Surrey is fortunate to have some very engaged business leaders who see a role for themselves and their businesses in helping alleviate poverty. Arash Askarian and Daniel De Bartolo, owners of Surrey Mitsubishi, are a great example. While very busy with the details of opening their dealership in 2015, they also wanted to find ways to incorporate into their new business the opportunity to give back to the community. They were particularly interested in helping at risk youth launch successfully into the workforce.
The Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society introduced Arash to Michelle Shaw, Director of Youth & Addictions Services and Tyler Lee, Coordinator of Surrey Youth Housing Services with Pacific Community Resources Society. Keen to see a youth facility first hand, Tyler brought Arash to the Guildford Youth Resource Centre, one of two centres under the umbrella of the Surrey Youth Resource Centre that offers a wide range of services for youth between the ages of 12 and 19. The tour inspired Arash to get more involved. Mitsubishi’s generosity not only made Christmas for these youth, it demonstrated the impact that can be made when someone sees the need in their community and acts on it.
Youth at PCRS’ Guildford house received gift cards at Christmas the past two years thanks to the generosity of Arash and his staff at Surrey Mitsubishi. The dealership was also the exclusive sponsor of The 19th Birthday Party, an art installation and event highlighting the needs of at risk youth aging out of care. The event was the culmination of a project of the Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition called Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Aging Out of Care.
Arash is interested in mentoring a youth and will continue to engage with PCRS on opportunities to support at risk youth.
Since 1984, PCRS has been providing education programs, employment services, and addiction counselling and prevention to youth and families in Surrey. PCRS also offers 11 long term semi-independent living beds for youth in Surrey. Through partnerships with organizations and businesses like Surrey Mitsubishi, PCRS is building community capacity and continues to deliver exceptional support services and resources for youth and families.