CHICAGO: The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) celebrated its seventeenth annual “Punjabi Youth Graduation and Scholarships Awards Night” on Sunday, June 11 at Viceroy of India Banquets, Lombard, a suburb of Chicago. More than 250 community members attended.
PCS Presidnet Sukhmel Singh Atwal and PCS Chairman Hardial Singh Deol welcomed and addressed the audience. Participants of “Rangla Punjab 2017,” a PCS Annual Vaisakhi cultural program that took place on April 29, received their appreciation awards.
All the Punjabi class of 2017 graduates in attendance were honored and presented with PCS certificates of accomplishment by Dr. Navdeep Kaur Sandhu.
Dilraj Singh Sekhon, who graduated from medical school this year, was the student speaker. He spoke about his experiences and gave advice about college life.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Jasvinder Singh Chawla, Professor of Neurology at Loyola University Medical Center since 2002, and Chairman, Department of Neurology, at Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, Illinois, for the past eight years. Dr. Chawla is author of numerous medical publications and reviewer of various medical journals. He also earned his MBA from Loyola’s Graduate School of Business.
“Success is defined by the individual and can take many roads. Similar to Sikhism’s five K’s, there are five S’s to success: Society, Support, Sacrifice, Setting goals / Self-discipline, and Sikhi (constantly learning). Surrounding oneself with like-minded positive people who share the same values brings out the best in an individual. As Hillary Clinton’s book says, “it takes a village,” it takes a support system of family, friends, educators, mentors, and clergy to guide one to success. That success does not come without sacrifice (time away from social activities, family, and even money). Setting goals (educational, professional, etc) and practicing the Self-discipline needed to accomplish those goals is imperative. The practice of remembering Waheguru (God) throughout the day forces one to focus on matters of importance. Seva, which is service to society, should remind one that as success is attained, one should be humble and help others as well,” said the keynote speaker Dr. Jasvinder Singh Chawla.
“Hard work is key to success Do not stop when tired, stop when you are done,” emphasized Dr. Chawla. “If Bhagat Puran Singh was here, I’m sure he would agree with an old kindergarten saying “leave your space better than you found it.” Be the type of person that no matter where you go or where you stay, you should always add value to the lives of those around you-and that’s the essence of Sikhism.”
Harpal Singh, 2017 graduate of Huntley High School, won the PCS Scholarship this year and the award was presented to him by Harinder Pal Singh of M.I.T.S. Surpreet Kaur, 2017 graduate from Bartlett High School, won the second place scholarship and the award was presented to her By Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal of Palatine.
Simran Kaur Bhalla was recognized for having been selected as the youth of the year for the city of Gurnee, Illinois, and then by the whole State of Illinois by the National Exchange Club.
The scholarship and the event was sponsored by Mohina Ahluwalia in the memory of Diljit Singh Ahluwalia; Dr. Diljeet Kaur Singh, Karamjeet Kaur Singh, Ranjeet Kaur Singh in the fond memory of their father Dr. Pritam Singh; Dr. Surjit Singh Patheja; Harinder Singh, M.I.T.S.; Bhupinder Singh Dhaliwal; Sukhmel Singh Atwal; Hardial Singh Deol; Harkewal Singh Lally; Jagjit Singh Dhindsa; Lakhvir Singh Sahota; Amrit Mittal; and Surinder Kumar Jain Viceroy of India Banquets.
A cake cutting ceremony by the graduates was held to honor and celebrate their graduation.
All the participants danced to the bhangra DJ music as a typical Punjabi family celebration.
“Kudos to PCS for consistently organizing such a wonderful free of cost event to encourage our youth to go for further education. Our youth need encouragement, appreciation, mentoring and professional guidance,” said Hardial Singh Deol.
“The purpose of this program is to promote value of higher education among our next generation. Also to provide a platform, role models, and resources for bonding and networking. This get together helps community building,” said Sukhmel Singh Atwal.
Nimma Dallewala, a well known Punjabi singer from Cincinnati, Ohio, entertained the audience.
The program was organized by Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Raibrinder Singh Ghotra, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, Bikram Singh Chohan, Parvinder Singh Nanua, Manjeet Singh Bhalla, Surinder Singh Palia, Sunny Kular, Ronny Kular, Amarjit Kaur Atwal, Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Balwinder Singh Girn, Pardeep Singh Deol, Bhinder Singh Pamma, Vic Singh, Surinder Singh Sangha, Onkar Singh Sangha, Paul Lail, Jasbir Palia, Yadwinder Grewal, Parminder Ghotra, and Rajinder Singh Mago.
Many volunteers like Sandeep Singh, Joti Parmar and Jaspal Midda helped out. Shirish Shah provided the D.J. music.
The next PCS event is Basketball Tournament at “PCS Sports Festival 2017” on July 15 at Palatine Park District, followed by “PCS Bhangra and Gidha Competition” in October and “Thanksgiving Day Parade” in November.
The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is an all volunteer, not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, healthy life style and sports, education, and good citizenship in the metropolitan Chicago area and beyond.
For further information, contact:
Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago
P.O. Box 1244 , Palatine , IL 60078
Ph: 847-359-5727, Fax: (206) 495-6532
E-mail to info@PCSChicago.org
PCS website http://www.pcschicago.org/
Facebook: Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago