By Casey Neill

A Dandenong student from abroad gives homeless people hugs and hands apples to strangers.
But Samuel Shedrack Chukwuweonu says his award-winning actions should be the norm.
“I just believe I’m young and healthy and vibrant, I can use that energy to help people,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ve done something special.
“Everyone should foster and care for people.”
The Nigerian won the International Student of the Year in the Vocation Education and Training category at the annual Victorian International Education Awards.
“I do not want to stand out from the crowd,” he said.
“It shouldn’t be a huge thing.
“People everywhere should take responsibility for taking care of their neighbour.”
The 25-year-old arrived in Australia just under two years ago and is studying an Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Technology (Cyber Security) at Chisholm Institute.
“My family is in a hopeless environment,” he said.
“I dared to dream. Here I am. It’s a miracle.”
Samuel hands out food to those in need with St Joseph’s Parish Springvale initiative Joey’s Van.
He’s involved with Youth for Christ Melbourne, which runs juvenile justice programs, and gives time to charity organisations Clay Foundation, Hillsong Church and Cross Purpose Church.
“I give hugs to the homeless,” he said.
“They’re just trying to figure life out, just like anybody else.
“Maybe they’ve made some bad choices.”
Despite feeling unworthy, Samuel was thrilled to be nominated for the education award.
“Just to be measured among the finalists was enough for me,” he said.
“I was thrilled by it and excited by it.”
Award winners received a $10,000 scholarship to put towards their studies and will become ambassadors for the government’s Study Melbourne initiative, which promotes Victoria as a leading study destination.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.

More News

I wanted to be a Greater Dandenong Councillor representative for the Alliance for Gambling Reform because it is an issue ...

 Will Green is transforming a Bangholme block into a thriving farm. The 32-year-old former chef worked in city kitchens ...

 Work to beautify the open space beneath Noble Park’s sky rail has started, but who’ll ...

Churches from across Springvale will come together for the World Day of Prayer. On or near the first Friday in ...

 Little India traders say parking meters are costing them customers. But Greater Dandenong Council says the Foster Street paid ...

 A Dandenong girl helped to send off cyclists on a million-dollar ride for sick kids. Jazmin Makawe-Zaicz was born ...

Latest Sport

Career best figures to Dandenong’s emerging seamer Peter Cassidy meant that Northcote were never really in the contest ...

Buckley Ridges fell short in the Regional Big Bash final against Mt Clear last Tuesday morning, with the Bucks unable ...

It sure was a cracking, fiery start to the NPL Victoria season, with Dandenong Thunder taking it right up to ...