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Burnett grad setting sights on career in public service

By Don Fennell

Published 12:48 PDT, Fri May 29, 2020

Last Updated: 2:13 PDT, Wed May 12, 2021

Over the coming days, the Richmond Sentinel will profile the 2020 recipients of the Phil Brown Scholarship presented recently by the Richmond Community Foundation.

Maya Lichtmann loves a challenge. And she’s always on the lookout for a new one.

Inspired by community leaders who have positively impacted her life—such as Stephanie Kennedy (Panther Cheer), Julie Halfnights (Thompson Community Centre) and Farah Mareli (socials teacher and mentor)—the Grade 12 Burnett Secondary student is on a mission to make a difference.

“My goal is to get practical experience in business, law and politics while attending UBC, so that I can choose a career in public service,” explains Lichtmann, a 2020 recipient of the Thompson Community Centre Phil Brown Memorial Scholarship. “That could mean a career in the charity, not-for-profit sector, or in politics. I believe I can create innovative solutions to some of society’s challenges locally and globally.”

Also a recipient of the Andrea Xi Scholarship in the annual Richmond Community Foundation recognition of outstanding graduating students, Lichtmann doesn’t have far to look for inspiration. Her parents have both worked in the not-for-profit sector most of their careers. And both are socially and politically active, striving to improve the community in which they live.

“That has influenced me to do the same,” she explains. “I have been involved with Model United Nations throughout high school, and became president in Grade 11. I was also a member of the BC Youth Parliament and had an opportunity to attend Parliament in Ottawa through the Forum for Young Canadians program.”

She was also president of the Burnett Women in Leadership Club.

Previously a competitive cheerleader, Lichtmann—who enjoys the outdoors, with hiking and walking high on her list of activities—has also recently become an entrepreneur after starting to sell clothing online.

“The best advice I’ve gotten is that stress is self-induced, and that I am in control of my own emotions,” she says. “This gives me the capacity to manage more things without feeling out of control.”

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