Social Entrepreneur Wins AYA Awards 2008

KUALA LUMPUR, 9 November 2008 – The winners of the AYA Dream Malaysia Awards
were announced today, with Dhinu Dhanveer Singh of SOLS247 being awarded Most Outstanding
Youth of the Year and SMASH being recognized as Youth Friendly Company of the Year.
The Awards, an annual event aimed to recognize the exceptional spirit of young Malaysians
and companies that are enthusiastically investing in the youth of today.
“More than the Awards just being an event or a one night affair, it is a dream for a better, brighter future. The Awards seeks to send a clear message to the world that the spirit of a man is still more valuable and important in the building of a nation – be it through the development of an individual or an institution -than skills or schooling,” said founder and Director of AYA, Kenneth Chin.

“I believe if all the youth in Malaysia or any part of the world for that matter, are able to focus
on character and morals – we as youth will be able to provide a better future for our kids,”
remarked Dhinu clenching this year’s Most Outstanding Youth of the Year.
The Awards encapsulate the heart of what AYA is all about – belief and commitment to the
emerging generation. The two categories – Most Outstanding Youth of the Year and Youth
Friendly Company of the Year – saw many potential candidates being nominated but only
seven youths and five companies finally made the cut.

The other candidates for The Most Outstanding Youth of the Year were as follows:

• Anisa Nishat bt Mohamed Ismail (Anisa)
Recognized for her contribution toward intercultural understanding abroad, she now
strives to go beyond clenching an award towards making it a reality in Malaysia.

• Indrani a/p Kopal (Indrani)
A hormonal imbalance didn’t stop her from becoming an award-winning video
journalist, striving to improve social and living standards through her job.

• Michael Teoh Su Lim (Michael)
Once a ‘victim’ of bullies, he now leads and inspires the lives of many through
leadership conferences, and community projects in New Zealand, flying the
Malaysian flag proudly.

• Nyanamambiga a/p Ugjayan (Abby)
Creative and passionate, she raises money for her needy family through arts & crafts
and tuition classes despite struggling from a muscular disorder.

• Prakash a/l Suriyamurthy (Prakash)
Despite being blind, he has persevered to becoming a renowned translator who is
now pursuing a Masters of Translation at a local university.

• Ummul Khairiyah bt Abdul Rahman (Ummul)
Not one to be despised, she rocketed to becoming a prosperous entrepreneur at the
tender age of 19 and now is teaching, impacting and inspiring many others.
The other candidates for Youth Friendly Company of the Year were as follows:

ARTS-ED or better known as Anak Anak Kota, is a community-based arts and
heritage program that seeks to explore and provides innovative and non-formal arts
an heritage education for young people through collaboration with local and regional
arts educators, artists and local communities via visual arts, drama, music, video etc
to interpret their notion of heritage.

• Life College
This is a college not driven by profits, but was birthed out of the desire to see young
people’s lives transformed through education. They see young people as the future
leaders and are committed to develop their minds, skills, emotional strength and
character, through the day-to-day classes, camps and talks. They aim to equip the
students for life, not just academically.

• RECOM.ORG emerged out of a dream to contribute to Malaysian students. Creating a
platform for a community of students to exchange ideas and experiences in studentsrelated
issues, many have benefited with regards to their scholarship applications,
through useful ‘tips & tricks’ and the various connections built with campuses

SPICES (Support for Parents, Infants & Children through Early Services) was
founded by the late Mabel Tan in year 1997, convinced that the solution to help
children effectively was by paying purposeful attention to children with special needs,
as these were the ones who were often neglected by the community.

Members of the public were encouraged to vote for both categories via text messaging from
5 October – 2 November. The Awards culminated in a grand finale during the AYA Awards
Gala Night today at the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac), attended by over 500 people.
The multi-racial line-up of performances included an opening Deafbeat (a group of deaf
drummers), Kumpulan Tarian Mahkota Perpaduan (from JPNIN), Ravi Shanker & team, AYA
Choir Project debut with Mia Palencia, and Lightbulb Productions & Flava Fresh.

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