Tag Archives: Inspiring

Ridleian Wins We Charity Youth Award

Photography by Linda Roy/Ireva Photography, http://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/community-and-current-events/article/2016-me-to-we-winner-xavier-west
Photography by Linda Roy/Ireva Photography, http://www.canadianliving.com/life-and-relationships/community-and-current-events/article/2016-me-to-we-winner-xavier-west

Ridleian, Xavier West ’20 has been a dedicated advocate for Me to We since he was only 10 years old. Me to We (formerly Free the Children) is an organization that sets out to empower youth to change the world. Once Xavier discovered Me to We, a fire ignited within him to make a difference.

When he was younger, Xavier would frequently listen to Me to We cofounder, Craig Kielburger, as he recalled stories of his service trips to poverty-stricken communities. Hearing these stories inspired Xavier to see what he could do to help. It began small; asking not for toys at Christmas, but for a goat to be given to a family in need – A goat can provide a family in the developing world with both a sustainable source of income and nutritious milk. Xavier realized that while he had all the toys he could ever want, a roof over his head, and a full fridge, there was a family somewhere in the world that didn’t share the same luxuries.

It was then that Xavier’s goal grew and he set out to complete all five pillars of Me to We giving. The five pillars are education, water, health, food and opportunity. Each pillar contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty in developing communities around the world. The first pillar on Xavier’s list was education. Xavier was determined to raise enough money to build a school in Kenya.

He remained devoted and inspired for the four years of his fundraising campaign, even attending the Take Action Camp, where he was able to interact with like-minded individuals share his story, and see where he community service could take him. After selflessly collecting cans, hosting garage sales and rallying his family, friends and the community to help him reach his goal, Xavier raised $11,000. The collected funds were used to build a school in Kenya from start to finish, which Xavier also helped build on site. For this Grade 9 student, this was a chance to see the impact he was making on these communities and gave him the opportunity to experience, first-hand, what his fundraising efforts had accomplished.

Xavier says the most touching moment of his trip was meeting a mother, who showed him and his family what life was like in her community; taking them on a water walk, showing them her goats, and taking them to her home, which she built herself.

“The way she was talking was just so inspirational…she says this magnificent house – that isn’t that big – is amazing, and yet we’re worried about the luxuries that we have, that aren’t even close to what they have.” – Xavier West ’20

When Xavier returned home, the summer was nearing its end and he was about to begin the next chapter of his life – high school. This transition is a big step for students, made even bigger by the fact that Xavier would also be beginning his Ridley journey. ¬Xavier wanted to attend Ridley for the exceptional education that the school could provide, but upon arriving, he realized that this was also a place he could further his commitment to action and service. With Ridley’s own commitment to service, each House on campus is associated with a charitable organization that they support and raise funds for over the course of the school year. Through this programme, Xavier discovered how he could impact his local community, in addition to his efforts abroad. For a student so dedicated to transforming the globe, Ridley was the perfect fit.

IMG_0327

On October 19th, Xavier was presented with the We Charity Youth Award during the 12th annual We Day. This award is given to a child, aged 13-17, who has contributed to Me to We and the fight to end poverty in an inspiring way. In addition to his acknowledgement on stage, winning this award means that Xavier will be able to experience another service trip and he’s setting his sights on Nicaragua.

Xavier’s journey does not end there. He plans to continue to complete all five pillars; doing his part to contribute to Kenya’s food sustainability, clean water availability, health care, and income opportunities, followed by aiding all of Me to We communities.

“My end goal is to do all five pillars in every community that Me to We is associated with.” – Xavier West ’20

To students who are seeking inspiration to make an impact of their own, Xavier says this:

“Do something you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter whether the cause is big or small, they’re all important. There are so many problems in this world and if we all help, maybe one day all these problems can be solved.” – Xavier West ’20

Read the Canadian Living article.

Ridleian receives prestigious Loran Scholarship

The Loran Scholars Foundation is an organization, dedicated to the success of Canada’s most promising young students. Since 1988, the Loran Scholars Foundation has sought out students who demonstrate character, service and leadership, and helped support them in their post-secondary careers. Since their inception, they have invested in over 500 Loran Scholars and granted thousands of additional scholarship prizes.

Each year, the Loran Scholars Foundation receives over 4,000 applications. After a long process, which includes a multiple-essay application and an intensive interview process, only 30 are selected and named Loran Scholars. Those 30 individuals each receive a renewable undergraduate scholarship, valued up to $100,000, for the duration of their four years of post-secondary education. In addition to the monetary support, these scholars receive the opportunity to intern abroad for three summers, receive residency support and are connected with a mentor for the duration of their education.

This coveted scholarship can change the life of a student and can open doors to opportunities that they never thought were possible. This year, we are proud to announce that Ridleian, Grace Lowes ’16, has received the Loran Scholars title. During her Ridley career, she has truly embodied what it means to be a true Ridleian. In her time here, Grace has co-founded the Model U.N. group, formed a Days for Girls charitable activity on campus, been an active member of clubs such as the Syrian Refugee club and Positive Spaces Group, and has helped lead the school, during her final year, as a Prefect, among many other accomplishments. Grace has become a leader, an activist, a humanitarian and a proud member of the community in her years here at Ridley. We know that Grace will continue to lead and inspire change throughout the course of her post-secondary career and beyond.

The road to becoming a Loran Scholar is not an easy one, but Grace has truly earned it. This year, the Loran Scholars Foundation received 4,273 applications from students across Canada and only awarded 31, making Grace one of the top 0.7 percent of Canadian students from that pool.

Check out the articles about Grace’s achievement and the Loran Scholars Foundation!

To read the Globe and Mail article, click here.

To read the Welland Tribune article, click here.