Category Archives: Admissions

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kofi O. ’18

Meet Kofi Osei-Opare ’18 – a Prefect who has pushed himself academically, athletically and artistically. Read about the challenges he has overcome with Ridley’s help and how they have prepared him for the future.

Why did you choose Ridley? The reason why I chose Ridley is because I was looking for an institution where I could be challenged academically. I found that at Ridley, I was both challenged academically and allowed to pursue whatever additional interests I had in the process. It was only a bonus that this institution was already so close to where I lived.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I thought I was prepared to come to Ridley. Although, when I came to Ridley, I quickly realized that Ridley and my old school had drastically different expectations. Ridley was much more rigorous than I had thought, but I had a really good work ethic, which certainly made everything more manageable.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? There are so many faculty members that I would consider to be my favourite. One of these faculty members is Mr. Clyde Dawson. Mr. Dawson is a music teacher at the school and the reason why he’s my favourite faculty member is because he never fails to make me smile with his unending jokes. He has pushed me completely out of my comfort zone in order to become a better person (and student) and for that, I will be forever grateful to him. 

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley is procrastination. I don’t know how, but I always find a way to procrastinate and as a result find myself doing things at the last minute. My time management skills have certainly gotten tremendously better since coming to Ridley, but procrastination always seems to be a reoccurring issue.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My biggest accomplishment thus far at Ridley (ironically) is, for the most part, being able to find a balance between athletics, academics and personal life. Since a good portion of my time is allocated to activities at Ridley, I have learned the best way to maximize all my time so that I am able to not only do school work constantly, but focus on the extra things that make me happy. Therefore, making me an overall happier person.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience is Snake Dance by far. It is one of the main school events, where everyone comes together as a school. It is one of my favourites because of how hyped up it is. From the formation of the “snake,” Prefects coming in with huge torches and the music blasting in my ears. It will forever be one of my fondest memories of Ridley and one of the things I will things I will miss most when I leave.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is being surrounded by so many different cultures. It is always interesting talking with someone from a different part of the world and seeing how their culture shapes their views. As a result, you become more of a “globally minded citizen” in that sense. It really enlightens you because it makes look at life with a different perspective. Additionally, it is just really interesting to be immersed with so many other cultures, since I find other cultures so fascinating.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? The part of being a Prefect that I am most excited for is to help give back to the community; to be able to give back to a school that has helped shape me into the person who I am now. I am excited to help change the school in such a way that others who follow in my footsteps can grow and feel the same sense of gratitude to the school. I will be able to do this simply by trying to make the school a better when I leave than when I came and being able to make that change, makes me ecstatic.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has prepared me tremendously for the future. I now consider myself a globally minded citizen because of the cultures and opportunities that have surrounded me, which will certainly help me integrate with people of various backgrounds. Additionally, I unquestionably feel prepared for university with all of the rigor faced at Ridley. I will not be blindsided like most students going to university since I will already have my solid foundation, and have that ability to balance everything. This is especially important for me later on because I will not always have people telling me how I should manage my time. Everything will be entirely dependent on me so having that ability to balance will be crucial in the future.

What are your plans after graduation? My plans after graduation are to go to university in America, to do something with premedical studies. From there I want to go to medical school, where I can hopefully become some sort of a surgeon. I plan on living in a big urban city when I’m older. I do not know why but I always saw myself living in New York City. Along the way, I will most likely participate in various sports like basketball and soccer for fun and fitness.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? The advice that I would give prospective students is something that is often said and often overlooked. It is to take advantage of everything that is offered at Ridley. I say this because your time at Ridley will pass by so quickly without you realizing, it’s unbelievable. It feels like just yesterday, I was in Grade 9, not knowing how to get to the Chapel and now I am about to graduate. Ridley offers so many opportunities that most schools can only dream of offering. Ridley, along the way, will give you so many chances to have amazing, unforgettable memories, where you’ll be able to meet so many new people or try new things or perfect what you are already good at! Additionally, Ridley is certainly a grind, but in the end, it will certainly be worth it and you will truly appreciate all the risks that you have taken throughout your time here because it will help grow as a person and become a better individual.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Alex S. ’18

Introducing Alex Schramm ’18 – a Prefect who knew the first moment he stepped on campus that Ridley was where he belonged. Read about his rewarding Ridley career, thus far.

Why did you choose Ridley? When my family decided to move to the Niagara region, we started looking at schools for me to attend. When we toured Ridley with Mr. Darby, our minds were immediately made up. From that first day, I recognized the amazing atmosphere of Ridley and I still stand by my past self in saying that the ethos in the school is like nowhere else.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? When I enrolled into Ridley I was not scared at all. Usually, when going to a new school I would be nervous and scared, however, not in this case. I was more excited than anything else. In terms of being prepared, Ridley is much more academically challenging than other schools but I was prepared for this challenge and undertook it with strength and perseverance.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? This is very difficult because there are so many amazing faculty members that have affected me in such positive ways. From teaching in classrooms, to organizing activities, to being coaches: different faculty members have had different impacts on my growth as a learner, athlete and as a person. My favourite, however, is Mrs. Roud. She is my Head of House in Dean’s House. She fulfills the role of Head of House perfectly, as she makes it enjoyable to return to Dean’s after the academic day. She is a great communicator, which allows her to be humorous, relatable and easy to talk to. Whenever I have a problem or something going on, I can mention it to her and find a solution. She has always been there for me and supporting me over the course of my Ridley life.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My greatest challenge thus far at Ridley has to be the IB programme and the challenges that come with it. The skills that I have developed from IB are essential for me to have in the future. The challenges and skills of time management and organization are needed to succeed in the IB programme and are difficult to master.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley is becoming a Prefect. This stage in my Ridley career is really special and important for me as I am really excited to be a leader of the school and take on this important role.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience has to be when I went on exchange to Australia for three months. It was truly an experience of a lifetime, where I got to try new things and meet new people who I would not have encountered in my normal life. This is one thing that I will never forget and is an experience that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. This was all made possible thanks to the exchange programme that Ridley offers.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the people. All the different cultures and types of people from around the world, joining together in the Ridley community. I get to learn about all different languages and nations in my daily life.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for the new challenges that I have yet to encounter. These can be anything from organizing activities or events to giving speeches/advice to being the best possible role model and the best possible person I can be.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has helped me gain very important life skills and lessons that I will keep with me for the rest of my life. The way it challenges us academically and as a person allows students to gain multiple skills. Personally, it has helped me become more balanced, principled, open-minded and a risk taker. It has also helped me improve my time management and organization skills, which help balance my school and personal life.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, my plan is to attend university to study the health sciences. To do this, I would like to go to the United States or England. My goal and dream would be to attend an Ivy League school. That dream is a long way away but with hard work and dedication, it is possible.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? My advice to prospective students at Ridley is to not be scared about applying and joining the Ridley family. It truly is an amazing and welcoming place. The Ridley community is so diverse yet at the same time everyone bonds together regardless of race, gender, religion or background. The atmosphere, along with the strong academics, multiple co-curricular activities and numerous sports teams allow each person to be who they are and do what they want to do.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Victoria K. ’18

Meet Victoria Kohler ’18 – a Prefect who travelled around the globe to attend Ridley and experience Canada. Read how boarding abroad impacted her education and helped her discover an array of opportunities.

Why did you choose Ridley? Ridley is a school that is one of a kind. I consider it my second home and I know that I would have never had this opportunity if I was in Europe. It is the best school that I have seen in Canada.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I didn’t know how to prepare myself and did not know what to expect. It was a whole new experience for me.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? I do not have a favourite faculty as they are all my favourite in my eyes.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? My main challenge has been to find my balance between social time and academic time.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My biggest accomplishment has been being chosen as a Prefect for my final year here at Ridley.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite experience has been to be with my friends that I met and just have social time.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley has been to spend time in the dorms and spend time with the girls in the house.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for the big events and making Ridley even better.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has helped me to socialize, collaborate and find the person that I am. There are more characteristics that are important for the future but the main ones for me would be socializing and collaborating.

What are your plans after graduation? I am looking at various Universities in Canada, some in Europe, but I’m afraid of going back so I will stay in Canada. Considering Waterloo, Laurier, Vancouver, Nova Scotia and more. Degrees of study are arts, psychology and maybe languages.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Ridley is a unique experience. My best advice would be: be yourself, work hard, participate in all activities and push yourself beyond your limits.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Selena L. ’18

Meet Selena Lu ’18 – a Prefect who has flourished in Ridley’s multicultural environment. Read how she took a risk when she moved around the world and discovered an open-minded, globally driven and welcoming community.

Why did you choose Ridley? Other than the elite academia Ridley provides, I was also attracted by the cultural diversity, as well as the warm and home-like vibe of the boarding option.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I did not feel prepared. I was overwhelmed by the reality of being thousands of miles from home. At that time, I felt surrounded by strangers and was completely alone. However, I soon got over my freshman mindset and started to make new friends in my classes, with the encouragement of Ms. O’Boyle (the former assistant head of house in G-West) and a couple of my friends back in China.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? Mr. Burke is definitely my favourite. I went on a service trip with him to Jacaranda School in Malawi. He is down to earth and has a good sense of humour. He would actively engage in our conversations and never in a condescending way. Having him on the team was one of the highlights of the trip.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? Living in a foreign country without my parents was definitely the biggest challenge I have ever faced. Coming to Ridley was my first time leaving home and starting a new life by myself, so it was hard to adapt to the new lifestyle. Luckily, I was offered plenty of help from my friends and Ms. O’Boyle. I soon adapted to this new environment with my Ridley family. 

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? Performing in Battle of the Bands has been my greatest accomplishment, as I learned the value of teamwork. Our band, Match Point, were lucky enough to win the championship. This result was made by having all members working together and put in all our efforts.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience is definitely Snake Dance at the beginning of the year. It is a passionate event that brings all of the students together and raises the school spirit for the start of a brand new year.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is having the opportunity to live in such a diverse environment. I am very lucky to have the chance to spend time with people from all over the world and getting to know their culture.

 What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited for having the opportunity to serve the Ridley community and to meet more people as I fulfill a Prefect’s duty. 

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has taught me open-mindedness and respect by providing me with a multi-cultural environment. I have learned to be respectful to different perspectives and be willing to accept it.

What are your plans after graduation? My plan is to go into university for bachelor degree and if possible, further into master’s degree.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Do not be afraid to try new things at Ridley, as the school provides you with massive amounts of valuable resources and an encouraging attitude to those who are courageous.

Get to Know Your Prefects: David A. ’18

Introducing David Akinyemi ’18 –a Prefect who came to Ridley for the International Baccaurleaute Diploma Programme and discovered that the school had much more to offer him. Read how he has been inspired and is eager to inspire others during his Prefectship.

Why did you choose Ridley? Initially, I was looking for a school where I could obtain an IB diploma and fortunately, Ridley College offered much more than I sought for. I saw a school which had a strong community that was willing to develop and hold steadfast unto its motto; Terar Dum Prosim.

I also strongly appreciated how culturally diverse the school was and I felt like this was the school for me, knowing that I would be able to settle in very well coming in as an international student. This is why I chose Ridley.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? The fact that I had never visited the campus before resumption meant that I did not know exactly how it would feel to live within the school, but other than that, I felt quite prepared coming to Ridley because I had done some research on my own about the education, general living standards at Ridley and what they had to offer, so I was mentally prepared to come into the school.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? It is rather difficult for me to pinpoint one member of the faculty who is my favourite because of how wonderful all of them have been to me, but nonetheless, one person who I can say I like particularly would be Mr. Doyle. I am not in any of his classes, but him being my Head of House has given me the opportunity to have a good number of interactions with him. I like Mr. Doyle because of his calm and composed nature and after spending one year with him in Arthur Bishop West, he has been able to make me feel like a genuine member of the family in the house. He also played a major role in helping me settle down quickly into the groove of things at Ridley College. He has been a great person to be friends with.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? I originally foresaw this challenge upon my arrival to Ridley and it certainly proved to be rather difficult for me. The Canadian weather is very different from Nigerian weather, as it tends to be warm all year round in Nigeria, so trying to adjust to a climate that had four different seasons was very challenging for me and there were a good number of occasions when I found the weather very cold.

In the process of acclimatization, I had to learn how to dress for different weather conditions and although the whole process seemed to be rather tasking, I am glad that I was exposed to a different environment. Now I have become more appreciative of the Canadian climate.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? I had been told before arriving at Ridley that the IB diploma would be very demanding. This obviously meant that I would have to work very hard to complete the programme and earn my diploma. The fact that I am still in the programme is an achievement for me because I have witnessed many people opt out of the programme due to the difficulties and challenges involved.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? There are two of my Ridley experiences that I would classify as my favourites. The first one would be Dean’s Dance, mainly because of the high anticipation of students towards the event. I looked forward to it since the beginning of the year and I can say that I had a pretty fun time during the dance.

The second experience would be the Prefect speeches. Sitting down to listen to my fellow students speak to us about different topics was very enlightening and inspiring for me. I could look at some issues from a unique and different perspective and some of those messages drove me to get involved in a number of things that I would ordinarily not have thought about getting involved in.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? I am a huge lover of sports and I love being able to watch Ridley students represent the school and compete against other schools. My favourite games to watch are the basketball games. They are usually very thrilling and exciting, plus they truly bring out the school spirit in us.

I also love mealtimes, especially dinner time, because this to me is when I have a great opportunity to interact with my friends and talk about many interesting things. I often look forward to this, as our conversations are very exciting.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am excited about three things. Firstly, I am happy that I will be in a position where I can serve as a mentor/role model to my fellow students, as guiding others and helping others develop is one thing I am passionate about. Secondly, I am excited about my Prefect speech because I will have the opportunity to talk about a topic that means a lot to me and hopefully inspire others to do great things. Finally, I am excited about Snake Dance because it is a time for us as a school to show our school spirit. I feel like it is an event that really brings us together as a family, plus it is a lot of fun for everyone. Being a Prefect means that I will get to be part of the process that ensures that it is as wonderful and as memorable as possible.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has exposed me to a lot of different cultures that I have now become more aware of and this certainly would go a long way in helping how I relate with others from different cultures. Ridley has also given me a high-quality education that will help me achieve my goals and grant me success in my career. 

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan on going to either the University of Waterloo or McMaster University to study mechatronics engineering. My preferred city to live in when I start working would be either Toronto or Los Angeles. I would like to work as a mechatronics engineer that would play a huge role in advancing our current world, technologically. I would also like to start up a record label that would be able to hire different musical artists so that I can help them fulfill their dreams. I would like to do this because music is a huge passion of mine.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? As much as possible, I would strongly advise any new student to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way because you never know when next such an opportunity would come by. Furthermore, I would encourage prospective students to make a lot of good friendships, because they would cherish the memories they made with their friends, years after they graduate from Ridley.

I would also urge prospective students to be of great service to other students as well as the greater community. The effort you put into improving the lives of the people around you goes a long way in ensuring that the school community progresses to where it needs to be, and you will also benefit yourself in doing so.

Finally, I would advise any prospective student to pay close attention to the speeches during chapel, as they all contain valuable knowledge and information that could potentially transform your life.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Dimitri N. ’18

Meet Dimitri Nitsopoulos ’18 – a Prefect who truly appreciates his time spent at Ridley and does all he can to make the best of it. Read how he is busy preparing for his future and gaining the skills he needs to succeed.

Why did you choose Ridley? Truth be told, I personally did not make the decision to come to Ridley. It was in fact my sister who chose Ridley and I just came along for the ride. However, I am thankful that I did because I cannot imagine myself anywhere else than Ridley for the conclusion of my high school year. Ridley College is a phenomenal school that has offered me opportunities for academic success and personal growth that I would never have found at my previous schools. I cannot wait to see what more Ridley has to offer in my final year of high school.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? I did feel somewhat prepared coming to Ridley, due to the fact that I knew that I had to make changes to adapt to Ridley’s workload. However, the greatest adjustment that I had to make was the amount of time needed to be spent at Ridley. At Ridley, there are some nights where I stay until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. This is because of sports, activities, dinner and tutorial. Even though this may seem like a long time, I absolutely love staying this late because it gives me the opportunity to hang out with friends and to ask teachers for special help at their tutorials. It may seem daunting constantly being at school but after a while, Ridley College becomes your home and you begin to love every second that you are there.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? I don’t personally have a favorite teacher at Ridley. I cannot simply pick one teacher as my favourite because each teacher at Ridley does a significant amount to creating the best high school experience as possible for the students of Ridley College. For instance, my math teacher, Mr. Burke is constantly staying later or coming earlier to school so we can ask him questions to help us further our understanding of IB Math. That is just one example of many of what teachers at Ridley do for their students.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The greatest challenge thus far at Ridley is perhaps the workload. Since we are dealing with eight classes all year long, at times it can be quite difficult because each class can give a great amount of homework, assignments and tests. This is where time management is vital to learn, because without it, you can get into serious trouble. Unfortunately, I am a victim of procrastination. There have been moments where I haven’t used my time wisely and have suffered; staying up until an awful hour, finishing an assignment due the next day. Ridley’s workload is a challenge daily but by working on the skill of time management, it becomes easier.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment at Ridley thus far is becoming a Prefect. I am so excited that I have the pleasure of accepting the responsibility of Prefectship. I cannot wait until the beginning of the school year, so the Prefects can lead the student body into a phenomenal year. 

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience has got to be Ridley camp at the beginning of the school year. This is where all the boys of Ridley go up north to a camp. It is so much fun because this is where you have the first real opportunity to meet new friends and to reconnect with old ones. Believe me, I am not at all a camper but even I have fun because you make unforgettable memories up there. From sailing, to zip lining, to competing against other houses for the Bermuda Cup: it is a fantastic start to the beginning of the school year.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is dinner in the Great Hall. I love this time of day because it is just after sports and right before study. It is the only part of the day where we can relax, eat and hang out with friends. I always find myself laughing and at ease with myself because I’m around all my good friends. It is yet another experience where I make unforgettable memories. I have already made a couple fantastic memories and I know that next year, there will be even more.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? Being Prefect, the part I am most excited for is the ability to lead the students in pep rallies, especially at Snake Dance. I believe that pep rallies are important because it not only showcases school spirit but additionally, allows Ridley College to become more of a community than just a school. That is what I want to show, especially at Snake Dance. This is where Prefects ignite the campfire, which represents the beginning of the school year. I cannot wait to hear the cheers while we run around the campfire celebrating our final year of high school.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has and is still preparing me for the future. For instance, time management. As mentioned before, with Ridley’s workload, it has taught me the value of time management and how to use it. I know that I will need this for the future because life is just one deadline after another and the only way to meet them is to ensure that you time manage. Another key skill that Ridley is continually teaching me is responsibility, which will be especially important next year. Along with maintaining good grades, I will additionally have to write university resumes, go to meetings, join new and existing clubs, etc. This is great preparation for the future because as an adult, you have a huge amount of responsibility and you need to be able to handle it.

What are your plans after graduation? My plans for after graduation is to go straight into university. I am most likely going to study in Canada for my undergrad, but I have not ruled out Europe and the States quite yet. Wherever I go, I would like it to be in a city because I love the atmosphere of big cities. Additionally, I would like to study economics or business since my long-term goal is to become a corporate lawyer.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? The advice that I would give prospective students is to try and to involve yourself in every aspect at Ridley. This includes joining clubs, sports, art, and activities. This is one thing I should’ve done from the start when I began at Ridley in Grade 10. By joining co-curricular activities, you learn so much about who you are and what you’re good at. Additionally, you make unforgettable memories and potentially meet the friends that will stay with you all your life.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Thomas D. ’18

Meet Thomas Dunbar ’18 – a Prefect who is carrying on his family’s legacy at Ridley. Read how this Ridleian made his Ridley experience his own and looks forward to the opportunities that await him as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley? I am a 3rd generation Ridleian; my father and grandfather both attended the school, as well as some of my uncles and cousins, so I was eager to continue the family tradition.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Yes, I felt very prepared coming to Ridley. I had been to campus many times and had already met my advisor and Head of House, so I felt like a part of the community before I even arrived.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? My favourite faculty member is Mr. Martinez. We shared some great bonding time on last year’s service trip to El Salvador. He has a great sense of humour and never fails to make me laugh.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The biggest challenge I have experienced at Ridley is juggling the rigor of all my academic, athletic and co-curricular commitments.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley was winning an MPHL Championship with the First Boys’ hockey team during the 2015-2016 season, capping off a historic season as the most successful Ridley hockey team to date.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience is the annual trip to camp at the start of each school year. Camp provides a great opportunity to get to know the incoming students and your housemates, while developing a great sense of house pride.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of life at Ridley is the boarding environment. Being able to live in a dorm with other kids my age is a very unique and fun experience, that few kids outside of boarding schools get the opportunity to experience.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am most excited to participate in the annual Snake Dance and go “inside the ropes” as a Prefect. Snake Dance is a big part of Ridley’s history and spirit, so I am looking forward to continuing the tradition.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has taught me a lot about independence and has taught me how to become a self-sufficient individual. Through living away from home, my accountability has grown immensely and I feel much more confident heading into university.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduating, I will likely take a gap year before heading to university. I hope to continue pursuing my athletic goals at the collegiate level, either domestically or in the US.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? I would advise incoming students to take some time to learn about Ridley’s history and traditions. The better you can understand and immerse yourself in the Ridley culture, the more you will appreciate the school and everything it has to offer.