Reyab Saluja

Ben Fagan

Richmond Hill High School

Richmond Hill, ON

I am nominating Reyab as he has laboured to build a full suite of skills, traits, and qualities to develop a well-rounded personality. Reyab is someone who is succeeding tremendously both inside and outside of the classroom.

As a student who was identified as intellectually gifted by the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) since 2018, Reyab has had the opportunity to take advanced classes. He was admitted into the YRDSB 2019 "Reach Ahead" and PrIDE programs for academically gifted students, allowing him to take five Grade 11 courses in Grade 10, and five Grade 12 courses in Grade 11.

In addition to AP Computer Science Grade 11 and 12 courses at school, Reyab has taken AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams, scoring a 5/5 on both.

This student has also excelled outside of the traditional classroom. Currently in co-op Reyab is serving as an iOS Developer Intern at Digitera, working on an innovative app for 35,000 schools, 16 million students, and 40,000 vendors. This role has enhanced his leadership, project management, and conflict resolution skills.

Beyond the classroom, as the founder and former President of the Physics Club at Richmond Hill High School, Reyab has benefitted from rich social interactions and sharpened his leadership skills. As the Co-Founder of The First Aid Club Reyab has applied his CPR training from the Lifesaving Society of Canada, part of his Lifeguard Certifications.

In the NRGHacks Hackathon in November 2023, an 8-hour intra-school competition where teams of 5 or fewer competed, the challenge was to develop software to improve the quality of lives of public education teachers. Outnumbered but not outmaneuvered, Reyab's two-person team won the award for the "Most Creative Solution."

Reyab's creative side is fueled by a love for singing and music. He has been singing competitively since 2014. This has led Reyab to compete in national championships like the CNE and the Hidden Talent Canada Contests. To complement his singing, he has completed Levels 1 & 2 piano exams at the Royal Conservatory of Music, achieving First Class Honors in both.

As well, Reyab volunteers at his former elementary school, assisting Grade 8 teachers with grading, and he tutors Grade 11 and 12 STEM subjects. At the Markham Brotherhood Seniors Club, he assists in fitness and technology, directs choir sessions, plays piano, and sings for members. Recognizing that loneliness and isolation are major challenges seniors face, he is currently building a web application that exchanges volunteer hours for free tutoring. Fortuitously, it also provides free tutoring to students who might struggle to afford it.

Reyab's extracurricular activities share a common denominator: they demand and teach dedication, hard work, perseverance, creativity, teamwork, tenacity, and empathy. In the response above, I outlined a plethora of impressive extracurricular activities and volunteer initiatives that the student took place in. Clearly, Reyab has dedicated a great amount of time to these endeavors and has made meaningful contributions to the lives of others.