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Award recipients
GALA FORCES AVENIR
2009


AVENIR 2009
Personality Awards - Graduates






Séreyrath Srin

Personality Awards - Graduates



Séreyrath Srin

Committed to making his region more dynamic to curb the exodus of young people

All those who have crossed his path will agree that Séreyrath Srin has the kind of determination in his eye that impels you to listen and get involved alongside him. The linguistics graduate student at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) has chosen to make the exodus of young people and the ageing population of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region his main battle horse. A praiseworthy and surprising ambition when you think that Séreyrath was born in Cambodia and only settled in Québec a few years ago.

Since 2005, the student’s path has been punctuated with actions that have had a tangible and lasting impact. In turn a member of an event management committee and then its coordinator and vice-president and president of various associations, Séreyrath sees his involvement as simply his personal duty to the region that took him in and to which he hopes to give back what he received. “I am convinced that each and every one of us, regardless of our origins, values, education and extent of our involvement, can become an agent of change by starting in our own community,” he asserts.

While attending an evening event at the university in 2004, Séreyrath was overcome by a sudden nostalgia for the traditional music of his country. He therefore decided to give free rein to his aspirations and, along with a few of his friends, set about re-establishing UQAC’s international students’ association, which had been dropped a few years earlier. Other students soon joined the team, setting up various activities including a multicultural festival that is still running today and which helps fund the association.

One year later, Séreyrath tackled the restructuring of the Corporation intégration Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, an organization with the mission of promoting cultural diversity and developing socio-economic and socio-cultural integration projects with the region’s newcomers and immigrants. “It was a great success and what we achieved was amazing. I succeeded in setting up a job day for newcomers and we have hosted four subsequent editions.”

In 2007-2008, the student re-established the activities of AIESEC-Chicoutimi, an organization that finds international trainees for local companies and offers UQAC students the chance to take part in international internships abroad. A dozen projects have been established and AIESEC-Chicoutimi has even increased its revenues. “He distinguishes himself through his energy and ability to work in a team. But above all, he has a keen interest in international affairs and the importance of welcoming and integrating newcomers to our region,” asserts Sylvie Brassard of the continuing education program at the Cégep de Jonquière.

This year, Séreyrath contributed tremendously to rallying students during a major UQAC development campaign, helped restructure the MAGE-UQAC services and, with the help of fellow students, managed to draw up the organization’s plan of action.

“Despite the fact that he is Cambodian, he has just as deep a concern for the development of his adoptive region as for his university of adoption. (…) His leadership is unquestionable and is clearly manifest in the way he rallies everyone around him in every project he undertakes,” remarks UQAC professor Jean Rouette.



Séreyrath Srin




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