Surrey pair chosen among Top 25 immigrants

Amrik Singh Aulakh and Maria Nieves Santos-Greaves honoured for their contributions to Canada.

Amrik Singh Aulakh and Maria Nieves Santos-Greaves have been chosen among this year's Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.

Two Surrey residents are among 25 people named among the year’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants for their outstanding contributions.

Amrik Singh Aulakh is a  is a Surrey RCMP Auxiliary Constable and tireless community contributor. He has volunteered more than 2,500 hours to the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, doing patrols, traffic safety and speed watch programs and working with the RCMP at Counter Attack roadside checks. He has also volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Blood Services and Canada Revenue Agency.

“No one wants to live in a troubled neighbourhood. I want my city to be a safe and better place to work and live in,” he says. “I am helping seniors, newcomers who have issues and who need to talk to law enforcement. I feel like a great asset to the RCMP and my community. By volunteering I am giving something back to my community.”

Born in India, Aulakh has previously won the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Awards and a Surrey Leader 2013 Community Leader Award for his commitment to volunteerism.

“I frequently feel like what I’m doing helps people. Whether it’s navigating a difficult system, or providing blood, or filing taxes, it’s helping my community as a whole,” Aulakh says. “When I think about how things were back home, I see the need for people to step up and help people out.”

Maria Nieves Santos-Greaves, who came to Canada from the Philippines, is president of Surrey Hearing Care Inc., but provides a healthy dose of humanity along with her entrepreneurship, often providing home visits or rides to clients.

Santos-Greaves also regularly provides free hearing testing via the company’s mobile clinic van.

“With science we blend humanity, imparting warmth as we genuinely care for others and their hearing needs,” she says, noting when you’re doing what you love, owning a business doesn’t feel like work.

“But I am also a single mom to a 14-year-old boy and balancing lifestyle and business is not easy. That is why I believe it is critical we as immigrants help and support each other so that we will not be afraid to take risks and succeed in doing what we were trained for, attaining our dreams for ourselves and our children.”

The pair are recipients of the 7th-annual RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards, presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine. The 25 winners were chosen from more than 650 nominees and are to be honoured at a celebration in Vancouver on Thursday (June 25) afternoon.

“There is no limit to what an immigrant can achieve in Canada, and these 25 winners are a testament to that,” says Margaret Jetelina, editor of Canadian Immigrant magazine.

The winners received a commemorative plaque and a $500 donation will be made towards a registered Canadian charity of their choice.

To see the other winners, check here