Hussain Sattar, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary, is being recognized as the Rotary Student of the Month for his work. Submitted photo

Student of the month: Penticton Grade 12 student an agent of change

Husain Sattar garners Rotary Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise Student of the Month honours

Hussain Sattar, an energetic activist of youth empowerment and social justice and an aspiring actor, is on a mission to be an effective agent of positive change both at home and on the world stage.

Sattar, a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary, is being recognized as the Rotary Student of the Month for his work.

Motivated by a strong sense of duty rooted in knowing a close classmate who tragically took his own life in Grade 10, Sattar has been passionately committed to advancing the YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) Project designed to create a healthy/supportive environment for Penticton youth, including those at risk.

His body of work in championing YES has been both long-standing, beginning four years ago, and extensive, serving as a Youth Advisor and a member of the Project’s Steering Committee.

“I have watched Hussain grow over the past few years into a passionate, inclusive leader and team player. Hussain’s commitment and dedication to YES and as a Youth Advocate is admirable,” said Amberlee Erdmann, YES Project co-ordinator.

Sattar and a fellow Grade 12 student, Sarah Wood, recently co-organized, for the third year, the hugely successful Haunted House Fundraiser. As Maggie’s major moneymaker, this year’s event raised $8,000 with the lion’s share earmarked for the Youth Resource Centre, a key pillar of the YES Project. Planned and led by students, the event enabled Sattar to have his youth empowerment voice heard, resonating not only among fellow students but within the community-at-large.

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, this past spring struck a chord in Sattar’s activism for social justice, prompting him to speak out in support of fellow students. He and his friends raised money through the GoFundMe program to travel to Spokane, WA and join the local student-led march and speak in front of 5,000 people to campaign for gun safety.

“Hussain is a passionate and enthusiastic social justice advocate who strives to effect positive change as evidenced by his pivotal leadership role in the Haunted House initiative,” said Maggie teacher Jeff Fitton.

Maggie education assistant Terri Phillips added: “Hussain is a leader to his peers and a mentor to juniors. The way he collectively brings his fellow students together for the betterment of all has been truly astonishing.”

Sattar is rightfully proud of his acting ability, which has remained his first love starting with the Christmas Concert in Grade 4, drama in middle school and theatre at Maggie. He was casted as a mid-lead in the musical Hairspray (2017) and the lead as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical (2018) and he will play Sam Carmichael in the upcoming Mamma Mia production.

“Hussain’s energy, commitment and palpable passion to projects converge to make him a tour de force. His drive will ensure his future success whatever it may turn out to be. To top it off, he is a lovely person and feels everything in his soul. He shows gratitude when interacting with adults and fellow classmates alike. That’s an excellent quality to have,” says Maggie drama teacher, Lori Grant.

Recently, Sattar has moved into screen acting, his biggest project thus far being a featured extra in the movies Skyscraper and Anthem of a Teenage Prophet.

Sattar mentions professional photography and videography among his other talents, featuring headshots, weddings, family photos and special projects in his rapidly expanding portfolio.

Despite his hectic extramural schedule, Sattar remains deeply committed to school, having achieved a grade-point average of 93 per cent in Grade 11. He lists English First Peoples and History, along with (not surprisingly) Social Justice, Leadership and Theatre, as his most popular subjects.

During quiet moments, Sattar loves to write poetry and stories as a means of expressing his feelings. This fondness of writing comes naturally from his heritage and ethnicity as his mom once taught poetry in the rich Urdu language spoken in her native Pakistan.

The following quote alluded to by Sattar reveals his introspective maturity: “Be who you needed when you were younger.” (Unknown)

Upon graduation, Sattar plans to obtain a BA in English and a teacher’s certificate. At the same time, he fully intends to pursue his overarching passion for acting with the primary goal of “getting a big break along the way.” Failing this, his teaching certification will serve as a fallback.

Regardless of where his future career may take him, screen acting or teaching, this highly motivated, conscientious and vivacious young man appears destined to seize the moment and leave an indelible mark on the social fabric of those fortunate to be around him.

Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise project. The award aims to recognize outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The club is pleased to partner with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their involvement in community service projects.

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