Nomination: VIKKIE CHEN
Character Community Innovator
Vikkie’s passion for raising environmentally aware global citizens and community inclusiveness permeates her leadership volunteer roles, her studies at university, and her career. She believes that change can happen through individuals in their daily activities and habits.
Over the past 7 years, Vikkie initiated and planned numerous events, emphasizing how individuals can effect change through small steps in their daily lives. Recognizing the tendency that East Asian immigrant youth remain in their ethnic enclaves and seldom engage the community around them, Vikkie and Across U-hub’s Tic-Tac-Toronto (TTT) team create innovative events to engage East-Asian Canadian youth in the communities they live in, while raising environmental awareness and social compassionate attitudes and actions.
These events include tree planting sessions, educational hiking, bird watching tours, removal of invasive species at Rouge National Urban Park, packing shoebox gifts for underprivileged children, and a 2-day electronics recycling drive – collecting over 5 tons of electronics for Ontario Electronic Stewardship. She also designed a Mystery Candlelight dinner during Earth Hour to raise awareness about the issue of the diminishing population of bees and to encourage participants to plant bee-friendly gardens.
In 2015 and 2016, Vikkie was instrumental in the annual City Mosaic race, an interactive city-wide game for participants to explore Toronto neighborhoods, discover the richness of Canadian multiculturalism, and build a deeper sense of appreciation for the city. The 2016 theme revolved around the urban transformations of Toronto’s cityscape.
In 2016, Vikkie was nominated to be part of the Earth Day Tapestry Leadership program, where leaders from different backgrounds were provided with training and mentorship to lead community initiatives.
Vikkie also pursues her passion for the environment and sustainable design through her studies as an architecture student and presently as an Intern Architect. As an Undergraduate and Master’s Architecture student at the University of Waterloo, she was involved in organizing student events, community events, and curating an exhibition about the Waterloo Region. As an Intern Architect, she employs principles of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and sustainable design in building design projects.
Vikkie’s passion for the environment, her community, and her dedication to the youth she serves is evident in all she does. She employs her creative thinking, strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and perseverance, in the events she leads because she believes that small actions of individuals can grow into movements and make an impact.