One of our district’s Safe Schools liaisons has been named this year’s Rising Star at the inauguraDIVERSEcity Black Brilliance Awards

Dacious Richardson was recognized with the Rising Star Award at a Feb. 1 ceremony, hosted by the DIVERSEcity Community Resource Society.

Created to celebrate Black talent, culture and achievements in the community, the Black Brilliance Awards “recognize some of the bright stars who are making a difference in the community and advancing leadership, equity, culture and justice,” according to Lenya Wilks, Director, Partnership and Stakeholder Engagement for DIVERSEcity.

Safe Schools Liaison Dacious Richardson (centre) at the 2024 Black Brilliance Awards. Image courtesy of: DIVERSEcity

One of three award categories recognizing exceptional leaders in the Black community, the Rising Star Award celebrates a young leader (under 29-years-old), innovator or changemaker in the Black community whose potential is “sky high.”

As a Safe Schools liaison, Richardson provides safety services and resources for students across the district, and also mentors the Black Student Union at Frank Hurt Secondary. Since 2016 he has also helped run the Surrey Newcomer Council, in addition to organizing the Surrey Youth Mini Soccer Tournament, an annual tournament for refugees, immigrants and those new to Canada.

“I came from Liberia and lived through civil war. It was difficult going to school, finding food to eat, but I was given the opportunity to come to this country, go to school, seek education. Now I’m giving back to my community,” said Richardson upon accepting the award.

Drawing on his own experiences, Richardson said he hopes to highlight positive pathways for today’s youth and help them reach their full potential.

“I reach out to the young ones who I see going in different directions because I once was a kid who never had many opportunities,” he said. “I use that negative to turn that into  a positive. I want to challenge all the young people, whatever ideas, dreams or visions you have, it is possible to come to pass.”

Congratulations, Dacious! Our district is fortunate to have you!

To see the rest of this year’s winners, and to learn more about the DIVERSEcity Black Brilliance Awards, click here.

This story has been reproduced with permission from the Surrey Schools. The district’s posting and additional photos can be found here.