Christine Zeindler

Email: christine.zeindler@ubc.ca


 

Dela Hini won a Strong Woman award for creating her pink backpack project which distributed sanitary supplies, toiletries and cosmetics to exploited and marginalized women in Kelowna.

Dela Hini won a Strong Woman award for creating her pink backpack project which distributed sanitary supplies, toiletries and cosmetics to exploited and marginalized women in Kelowna.

Dela Hini receives Top 20 Under 25 award from non-profit, Think for Actions

Sharing the bare necessities of life with marginalized women has brought recognition to a UBC Okanagan student.

Dela Hini, a Calgary-raised, Ghana-born third-year sociology student at UBC Okanagan, has been named a ‘strong woman’ according to the non-profit think tank Think for Actions.

The organization recognized Hini as one of its Top 20 Under 25 award recipients in the Strong Woman category earlier this month.

Hini received this award for founding and supporting the Pink Backpack Project, a campaign to provide sanitary supplies, toiletries and cosmetics for exploited and marginalized women in Kelowna.

“While living in Kelowna during my undergraduate studies, I had the opportunity to witness Kelowna's growing and highly visible homeless population,” says Hini. “My sociology background and experience as a work-study student for UBCO’s Equity and Inclusion Office inspired and enabled me to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to do something positive and tangible to support the disenfranchised around me.”

Always one to get involved on campus, Hini co-founded UBCO’s Arts and Science Students Association, which helped establish and support the Pink Backpack Project.

“Inspired by the 10th UN Sustainable Development Goal, the Pink Backpack Project aims to mobilize students to address areas of inequity in the Kelowna area,” says Hini.

In their first year, the project assembled 12 ‘essential pack’ care packages, mini cosmetics kits and boxes filled with surplus items. These were then distributed by the local volunteer group, HOPE Outreach.

"I’m delighted with the accomplishments of the backpack project’s first year. We successfully provided an opportunity for students to apply their talents and skills to help support the Kelowna community,” she adds.

This success motivated Hini to apply for the Think for Actions award.

Calgary-based Think for Actions aims to support the professional development of youth and has a long-term goal of establishing a community affairs research institute. The organization is focused on effectively engaging communities through research, collaborations and partnerships poised to solve large societal challenges.

The Top 20 Under 25 award has multiple categories to recognize the efforts made by people under 25 years and the organizations supporting them. There are seven categories, including the Strong Woman division, which recognizes two individuals who are helping to raise awareness on issues that are prominent in their community.

The award is meant to inspire the younger generation and to instil a sense of selfless service to society.

“I just want to make a difference in an innovative way,” adds Hini.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Rob Shaw, doctoral student in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Health and Social Development.

Rob Shaw, doctoral student in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Health and Social Development.

Rob Shaw earns Canada’s first podium finish in Parapan American singles wheelchair tennis

UBC's Rob Shaw served up victory for Canada at the recent Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Shaw is the first-ever Parapan American Quad-tennis champion and the first Canadian tennis player to a win a singles medal at a multi-sport games.

“This is definitely the biggest win so far of my career if you consider the magnitude of the stage and the number of fans in the crowd," says Shaw a doctoral student in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Health and Social Development.

He adds that he’s had bigger emotional wins, but as far as a complete package, winning a gold medal is as big as it gets.

Rob Shaw is the first-ever Parapan American Quad-tennis champion and the first Canadian tennis player to a win a singles medal at a multi-sport games.

Rob Shaw is the first-ever Parapan American Quad-tennis champion and the first Canadian tennis player to a win a singles medal at a multi-sport games.

Shaw came to UBC Okanagan in 2016 as a doctoral student in professor Kathleen Martin Ginis’ spinal cord injury research group. Their work focuses on improving the health and well-being of the 85,000 Canadians living with spinal cord injury. In particular, Shaw is investigating the impact of peer mentorship for people with spinal cord injury in both hospital and community settings.

“I have experienced firsthand the benefits of peer mentorship as both a mentee and mentor,” he says. “This personal knowledge drives my passion for investigating how to maximize the effectiveness of this service.”

Martin Ginis, a professor with the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, says Shaw is an outstanding student-athlete and a recognized leader within the spinal cord injury community and beyond.

“I am absolutely thrilled for Rob,” she says. “He is truly a difference-maker—on the court, in our lab, and in the community. We are cheering him all the way.”

Shaw is the highest-ranked member of the Canadian wheelchair tennis team, ranking ninth in the world and is the reigning four-time national quad singles champion. In addition to completing his doctoral degree, Shaw has his sights set on qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

“I’m just really happy to be part of the massive tennis movement in Canada,” says Shaw. “There’s a really big tennis wave going through the country right now and it’s just nice to contribute a little ripple.”

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca