Rochelle Prasad says there are “not enough words” to describe how she feels after being one of the recipients of the 2020 Diana Award.
The award, in honour of Princess Diana, is described as “the most prestigious accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work,” according to the organization’s website.
Prasad said that with this recognition, it’s important “for young people to always recognize that age doesn’t matter when it comes to making a difference.”
Prasad, 21, said she was nominated in December of 2019, but still doesn’t know who nominated her.
“I actually don’t know who nominated me, and when I asked, they said they’re not giving details,” but she added that she knows the nomination was based on her community service work through a non-profit that she helps to run.
That work is through the SPARK Foundation, Prasad said.
As one of the founders of the foundation, Prasad said its goal is to “provide life education for Grade 3 to Grade 12 students all across Canada.” The foundation uses in-person interactions, workshops, camps and community programs.
As for how she’s feeling about the award, Prasad said shes “very thrilled and honoured.”
“There’s not enough words in the world to describe it, only because it’s never about the award for me. It’s always the network that comes with it or the opportunities that are there because of the recognition. That’s one thing that I was really excited for when I heard about the Diana Award.”
Through the award, Prasad said the foundation has since been highlighted on multiple Instagram accounts including the Diana Award, and others connected to the Royal Family. She added she was also recently on BBC News, which has all helped to further her volunteer work.
Prasad said that with the award, there is usually a celebration at one of the Royal Family’s palaces, but due to COVID-19, it was all virtual, “which was not the same, but still better than nothing.”
Along with SPARK, Prasad is also involved with the Surrey Youth Safety Council, which aims to reduce youth crime through in-school workshops and mentorships.
In 2019, she was also recognized in the Surrey Now-Leader’s Community Leader Awards.