Tag Archives: Get to Know Your prefects

Get to Know Your Prefects: Nicole C. ’19

Meet Nicole C. ’19: a Prefect who has been at Ridley for over a decade. Beginning her experience at our school as an eager and excited Grade 1 student, Nicole has had many years to grow and learn within the Marriott Gates; making her an invaluable resource for all things Ridley. Read more about her many years as a Tiger and what she hopes to do in her final year at Ridley.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Being so young when I came to Ridley, the decision was entirely up to my parents. However, I’m sure the diverse, welcoming, and rigorous environment appealed to them. My older sister came to Ridley a year before I did and going to the same school was ideal.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Being the humble age of six, it’s difficult to remember how prepared I was feeling at the time. I was young and excited for what Ridley had to offer, entering the Ridley community with a childlike excitement that has stayed with me throughout the remainder of my years at the school.

Of course, the Ridley lifestyle is unique and required some adjusting. However, making the transition to a different school wasn’t nearly as daunting when having a handful of close friends – most who I had known practically since birth – to do it with.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Having attended Ridley for such an extended period, it would be impossible for me to settle on only one favourite faculty member. As I have grown and time has passed, different faculty members have impacted and supported me in different ways.

One that I think deserves to be recognized for his commitment to his students and passion is Mr. Ronald. A Ridley icon, he has always been kind, patient, and empathetic towards others– myself included. He has continued to support me long since he taught me Grade 9 Geography, and his endless encouragement and friendly-nature will always be something I can rely on.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Ridley comes with many challenges – it is a bustling environment in which every student has to juggle countless deadlines, commitments, and responsibilities. Maintaining a balance within these obligations while also making sure I still have time for myself has been my greatest challenge. Ultimately, however, this challenge has helped me grow into a better and stronger person.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My most significant accomplishment was probably being the recipient of the Dr. William Hamilton Merit Memorial Prize for public speaking. For someone who finds public speaking a challenge, I was terrified to present my speech in front of a large audience. It was tough for me to gather up the courage to speak.

The bravery that it took to present marked a critical moment of personal growth in which I could suddenly see how I have changed and grown throughout my time at Ridley. Looking into the crowd and seeing some of my closest friends supporting me made the experience even better, making it a moment which I will always look back on.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Nothing is as exciting and entertaining as Snake Dance is at the beginning of the year. It is one of my favourite experiences. The fireworks, the bonfire, the music – the amount of school spirit at that moment is insane.

When the whole school comes together for the event, it really feels like one united community. From the roaring bonfire to the students milling around in black and orange paint, it is one of the most exhilarating events of the entire year.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley is the constant change and growth I experience. Being an international school with a diverse range of students and faculty, I can always look forward to learning something new and exciting each day. There are so many different clubs, activities, and sports offered, so there are always opportunities to interact with new people. I love the uniqueness of the Ridley community and how that uniqueness is embedded in the daily life of each Ridleian.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am looking forward to representing the school and suggesting positive change, while also meeting new students and learning more from those around me. I hope to be a friendly and positive face in the school and am excited to help welcome and integrate new Ridleians into the community.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley is a place like no other. Truly a global community, Ridley has already given me the chance to interact with different cultures, traditions, languages, and personalities from all around the world. Our world is continually growing and diversifying, similarly to how the Ridley community does. The curriculum itself has also made me grow stronger as a person. The rigorous learning environment has resulted in me becoming more open-minded, reflective, and a better problem solver – all skills I know will be beneficial in my future.

What are your plans after graduation?
At the moment, I’m not sure what my plans are. I have yet to decide my field of study but know that Ridley has prepared me well for my future endeavors. After graduation, I am planning on attending university in the fall, though I haven’t decided where. Regardless, I am excited to continue to pursue subjects I am interested in and continue to seize new opportunities.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Ridley is a stimulating but rigorous environment – it’s meant to be one. The school offers countless different opportunities for any student and taking advantage of these is really what makes it worth it. You get out of Ridley what you put in, so embrace the challenges you face, be open to new activities, and enjoy the time you spend here.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Asmatullah A. ’19

Meet Asmatullah: a Prefect who began his Ridley journey last year and has launched himself into everything that our school offers. During the 2017-2018 school year, Asmatullah learned his fifth language, found a home away from home, sought leadership roles and excelled in academics, athletics and co-curriculars. Read more about his past accomplishments and future endeavors.

Why did you choose Ridley?
The main reason that I chose Ridley was because of endless opportunities and support available at the school that would help me grow. I chose to come to Ridley because of the values such as keeping up with service to others, that the Ridley community possesses and fits my characteristics and purpose of life.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Coming to Ridley, I thought that I am well prepared to start my year. However, everything exceeded my expectations; from the diversity in the community to studying with such an amazing and smart cohort and from the volume of opportunities available to academic intensity at the school especially with the IB programme. I felt overwhelmed in the beginning but with support that I got from the faculty, staff, and my friends, I was able to take on every challenge, thrive and have fun.

Who is your favorite faculty member and why?
This is a hard question to answer because since I started school at Ridley, I have been meeting very kind and amazing faculty and staff members. From kind-hearted Admissions staff, Dean’s House’s amazing duty team and my supportive teachers, I will choose Ms. Crowe Morey as my favorite faculty member. She is my Spanish teacher, advisor for the club that I am leading (Challenge 2020) and a strong support for me. Ms. Crowe Morey has put her trust in me and believes in my future success. She gives me hope and helps me stay strong. With her support I was able to prosper in learning my fifth language; Spanish.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My biggest challenge at Ridley so far has been keeping up with the academic challenges while participating in a variety of activities and sports. During my time at Ridley, I participated in several clubs and activities where I had different leadership roles. I was in the senior rowing team which is one of the most demanding and time-consuming sports on campus while being enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme. Having a perfectionist characteristic, it was a challenge for me to keep up with everything and have everything perfect.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
From all my accomplishments this past year, I can conclude that they all led to my greatest accomplishment so far in life; being a Prefect. Coming to Ridley in September 2017, I only had a couple of months to prove my leadership potential for the position. I consider being a Prefect one of my greatest accomplishments because now I am in a position where I am a part of the driving force behind positive changes at Ridley. Now I can serve my peers to the best of my ability and their interests.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Being in love with military disciplines and traditions, doing cadets is my favorite Ridley experience so far. In the beginning of my year at Ridley I participated in Ridley College Drill Team and when the main cadets season started, I was selected to be a part of Ridley College Cadet Corps’ leadership team as Company Sergeant Major for E Company. For me Cadets is more than just wearing a sweater coat uniform or cadet reds and marching around. For me it’s a matter of pride. It’s a way to honor those who gave their lives and those who are still fighting for our freedom. It’s a way to teach teamwork and pass value with honor to our younger generations. I know how good it felt during Church Parade while marching in the back of our cadet corps, taking care from behind, and watching hundreds of students marching and more than 50 flags fly. And that’s why Cadets is my favorite experience at Ridley so far.

What is your favorite part of Ridley life?
My favorite part of Ridley life is our residences. All the residences, especially Dean’s House (my residence), felt like home for me after a couple of days at school. The love, support and good vibes that I saw at Dean’s House helped me to stop missing my home back in Afghanistan and start creating a new home for myself at Ridley. Thanks to the house duty team members, especially our Heads of Houses, Assistant Heads of Houses and Resident Dons, for making our experience at Ridley as good as it could be.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
What I am most excited about as a Prefect is seeing my peers smiling, while I know that I had a hand in causing that smile, satisfaction, and good experience at Ridley. As a Prefect, my main goal will be to make next year as enjoyable and fun as possible for all members of our Ridley community. Although, this is a challenging goal and might sound idealistic; I am excited to take on the challenges alongside the Prefect team and do whatever I can to make next year a memorable one for everyone.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
For me Ridley is far more than just a place where I go to school. Ridley is an experience. Apart from the academic skills and knowledge that I have acquired at Ridley, my experience at Ridley has helped me grow spiritually and find my real self in many different ways. Ridley has thought me how to handle my emotions and fight till the end, until I succeed.

What are your plans after graduation?
As I want to enter the field of politics in future, my plans after graduation from Ridley is doing double major in Political Science and Economics, which are fields that I enjoy studying. My dream school is NYU Abu Dhabi because I believe that being able to study my degree around the world in any NYU campus with the study abroad program is essential for a political science student to get a first-hand experience of politics around the world. If I could live anywhere in the world I will choose between San Diego or Vancouver, but I will go wherever life and my goals takes me. I would love to continue learning to play the piano and do photography, as both are my hobbies.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
If I was to give advice to a prospective Ridley student it will be similar to this: “If you are looking for somewhere to flourish and grow Ridley is the right place for you. Here at Ridley there are infinite opportunities available for you but they do not come to your feet; with a bit of confidence, initiative, and creativity, with support of people who you will be surrounded with, you will be able to embrace change and use those opportunities to grow day in and out. Ridley is a challenging school from all aspects, if you are committed to bringing a positive change to the world Ridley will be the best point to begin as long as you work hard, stay committed to your goals, and have fun.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jared S. ’19

While the school year may seem far away, now is a great time for
new Tigers to learn a little bit more about what Ridley is like. There is no better way to learn than from a fellow student. Meet Jared Sloan ’19: one of 13 Student Prefects for the 2018-2019 year. As a Prefect, Jared will help support, empower and lead the student body.

Jared began his Ridley journey in 2013 as a Grade 7 student and has since excelled in his academics, athletics and co-curricular experiences. Read more about Jared’s Ridley story and find out what he’s looking forward to most come September.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Truthfully, it wasn’t really my choice, so I guess you should ask my parents that question. I think they’d say it was because Ridley offered so much more than any other school in the region and would hopefully provide better preparation for university. Looking back, I have to admit they made a smart decision.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I don’t think I ever felt overwhelmed, but as with any new school, there were definitely some changes I had to get used to. Luckily, there were also lots of people who helped ease the transition. I remember one teacher telling me on the first day of school that if I ever needed help, I could come talk to him. Gestures like that went a long way in relieving any anxiety I may have initially had.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
I guess that depends on the criteria. Favourite teacher to learn from? Mr. Ronald. I honestly think you’d be hard-pressed to find a human being more passionate about their job than him. Favourite teacher to be around? Dr. Foster. Her unfailing positivity and humour always made French class an experience to look forward to. Biggest contributor to my enjoyment of Ridley life? Mr. Doyle, who has been everything I could want in a math teacher, Head of House and golf coach. But he still owes me two River Lions tickets.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
The most intimidating thing I’ve done would probably be participating in the Valentine’s Day Debate as a Grade 9. I always thought that this event – which takes place in front of the entire school – was reserved for Ridley’s most experienced debaters, and I had no idea I would be asked to compete in it in my first year of high school. I was reluctant to say yes, and nervous once I did, but I think I prepared well and put on a decent performance. And you know what? It’s kind of fun to debate in front of 400 fans instead of just 4 judges, like we do at most tournaments.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
Being voted the Grade 8 Valedictorian by my peers was pretty meaningful to me. I’m not the most naturally social person, so I can’t say I was friends with everyone in the grade, but it was nice to know that my peers thought highly enough of me to let me speak on their behalf at graduation. (Either that or the vote got split a bunch of different ways…I’m sticking with the first explanation!) All kidding aside, to go from new student to valedictorian in two years was something I couldn’t have imagined, so that one’s still special to me.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
I’ll give you my favourite Ridley story. It’s from the Grade 8 trip to Ottawa and Montreal in 2015, which took place while the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens were playing each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. How perfect was that? Ottawa should never have actually made the playoffs, but they snuck in thanks to a miraculous late-season run by their goaltender, Andrew Hammond, who was affectionately nicknamed the Hamburglar. Anyway, we’re in Ottawa, it’s lunchtime, and I’m standing in line at a McDonald’s with Jordan, Tyler, and Bart. The woman behind us hears us talking about hockey and informs us that the Hamburglar is taking pictures with people a couple blocks away. Of course, we interpret this as “Andrew Hammond is taking pictures with people”, which should have struck us as odd given that he had a playoff game in Montreal a few hours later. But clearly we weren’t too bright back then, as we immediately rushed out of the restaurant to get to the photo op. We were just deciding what we were going to say to Andrew when we turned the corner and realized that the “Hamburglar” the woman had referred to was just a cardboard cut-out of the actual Hamburglar. We’d wasted our lunch break chasing a false lead! I understand it was our own fault, but still…why would that woman have thought we’d want a photo with a cardboard cartoon character? I think we need to track her down and ask her that.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
The busyness. With so much going on, there’s always something to look forward to. Your next game, your next club meeting, your next presentation…things that allow you to wake up in the morning with a sense of excitement and purpose. Can it become stressful at times? For sure. But I always say that if you were never stressed, it would probably be because you were never doing anything important, which would be a sad way to live your life.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
Working with my fellow Prefects. I might be biased, but I think that the Class of 2019 is a particularly strong one, and I’d like to think the Prefect team reflects that. I really believe there are some amazing leaders in this grade, which is one of the reasons I found this job so attractive. I’ve done lots of group work in the past, but never anything this extensive, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish over the course of an entire school year.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Time management is definitely one of the big things. I’ve talked to people from other schools who say they’re nervous about university because they went through high school without really doing any work – needless to say, you won’t have to worry about that at Ridley. I also think that Ridley does a good job of teaching responsibility. For example, if you miss class due to a sports commitment, your teachers will be happy to help you catch up, but you have to be proactive and arrange those meetings. In my opinion, Ridley gives you every opportunity to succeed if you show initiative.

What are your plans after graduation? 
In a perfect world, I’d do an undergraduate health sciences degree in the U.S. and then come back to Canada and study medicine. Both of my parents are in the healthcare field, and I definitely think that’s something I’d like to enter. But I have other interests, too. I’ve joked before that I’d like to combine the Ben Carson and Chris Christie career paths. Ben Carson went from doctor to politician, and Chris Christie went from politician to sports radio host – or at least he almost did. So, we’ll see. I won’t etch anything in stone yet.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
I feel like some of the other Prefects will say “take advantage of the opportunities” (which is perfectly valid advice), so I’ll go for something different. Just stay on top of things. I see people who constantly hand in work late – one assignment is overdue, so they push the next one back, and it quickly becomes a never-ending game of catch-up. As you would expect, that almost always leads to more stress and less success. And if you’re always behind, you’ll miss out on a lot of the great things that Ridley has to offer. So, please make the most of your Ridley experience and manage your workload effectively.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Anastasia G. ’18

Introducing Anastasia Guzenko ’18 – a Prefect who has learned how wonderful it can be to be different. Read how her Ridley experience has been an immersive one; introducing her to unique, cultural and invigorating opportunities.

Why did you choose Ridley? When looking at different schools across Canada, my mother, with the help of an agent, narrowed the possible list down to three schools and Ridley was one of them. Being attracted by Harry Potter looking dining hall, artwork that decorates school hallways, cozy classrooms, giant athletic facilities, the Mandeville Theatre, music department, green grass fields and warm rooms, alongside endless opportunities and rigorous academic programmes convinced me to choose Ridley over other schools.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Absolutely not! Although I came and visited Ridley beforehand, I generally didn’t know why and what I was going for. I have never changed schools or place of living before. Even when the plane landed at Pearson Airport, I still had a lot of doubts. However, as soon as my orientation day has started, all my concerns were gone. Every person, whether it was a student, staff or faculty member, was all extremely friendly and welcoming, which shows the warm and hospitable nature of the Ridley community.

Who is your favourite faculty member? There is something very unique and special about every faculty member who was somehow involved in my Ridley life and choosing one will be impossible. Ms. Anderson, Ms. Blagona and Ms. Thompson are like my true mothers on the other side of the world. Ms. Becken’s History classes and funny, yet sometimes serious conversations about Extended Essay, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Mugan constant inspiration and amazing opportunity to travel to Germany this summer, Mrs. Darby and Mr. Darby’s help and support with connecting me to Rotary organization and getting me on an Australian exchange, Ms. Fournier’s wonderful introduction to the world of theatre and advisor support throughout my Grade 10 year, my ‘never stop believing’ coaches Ms. Thomas and Ms. O.R., all of the Mandeville house faculty, my passionate, enthusiastic and patient teachers: the list can go on and on… I hope you can feel my struggle of choosing just one.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The greatest challenge in my Ridley career so far has been realizing that there are only 24 hours a day, at least six of which are taken away by sleeping. With Ridley’s huge variety of clubs and opportunities, it was a challenging to fit all the activities I am interested in into my schedule, while ensuring that I am doing well academically. In the end, it all comes down to time-management and this is a key requirement for getting the most out of this place.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? I think my greatest accomplishment was growing as a person, as a student and as a leader. Before coming to Ridley, I lived in my own bubble without paying much attention to global issues, emerging problems, etc. However, by being surrounded with such multicultural community and being constantly pushed to the limit by International Baccalaureate programme, I was able to put myself on a path of becoming a global citizen. Moreover, receiving The Jay Feagan-Philip Davies Memorial Award this year for character development and leadership potential was a huge accomplishment for me as it has been previously won by truly amazing and very inspirational people and it is an honour to be a recipient.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? I really enjoy the events that bring the whole school together, for example: camp, Ridley’s birthday, Cross Country Run, arts celebrations, spirit nights, Sports Day and much more. However, I think my favourite one is Snake Dance. It is one of the longest standing traditions at Ridley and it is one of the first school gatherings of the year. I feel like this is when new students begin to feel the spirit of a tiger and experience the feeling of a strongly–bonded community. In addition, it is an incredibly fun away to start up the academic year.

What has been your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the feeling of being a part of this supportive and very culturally diverse community, as well as the ability to call Ridley my home. It’s incredible; when walking down the hallway, you can hear your peers speak German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Russian and Igbo. Also, it sets up an amazing example to the whole world, how so many cultures can bond in such a small place, living and interacting peacefully with each other on daily basis.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I am not quite sure yet as I don’t know all the small details of what it is like being a Prefect, but I am excited about this challenge. I am excited to advance or to finish the initiatives that have been brought up by previous generations of Prefects. At the end of next year, I am excited to reflect and see the positive impact on Ridley and the Niagara community that will hopefully be made. I think I am very lucky to be a part of such amazingly talented group of people and I am excited to take on this journey with them, which will be filled with joy and lots of learning.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley gave me an opportunity to pursue the IB programme, which has been very rigorous and demanding so far. It taught me and keeps teaching me how to ‘live my life’, in a good sense of this phrase. Now, after completing only one year, I feel like I am a more mature person, who can approach tasks creativity and critically, considering a variety of different perspectives. Ridley is like a little world, filled with lots of unique moments, long-lasting friendships and challenging decisions. This is what life is all about.

What are your plans after graduation? I think I will peruse an undergraduate degree at a university. Ideally, I will be double-majoring in international relations and theatre. However, whatever I will end up doing or wherever I will end up going, I want to keep learning language, travelling and culturally exploring the world.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Ridley is a place of opportunities and self-growth. Don’t be scared to take risks, to try things even though you have never seen yourself doing them, join activities, participate. Embrace your weirdness and unique characteristics and don’t judge people for being different. Being different is great. Never give up when something goes wrong, aim to become better every day. Don’t be afraid to meet people; don’t hesitate to ask them for help or advice – you will be surrounded by people from all over the world and I am sure there will at least one person who will be able to relate to your struggle. Finally, make your own decisions and don’t be scared to express your own opinions but keep in mind and respect the fact that there are people from 46 other countries. You have one chance of being at Ridley, so use it!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jack H. ’18

Meet Jack Hilditch ’18 – a Prefect whose Ridley career has opened up a world of opportunities. Read how he has grown, achieved and flourished in the last 10 years.

Why did you choose Ridley? My sister, who graduated from Ridley in 2014, started at Ridley in Grade 5. The amazing experiences and opportunities she had interested me and I decided to give it a try. I can honestly say that without Ridley, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Ridley was very intimidating and daunting initially. Being so young I was unsure about what to expect. The Ridley atmosphere and environment was very different, but I was excited and open to this new opportunity to learn and grow alongside many of my close friends.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? My favourite faculty member is Ms. Anderson, my IB Biology teacher. She is extremely supportive and caring in and out of the classroom. Ms. Anderson’s support has allowed me to travel to the Arctic this summer as part of a Students on Ice program. She has been a huge influence in the past year always encouraging me to pursue new opportunities and to follow my passions.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? Every challenge at Ridley has allowed me to grow and become a better version of myself. Graduating from Lower School and entering Upper School was one of the most frightening, exciting and challenging experiences I’ve had. The walk across A squad and B squad was one that was filled with fear and enthusiasm. While this may have appeared as a challenge initially, it has been a source of growth and development.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? My greatest accomplishment at Ridley is being accepted into the Students on Ice Program this summer. The Students on Ice program educates the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions and supports them in their continued personal and professional growth. Only 100 students were accepted from around the world and I am honored to have the opportunity to travel to the far north this summer.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? My favourite Ridley experience would have to be Snake Dance. Snake Dance is an awesome way to kick off the year by building excitement and anticipation for the year to come. It’s a great opportunity to bring everyone together and celebrate this Ridley tradition.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the house life. Being in MSO (the best house) has been an amazing part of my Ridley career. The house life is such a great brotherhood. House life is an awesome opportunity to develop friendships and compete amongst each other.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? As Prefect, I am most excited for the beginning of the year where I can meet so many new people and help them adjust to the Ridley environment. I understand how scary it can be travelling long distances away from your friends and families. Supporting everyone will be a major focus of mine.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Ridley has provided me with the opportunities to develop and grow as a person. Ridley has presented me with the chance to develop as a student, leader, friend and peer. Through the wide variety of opportunities I have taken part in over the years, I have strengthened many aspects of myself, preparing me for the future.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan on attending university in Canada. My goal is to attend Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto for business and commerce.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? My biggest piece of advice is to not take the wide range of opportunities presented for granted. I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and participate in activities, sports and opportunities that you may be unfamiliar with, as you could grow from them.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Mesoma E. ’18

Meet Mesoma Ejeh ’18 – a Prefect whose time at Ridley has ignited
within her a passion for social justice. Read about the leaps and bounds she’s made during her Ridley career to date.

Why did you choose Ridley? I really didn’t make the decision with regard to attending Ridley. My parents decided that I would attend Ridley and I am very happy with their decision.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Yes and no. I was prepared in the sense that I was aware of the challenges that attending school in a different country created. And no, because I didn’t realize how busy the schedule at Ridley could get.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? After reading this question over a dozen times and skipping it till the very end. Then reading over time a few more times, I realized that I don’t have a favourite faculty member at Ridley College. As cliché as it sounds, they have all, in some way, had a huge impact on my Ridley experience and I am grateful for all that they have done. Nonetheless, my rowing coaches had a monumental impact on my life. Prior to attending Ridley, I never played any sport. Thanks to them I have realized that I am stronger than I initially thought.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? It would most definitely be the moments I spent rowing and training at rowing practices. I have never been more physically challenged and exhausted in my life. Nonetheless, not only have I developed a more toned, athletic and healthy body.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? Probably the different bus rides that I have been on whilst at Ridley; like the bus rides to the Henley Island, the bus rides for House trips or on Ski Day. Each ride was enveloped in an atmosphere of light-heartedness, filled with laughter, dancing (mostly by Idara) and lots of singing. Between the lines of the next adventure, the bus rides were when I could relax, forget what was upcoming and truly live in that moment.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? I think I am most excited the speeches and the opportunity to speak to the entire student body. Most importantly, I am excited for the positive impact that this year’s Prefects, including myself, will make and encourage students to make on the Ridley community.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Prior to attending Ridley, I went to a school in Nigeria which was filled with mostly Nigerians whose ideas just like mine were heavily influenced by our culture, parents and religion. Therefore, we often shared similar views and almost identical perspectives of life. The Ridley community is enriched with students and staff of different backgrounds and as result contains a diverse archive of ideas, culture and belief. This exposure has widened my horizon. Additionally, I believe that this diversity has allowed and allows me as well as other Ridley students to be conscious, respectful of differences and not fear them – a lesson that the world still so desperately needs to learn.

What are your plans after graduation? I intend to attend university in the United States and continue to participate in activities related to Christianity, racial justice, feminism and striving to change the world, one day at a time.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? Bask yourself in the many activities and constant hustle and bustle at Ridley. As my time at Ridley draws to a close, what I realize that I will miss the most are the moments spent with my friends at an activity, studying, volunteering and being an active member of the Ridley community.

 

 

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: Brittany N. ’18

Meet Brittany Ng ’18 – a Prefect who perfectly embodies the term ‘global citizen’. Read how the school has supported her and her dreams during her Ridley career.

Why did you choose Ridley? After living overseas for over 20 years, my parents had an opportunity to move back to Canada. We wanted to move to a city that was truly Canadian after living in such big cities – such as London and Hong Kong – but they also wanted to ensure that my siblings and I continued to have a great education. Ridley fit those requirements perfectly, as it had a very strong reputation internationally and is the only full IB continuum boarding school in Canada. Also, my uncles were Ridleians and their strong recommendations meant a lot for me in my decision to come to Ridley!

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley? Not at all! I didn’t know what to expect since my previous school had over 2,500 students, with over 800 students in the high school section. Not only that, but I was going to embark on my International Baccalaureate journey, changing from an American curriculum; I didn’t have any idea of what was to come. Even before stepping foot on campus the first day, I remember watching all the ‘Welcome to Ridley’ videos and going through all the information on the website to help prepare myself. However, once I stepped foot on the campus, it all came to life and each day brings new challenges. I realize you just have to be prepared to be challenged!

Who is your favourite faculty member and why? It’s hard to name just one faculty member, as everyone I interact with has helped and supported me in different aspects, both as a student and in general! I can truly say they all go out of their way to help you succeed at Ridley. Since I had to travel internationally quite frequently last year, due to my Hong Kong National Team commitments, I missed quite a lot of classes. However, all my teachers, from chemistry to economics, were extremely helpful and understanding in getting me ahead or catching up with work during my absences. Away from academics, my coaches always helped me develop my skills in the various sports, whether it’s a sport I’ve been playing for years or if it’s the first time I’ve played it.

One particular faculty member that I didn’t meet in the conventional classroom environment was Mr. Martinez, whom I met during my trip to El Salvador for the Habitat for Humanity trip during March break. Mr. Martinez really helped introduce and embed the local culture and history of his home country. He is always so excited and enthusiastic, even when he is back in the hallways of Ridley instead of El Salvador.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley? The greatest challenge I have faced thus far at Ridley was transitioning to completely new curriculum – full International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Going into the IB program, I knew that it was going to be a rigorous ride with lots of demands that would stretch me academically. In addition to that, I needed to balance the co-curricular activities at Ridley, as well as any activities I had outside of school such as clubs and my international commitments that I still had. I travelled to Mexico, Japan, Victoria, B.C. and I also contracted pneumonia for two weeks as part of my ‘settling-in’ to the Canadian winters. My schedule seemed very overwhelming at the start, but with the skills, knowledge and good time management that I have acquired, it’s made it possible and very rewarding.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley? Honestly, some days it has felt like my greatest achievement is just getting through the day and through this first year, but looking back, it has been such an enjoyable year. In all honesty, I feel that my greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley is being selected to be on both the IB Executive Student Council and as a Ridley Prefect just after my first year here. It is really rewarding and an honour to be selected for these important roles at Ridley, and I really feel that all my hard work and dedication paid off. Even though it’s been a challenging transition year for me in a new school environment, I feel like it’s all been worth the hard work – and of course, part of this accomplishment is also all the new friends that I made here!

What has been your favourite Ridley experience? There have been so many memorable experiences, even though I’ve been at Ridley for only 10 months! However, some of my favourite Ridley experiences have come just over the past couple of months, when I first got introduced to rugby by joining the First Girls’ Rugby team. I’ve always wanted to try the sport and loved it the moment I started playing. The highlight was the CISAA finals at Appleby. Even though the week leading up to the finals I sprained my ankle during one of the games, which resulted in my foot having to be in a boot and on crutches. But when the game day arrived, I was eager to bring home the championship with the team. I ended up playing in the final game and scoring a sick try for the team! Even though we didn’t win, we played like we’d never played before and the awesome team spirit is a memory that will stay with me forever

What is your favourite part of Ridley life? My favourite part of Ridley life is the diversity in the school community. There is diversity in students I interact with, with includes students from all different grades. At my previous school, as the school was so big, it wasn’t possible to have that interaction. At Ridley, I really like how I can go into the dining hall and sit with a different group of people every day, whether they are in Grade 9 or in Grade 12, whether they are friends I met through my sports activities or my academic classes, whether they were from my service trip to El Salvador, my House or another House. Ridley provides so many opportunities to make friends of all ages and from all over the world.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for? As a Prefect, I am most excited about leading the Ridley social and school spirit events. I have many new ideas to help further enhance the student life on campus. I was excited about participating in the Ridley events last year as a new student, and those experiences really shaped my view of the school. Now as a Ridley Prefect, I want to be able to provide my fellow Ridleians with new initiatives and fresh team spirit. We have a great Prefect team this year with many diverse and strong leaders who are passionate about their commitment to the school and I am very honored at the opportunity to work alongside them.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future? Although at this stage I have yet to decide my major or field of study, where I want to attend university or where I will be pursuing my career, one thing I am certain about is that I want to continue to explore the world and the different cultures. With Ridley’s IB Diploma Programme and most importantly, the diverse student population from all over the world, with different cultures, personalities, languages, traditions and stories of their background, Ridley has truly prepared me for this journey that I am just embarking on. My worldview continues to be broadened with every day and every experience I gain at Ridley, something that I will always be grateful for.

What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I’m planning on going to university in the fall and I’m really excited about this next step in my life journey. I haven’t decided on whether to go to university in Canada or the States, as both are very appealing in different ways. However, over the summer, I want to travel as much as I can with both my family and my friends, as this may be the only break I’ll have in the next four years! I would love to explore more of Asia and Europe, and experiencing as many different cultures as I can over the two months! 

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley? I would tell prospective students that Ridley provides you with so many opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and try new things that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience.  Take advantage of that, and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Build a strong network of diverse friends that will provide you with support throughout your years here and beyond. Carpe diem!