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P.C.S. Chicago’s Eleventh Annual “Punjabi Youth Graduation & Scholarship Awards Night 2011”Parvinder Singh Sahota wins PCS Chicago ScholarshipDr. Bikram Singh Dhillon an inspiring Keynote speaker

Chicago,  June 14, 2011 R. Mago/ Ashok Gupta

Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (PCS) organized its eleventh annual “Punjabi Youth Graduation and Scholarship Awards Night” on Sunday, June 12, 2011, at Viceroy of India Banquet Hall in Lombard, Illinois. More than 250 attended. The guests of honor were the class of 2011 graduates from the community.

The celebration included recognition awards, scholarships, keynote address, cake cutting ceremony, DJ music, dancing, networking, and delicious Indian cuisine. The participants of “Rangla Punjab 2011” the PCS Annual Vaisakhi cultural program were also awarded. The party was free to the graduates and Rangla Punjab participants.

"The purpose of this program is to encourage our next generation to go for higher education by showing appreciation and providing guidance in a fun and party environment," said Dr. Amarjit Singh P.C.S. Chairperson in his chairman’s remarks, “and to show that PCS and the community cares about them,” he added.

P.C.S. $1000 scholarship this year was awarded to Parvinder Singh Sahota of Maine West High School. Parvinder won for his high scholastic achievements and also participation in community service and Punjabi cultural activities.

“Our family has passed through rough times but I always listened to my mom who told me to work hard and be happy and successful in life,” said Parvinder Sahota.

Dr. Diljeet Kaur Singh, Dr. Karamjit Kaur and Ranjeet Kaur Singh co-sponsored the PCS scholarship in fond memory of their father Dr. Pritam Singh, a scholar, educationist, and a freedom fighter with deep love for his community, who had passed away on June 3, 2010.

The scholarship winners among the applicants were determined by an independent panel of judges according to the marking criteria established by P.C.S. The scholarships were presented to the winner by Dr. Amarjit Singh and Kalyan Singh Bagga.

The scholarship award event was co-sponsored by Dr. Surjit Singh Patheja, Dr. Amarjit Singh, Mr. & Mrs. Kalyan Singh Bagga, Dr. Robert Singh and Balwinder Singh Girn.

The Keynote Speaker for the evening was Dr. Bikram Singh Dhillon, author of a newly released book “The Diamond Rule” ( www. thediamondrule. com), an ER physician, and a professor of medicine at University of Illinois Chicago.

Dr. Dhillon made a thought provoking and at the same time inspiring keynote address to the young graduates, encouraging them to have a curious mind and reminding them of the value and strength of their identity as Punjabis.  He asked them if they knew their history well enough to remind others of the accomplishments and sacrifices of their parents, grandparents and those who had came before them for thousands of years. He awakened their pride by invoking the examples of Indians, Punjabis and Sikhs who are the equal to any western examples of whom they will be taught. He reminded them that they were born into the House of Guru Nanak. Although that is their birthright, he said, it can also be lost if it is neglected. He closed with the thought that by their actions, they could create that “usli” (real) Punjab within themselves where “Charhdi Kala” (self exaltation) meets “Sarbat ka Bhala” (welfare of all), and both their identities would be honored to their own highest benefit.

Dr. Gerald Doyle Associate Provost of I.I.T. Chicago also addressed the graduates and counseled them to choose the career path closest to their heart and let their creative juices flowing through research and development, to create jobs in that field for themselves and others.

A special cake cutting ceremony honoring all the class of 2011 graduates was also held. An exclusive invitation for the first dance at the celebration party was given to the graduates.

“Graduates, it is your night tonight, have fun, you deserve it,” announced Balwinder Singh Girn the PCS president who also welcomed all the attendees.

Rajinder Singh Mago, the compeer, encouraged the graduates to pursue internships and leverage their job search through networking. Internships provide valuable experience even though they may not pay well. Also to always be on the look to grab an opportunity.

Dr. Bikram Dhillon was honored, with a plaque presented to him by the PCS Chairperson Dr. Amarjit Singh with all the PCS officials standing by his side.

The scholarship donors and event sponsors were also honored with plaques presented to them by Dr. Amarjit Singh and Dr. Darsh Wasan V.P. and provost of IIT Chicago.

The PCS Chicago recognition certificates were presented to the class of 2011 graduates by Dr. Amarjit Singh, Harinder Singh MITS, and Dr. Darsh Wasan.

All the performing artists of "Rangla Punjab 2011" the PCS Vaisakhi cultural show were given trophies and certificates for their hard work, participation, and excellent performances. The awards were presented by Mrs. Harminder Kaur Bagga, Mrs. Serbjeet Kaur Singh, Mrs. Nimerata Kaur Singh, Amolak Singh Gidda, Dr. Gurbaksh Singh Saini, and Mrs. Jasmer Kaur Kular. This part of the program was emceed by Jatinderpal Singh Sangha and other PCS officials.

The community service volunteer Surinder Singh Bhatia and Surinder Kumar Jain of Viceroy of India Banquets, the many times repeat venue of this event, were also honored with plaques by PCS.

All of the attendees enjoyed the party, relished delicious Indian cuisine, DJ music and dance. The dance floor was jam packed with young Bhangra lovers till late into the evening.

PCS Scholarships and the Graduation Night celebration was Sponsored by Dr. Surjit S. Patheja, Dr. Diljeet Kaur Singh, Karamjeet Kaur Singh, Ranjeet Kaur Singh, Harinder Singh – MITS, Balwinder Singh Girn, Dr. Robert Singh, Taranpaul Singh Chawla of the Chawla Group Ltd., Surinder Jain of Viceroy of India Banquets, Sunny Kular, Thakar Singh Basati and many other community supporters.

The program was organized by Jatinderpal Singh Sangha, Balwinder Singh Girn, Pardeep Singh Deol, Arvinder Singh Gakhal, Baljit Singh Sidhu, Surinder Singh Sangha, Parminder Singh Ghotra, Gurmit Singh Dhillon, Sunny Kular, Ronny Kular, Onkar Singh Sangha, Amarjit Kaur Atwal, Sukhmel Singh Atwal, Bhinder Singh Pamma, Mohinderjit Singh Saini, Yadwinder Singh Grewal, Thakar Singh Basati, Manjit Singh Gill, Jasbir Singh Palia (Indiana rep.), Beant Kaur Virk (Wisconsin rep.), Surinder Singh Bhatia, and Rajinder Singh Mago.

The DJ music was provided by Rishpal Singh of Sunshine DJ and the photography by Gurmit Singh Dhillon.

The upcoming PCS events are a two day “Punjabi Sports Festival 2011,” comprising of an all day basket ball tournament on Saturday August 6, 2011 and the community sports day including Kabaddi on Sunday August 7, 2011, both events at the Addison Park District Community Park at 120 E. Oak Street in Addison, IL.

The Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago is a not-for-profit community service organization devoted to promoting Punjabi culture, language, performing arts, healthy life style and sports, education, and good citizenship in the metropolitan Chicago