This blog post was originally published on SFU News on July 13, 2021.
SFU Co-op student Priyanka Krishna will celebrate her graduation later this year has made a significant impact on her community while completing her degree. The communication and health sciences student was recognized earlier this year as the winner of the IMPACT 2020 student story showcase, presented by the Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon (ACE-WIL) for her work in fostering equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) conversations for the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (DSBIA).
IMPACT 2020 celebrates students who have made a positive impact and/or innovation in their co-op workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 winners were announced in April 2021.
During her co-op with the DSBIA, Krishna worked as a community engagement intern. She oversaw the creation and execution of various community events and assisted with the marketing of local small businesses which helped to increase awareness during the pandemic.
The DSBIA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that works towards improving the economic competitiveness of Downtown Surrey. The DSBIA is also committed to creating a vibrant and sustainable environment that benefits the community in areas including public safety, transportation, education and more.
The project she is most proud of and garnered her recognition from ACE-WIL, a not-for-profit organization made up of post-secondary institutions in the BC/Yukon region that offer co-operative education and work-integrated learning programs, is a web series she created called Community Conversations, in which members of the community come together to discuss topics around justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“The series created a space where people could come together to educate each other and themselves around these [topics], feel empowered and connected so that the sense of community was reinforced, and have their voices amplified,” says Krishna.
Krishna hosted four sessions during her term and the sessions continued after her departure, covering topics such as housing and homelessness, mental health, education and environmental justice.
Krishna hopes to pursue a Masters degree in leadership and management and work full-time in the not-for-profit sector, specifically in health care. Her dream is to work for the World Health Organization.