EEE undergraduate students Vasiliki Areniki and Nikita Sarker have been awarded Student Activity Awards.
Every year the Old Centralians' Trust, which operates as the charitable arm of the City & Guilds College Association, gives two student activity awards to undergraduates in each of the ten departments in the Faculty of Engineering.
The awards — worth £750 — recognise undergraduate students for their pursuits of extra-curricular activity during their time at Imperial. It is intended that the award can be used to help ease the costs of being involved in such activities during the academic year.
Nikita says that fostering communities outside of her study has really elevated her experience at Imperial — both as chair of the Imperial College String Ensemble where she plays the double bass, and as a hall senior.
“This group of people and the music we played became a very dear part of my extra-curricular life at university. It has been my honour to be their devoted chair. We have had a fantastic year, filled with great concerts, socials and our traditional Weekend Away trip which had an amazing turnout. The community in the society has remained strong between members even after departing Imperial so I was very excited that we were able to invite some alumni on the Weekend Away trip this year.
I’ve been supported by a great committee for which I am very grateful and when attending Arts & Entertainments meetings this year I have seen how vital it is that we support each other’s societies. I have encouraged my members to attend other societies’ performances, as well as attending many myself.”
As hall senior in Wilkinson Hall, Nikita has ease first years into life in halls and create a comfortable living space. “I’ve loved meeting the new first years, learning about other cultures and just being there to talk. I’ve created a close-knit community for them by organising floor events such as restaurant outings, laser tag, escape rooms and mini golf.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Vasiliki became a Community Reserve Volunteer for the British Red Cross. Recognising the challenging times we are living in at present, she has also been keen to engage with mental health and how it affects young people, as part of the Involvement and Feedback network of Mind UK.
A long-term volunteer at YMCA Greece, Vasiliki has worked as a Youth Trainer preparing children’s summer camp activities on their Giftedness Programme.
“As a volunteer at European Youth Parliament events, travelling across Europe and inspiring the youth to be active members of a society dedicated to making a difference, has been a very important part of my life. I am a panellist for the International Youth Think Tank, as part of the wide network of young people feeding the projects with ideas.”
Vasiliki has recently been combining her fitness goals and fundraising for Shelter UK by taking part in the Home Run Challenge.
In the near future, as an ambassador for STEM Ambassadors UK, Vasiliki is planning to help provide online support, focusing on engaging with younger students and providing advice, which she thinks will spark potential ideas to share with other members of the Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Society.
Our congratulations to Vasiliki and Nikita. We always enjoy hearing about the fantastic work our students do beyond the classroom and the lab.
Alongside your studies, the skills and personal development you can gain from helping make a positive difference are really valued by future employers too.
The Old Centralians' Trust forms the charitable arm of the City & Guilds College Association, the alumnus body for students and staff of the Faculty of Engineering within Imperial College - formerly the City & Guilds Constituent College.
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