This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.
Surinder Gill has traveled the path from winner to worker at Ontario Mining Association high school video competition So You Think You Know Mining award galas. Surinder, who is a graduate of Northview Heights Secondary School in Toronto, was a double winner in the 2013 SYTYKM high school video competition. His production “Mined Power” earned him the $2,500 prize for Best Directing and the $2,500 OMA Academy Award.
The quality and creativity of his video attracted the attention of Engage Learning Systems, which was providing media support for the awards gala. This Toronto-based company has collaborated with the OMA for three years in providing promotional and support materials for SYTYKM. Surinder tells us that Mary Hayes, Engage Learning CEO, and James Liborion, Director of Video, “meet with me in 2013, after I received my awards and passed on their contact information, informing me about a possible job opportunity.”
“Through e-mails and heading down to the office a couple of times before I was hired, I learned what the company did and different roles employees had there,” added Surinder. “I was hired as a video editor and helped the video team with multiple projects in the month of August (2013) I had worked last year.” Come September 2013, Surinder headed off to McMaster University in Hamilton to start his courses in engineering.
After a successful first year of university, he found himself back at Engaged Learning Systems. Some of his assignments this year have included working on the SYTYKM awards gala, which was held June 3, producing information videos for a financial services and health care clients and filming the annual meeting of OMA member Noront.
So how did Surinder enjoy his new role at the SYTYKM awards gala? “It was awesome to relive the experience, this time from backstage, seeing how the show was put together and watching the prize winners’ faces light up when their names were announced,” said Surinder. “If it wasn’t for the OMA and this competition directly, I would never have been in this spot, let alone having summer filled with amazing experiences at Engage Learning.”
At this time, Surinder is getting ahead academically gaining some extra credits over the summer. Come September, he will be entering second year engineering at McMaster specializing in software engineering. For the record, he tells us that his share of SYTYKM prize money was split between contributions for new video equipment and university tuition.
“Videography will always be one thing in my life, that I won’t drop,” added Surinder. “Among my friends and family, I am known as the go-to video guy. I recently entered the 24-hour Hamilton video contest and I’ve just finished a promo video for my dance team.”
We have a feeling Surinder will succeed in just about anything her decides to tackle. He is typical of many SYTYKM alumni, who are moving on with exciting educational and career opportunities.
Our SYTYKM winners all have good stories and we will hear from more of them in the future. However, one thing that is common to all is the support of parents and teachers. Many dedicated and creative high school teachers in Ontario embrace the SYTYKM program and provide limitless encouragement and support for their students. Without their backing, the OMA’s high school video competition would not have reached the level of success it has achieved and many students would not have received moral and monetary support to pursue their dreams.