A student from Okotoks has been recognized for their outstanding commitment to volunteerism and the community.

Arzina Jaffer is a University of Calgary Bio Medical Sciences student who was in Edmonton yesterday to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal. 

Jaffer, along with seven other students, was awarded the medal along with a $5,000 scholarship.

The Strathcona Tweedsmuir graduate earned the honour thanks to a sustained commitment to helping others in the community.

Lt. Governor Lois Mitchell presented the award to Jaffer and seven other Albertans at a ceremony Tuesday.

Jaffer has volunteered at Tudor Manor, the Oilfields General Hospital, and continues to volunteer a significant amount of her time to the Ismaili Muslim community. She has also been involved with the 2050 Project, and the Alberta Innovates Heritage Youth Researcher Program.

"I just really hold this value of volunteerism very dear," Jaffer said. "I like the idea of giving back, and being able to share knowledge and information between people."

Through her religious community, Jaffer coached a team of six year old girls in the Lego League Jr. Robotic Challenge, where her team focused on designing solutions for water access in developing countries.

"It's definitely a type of group you wouldn't expect to be in to robotics," she said. "But you want to teach (young girls) at an early age that it's okay to be curious in these different regions that are not generally targeted towards them."

Jaffer says she plans to continue using her time to volunteer as co-President of the U of C Baking Club next year.

"To us, the Baking Club is more than just a club. One of the core values of the baking club is seen through our events," she said.

Every month the club makes a cake to donate to Children's Birthday Miracles.

Though she has only just finished her first year of university, Jaffer has already earned a four month research grant for the summer.

Once she has completed her bachelor degree, Jaffer has her eyes on MD and PhD. programs.

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