Penticton Rotary picks the November student of the month for 2020

Rotary student of the month

The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise is delighted to recognize Abijeet Dhillon, a mature, hard-working and empathetic Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School, as Rotary SOM for November.

Dhillon espouses the Maggie guiding principles of AIR (accountability, integrity and respect) in his words and deeds, making him an admired role model in all facets of school life from scholastics and athletics to leadership and school activities in support of worthy charitable causes and student spirit-building exercises.

Dhillon is dedicated to academic excellence. “It wasn’t easy, but I have always put my education first so that I don’t look back and regret not working hard enough,” said Dhillon. He cited being the top math student in Grade 10 and consistently maintaining Gold Honor Roll standing at Maggie as two of his most gratifying achievements.

Last year in grade 11 he attained an impressive average grade of 94 per cent while carrying a full load of challenging subjects comprising Pre-calculus 11, Biol 11, Chem 11, Phys 11, Law 12, French 11 and 12 and New Media 11.

Maggie Science Dept. Head Cory Hogg said “Abi is an extremely mature, respectful and quietly confident young man. His ability to consistently fully comprehend and apply the course material is amazing, as is his resolve when faced with a formidable challenge. I recently witnessed him working at a local pharmacy.  His professionalism, attention to detail and customer relations skills were exceptional.”

Maggie teacher Karla Kirmis said, “Abi’s overriding commitment to his studies and his valued contribution to our New Media 11 class serve to set him apart from other students.” Likewise, modern languages teacher Pauline Tinka described Dhillon as “a cheerful, enthusiastic and engaged student who is always willing to take positive risks in French, which is such an important part of language learning.”

Dhillon has also excelled in athletics, especially basketball. As a starter, he was an integral part of Maggie’s junior team in grade 10. Unfortunately, he sustained a recurrent ankle injury last year while playing on the senior basketball team, forcing him to miss much of the season. Despite this disappointing setback, Dhillon remained engaged in the program, supporting his teammates by serving as a team trainer and manager.  Ever the optimist, Dhillon eagerly awaits rejoining the team this year, although the upcoming season remains uncertain due to COVID-19.

Maggie basketball coach and math teacher Mike Redford said, “Abi Dhillon exemplifies the student-athlete. As a member of our basketball program, he has always put schooling first while trying very hard to be involved with athletics. Well-liked and engaging, Abi is a hard-working, dedicated and goal-oriented young man who quietly strives to support his peers and achieve his best.”

Among his most defining attributes is his unrelenting drive to not only better himself, but also those around him. Maggie principal Roger Wiebe said, “Mature beyond his years, Abi is empathetic and helpful. As one of our top academic students, he focuses not only on his own performance but also on those who struggle in the subject areas in which he excels, which are all of them.”

From the outset, Dhillon has been actively involved in Maggie’s leadership program, fulfilling his fervent desire to enrich the social fabric of the school. Accordingly, he has participated in numerous school pride-building (Spirit and Jersey Days), public service (Remembrance Day ceremony) and large-scale fundraising events (10,000 Tonight city-wide food drive for the Salvation Army food bank, Milk Run for the Canadian Cancer Society and MD Bus Pull for the Canadian Muscular Dystrophy Society).

Since enrolling in the superfit class in Grade 10, Dhillon has come to appreciate the importance of physical fitness in maintaining one’s health and well-being. To this end, he works out for 60-90 mins every second day at the Anytime Fitness Penticton gym. “This helps me take my mind off everything I’m stressing about and unwind for an hour or two, not to mention the accomplished feeling I experience after a great workout.”

For relaxation, Dhillon enjoys spending quality time with his tight-knit family and close friends; playing fetch at the park with his dog, a chocolate lab named Bentley that he house-trained as a puppy; and playing pick-up basketball in the summer. His favorite hobby is photography, especially taking scenic photos to capture the moment.

Upon graduation, Dhillon plans to attend UBC or UVic to obtain a BSc in the biomedical sciences before applying for entry into a medical or dental school. Clearly, he is equipped with many of the character hallmarks of highly successful people – industrious, ambitious, attentive to detail, goal-oriented and resolve in the face of adversity. These laudable traits, combined with a warm, calm and caring personality, forecast a promising future regardless of where his career path may take him.

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