Caris Truong

Sharon Starr

Pinetree Secondary School

Coquitlam, BC

Caris Truong is a remarkable young woman. Not only is she a difference maker at our school, her desire to educate and empower other youth is inspirational. She is passionate about environmental sustainability and this passion has led her to share her knowledge, skills and resources with other students in our Pinetree community, in the Tri-cities and in Metro Vancouver. Caris has led our school's Environmental club for the last two years and despite the challenges of the pandemic, she was determined to work with her club to make a positive impact. During this challenging time, the club managed to host an incredibly successful and innovative Eco-challenge that involved staff and students and outcome of this challenge led to measurable differences in the reduction of emissions, waste production and water consumption. At the municipal level, Caris became a leader of Tri-Cities Force of Nature, a non-profit climate action group. Caris plans meetings, co-leads them and works with team members to create climate action campaigns that influence public policy and enhance liveability. Over the last year, she co-led an incredibly successful campaign to reduce vehicle emissions. She and her team are now lobbying the municipal government to create sustainable transportation options for seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants and students. Caris is also a Youth Facilitator for Youth4Action- a leadership program that empowers youth across Metro Vancouver to influence sustainability.

What Caris Truong has accomplished in this short time and with the challenges of the pandemic is truly remarkable. She has done this with passion, diligence, skill and a well-honed set of leadership skills that she has developed with hours of training. Caris' desire to inspire more people to make real change led her to apply for Youth4Action CHAMP (Collaborative Highschool and Mentorship Program). There she spent three months learning how to be a leader in sustainability. In the summer of 2021, she registered for BCIT's Climate Changemakers Youth Leadership Training program and learned more about leadership continuums, how to influence climate policies and how to work with government entities.

Caris Truong has worked diligently to make a difference in our school, in our community and in Metro Vancouver. She embodies what it is to be a difference maker and is incredibly deserving of the Trevor H. Shirtliff Difference Maker Scholarship.