on helping others and lifting those around him.
“As a unit, we’re stronger than when we’re separated,” he said.
Pitt Meadows Day is Saturday, June 1.