Updated: November 20, 2017, 6:09 AM
Daryl Dela Cruz is seen mainstreaming for his favourite cause. (Provided)
Surrey, B. C.
Daryl Dela Cruz gets Community Leader Award
By Ted Alcuitas
Transportation advocate Daryl Dela Cruz won top honours as a community builder at the recent 15th annual Community Leader Awards by the Surrey-Now Leader newspaper.
The 22-year old Dela Cruz was the only Filipino among the ten people honoured in seven categories.
The award ceremonies was held at the Sheraton Vancouver Guilford Hotel on November 16.
The Community Builder category honours “someone who has taken the initiative to engage a variety of Surrey residents in an innovative or new community project or event. The initiative may assist different groups to work together, address a gap in community participation, or result in a more inclusive, engaged community.”
With a passion for improving public transportation in Surrey, he created and manages two websites, SkyTrain for Surrey and a personal blog Daryl’s Dialogue. It features his take on transportation, politics and issues in Metro Vancouver.
“Transportation is an enabler and it is what gives our society and economy the means to flourish and prosper,” he says. He believes that the value that good transportation is in how it “enables and contributes to the people living and working within them.”
Daryl says. “I believe that the Decision makers shouldn’t underestimate the value of investing in transportation infrastructure and doing it right.
“A good transportation system is what makes great communities and great people.”
Daryl also advocates for other important issues in the community especially those that affect youth. These include safer streets for students and lobbying for a crosswalk that has since been installed. He also successfully campaigned for a Surrey bus stop at 156th Street that would connect Langley to Coquitlam and Vancouver.
“What I find unique about Surrey is that the push to become distinct and recognized is so embodied in the modern identity of this city and its residents,” Daryl says. “We are a community of people who desire to be something more than what we are today.”
His mother Narima is proud of Daryl’s achievement.
“Whenever my kids are recognized, I can only feel so much pride and happiness, much more than when I was the one featured or recognized – it is always sweeter.”
“I think that it is testament to how what I do and aspire to continue doing inspire people to do the same, and it evidently started in our own household even without me prodding my kids to do so, ” she adds.
This is not the first time that Dela Cruz got recognition for his work.
His awards include the Wall of Fame Brightest Star Award, Top 24 Under 24 Community Leader Award and Top 25 Under 25 in Surrey.
He founded SkyTrain for Surrey, an advocacy group that fights for better transportation options for the community.
He is currently manager for Sprout Landscapes and is finishing his degree at Kwantlen University where he is majoring in Geography.