Helping Our Youth Succeed

Aayush Vij wants to graduate with his degree in engineering from the University of Manitoba. As a youth member of Folklorama, it is important to the Folklorama family to help get him there.

Vij has been involved with Folklorama for over seven years. From being an emcee at the India Pavilion, volunteer at the Punjab Pavilion, a Youth Ambassador for the India Pavilion, and recently, the Folklorama Youth Ambassador General.

“As a Youth Ambassador General, I was given the responsibility of emceeing Folklorama events, leading and planning events for the Folklorama, Youth Council, and the promoting of diversity and cultural understanding”, states Vij.  “Although the Folklorama festival only lasts two weeks, I continue to, and will always promote the values and beliefs of what Folklorama stands for. It is my responsibility to lead and inspire other youth to become more involved; whether that be through Folklorama or their day to day lives.”

Since 2002, together with the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, Folklorama is pleased to present the Mark & Dorothy Danzker Scholarship for Excellence, an annual award of excellence for ethno-cultural heritage preservation. The Scholarship honours the memory of philanthropist and former Winnipeg city councilor Mark Danzker, and his wife, Dorothy and is given out by long-time friend, Lawrence Cohen, to help inspiring youth like Vij success.

“I was nervous about the application,” stated Vij, “but I felt that if you answer the questions truthfully, then filling out the application questionnaire became a relatively quick process.”

Once the applications are submitted, they are given to the Folklorama Scholarship committee comprised of Folklorama Board and committee members.

“When I found out that I was chosen for the scholarship near the end of summer, I was overcome with a great amount of happiness and gratitude, “states Vij. “During the day, the scholarship was awarded to me, there wasn’t a single moment that I wasn’t smiling. I was happier seeing the joy on my family’s face than my own. Winning this scholarship was such great honour for my parents and for that reason I believe everyone eligible should apply for this scholarship.”

As Vij perfectly stated “we may not always succeed sometimes, but each experience teaches us so much. One piece of advice that I would give to other applicants is that they should apply as soon as possible. The earlier that they apply, then the less likely they are to feel overwhelmed. As well, before filling out the questioner, I suggest that the applicants reflect on their past cultural experiences and how those experiences have impacted them. After this reflection, I believe that it will be significantly easier for them to answer the questionnaire.”

With inspiring words like that, the future is in great hands with Folklorama youth!

Are you interested in applying for the Mark & Dorothy Danzker Scholarship for Excellence? Click here.