Kevin Javanmardi was one of 38 silver-level recipients for the 2019 Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
The well-rounded 16-year-old can be seen in the ring kickboxing, teaching children about virtues and kindness, and playing the guitar and piano as he worked to complete the program.
But his three-day camping trip was the most memorable, because of his brother.
Javanmardi biked five hours from Victoria to Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, and fondly remembered cooking noodles over the campfire.
“I kept in my mind that my brother did the same thing when he was my age and I should be able to do it as well,” he said. “He is a bit like a role model to me and I wanted to make sure I don’t fall behind.”
He also attended kickboxing three days a week and recently got his black belt.
“I did not think I would have been able to pass the belt test,” he said. “I just kept in mind that this was a goal I wanted to achieve, and then I was able to get my next belt.”
Javanmardi hopes to become either a computer or mechanical engineer.
To be eligible for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, youth ages 14-24 must fulfill four different activities over at least one year: service to the community, development of a skill, physical recreation, and an adventurous journey in nature.
It’s divided into three levels – bronze, silver, and gold – and comes with a lapel pin, certificate, and school credit.
More than 15,000 youth participate in the program in B.C. and Yukon, and are mentored by almost 1,000 volunteers through schools, community centres, and youth organizations.