Tag Archives: international baccalaureate

TOP 10 Pieces of Advice for Graduates

As the Class of 2018 prepares to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, we compiled 10 pieces of advice from young alumni, that will help our graduates as they begin the next chapter of their lives.

1. Find Your Passion
“Great ideas come from great passion. When you do what you love, you will never look back. The positive light from doing what you love will unknowingly motivate others to do the same!” – Marina Radovanovic ’14

2. Set Goals
“Set goals and then reset them regularly. Stand behind your ideas. Even if the first ones don’t take, keep an entrepreneurial spirit alive. Think outside the box. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that break the mold.” – Colt Iggulden ’03

3. Believe in Yourself
“One of the biggest things that current and future Ridleians should remember is to never stop believing that they can do great things. Anybody can do anything that they set their minds to. No matter how much adversity one must face to achieve greatness, it is important to never lose sight of what you want and to never give up. If there is something you want, go for it and don’t hold back.”
Luc Brodeur ’14

4. Seek Mentorship
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be patient. If I had never asked my coach what my next steps were, I wouldn’t have been able to take them. Then I had to be patient and wait for the right time. It’s all about the process, enjoy it. If you have a passion for something, don’t be afraid to pursue it.” – Laura Court ’14

5. Strive for More
“Follow your curiosity and always look for ways to improve. This may require further education and certification, volunteering with people different than you, or taking on a side-gig, but compounding curiosity will open you up to opportunities you may have never thought of.” – Radley Mackenzie ’03

6. Embrace Change
“You can’t rest on what you have done before, what you did last month, or five years ago. You really have to every day try and create something new that is going to help you out down the road.” – Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter ’94

7. Be Fearless
“If you believe in your idea, get out there and make it happen. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, you learn an absolute ton, and you nail it the next time. So many decisions are driven by the fear of failure – don’t let yourself fall into that trap and keep taking big risks!” – Jillian Evans ‘06

8. Take Risks
“Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Test out different subjects and hold on to what does not let your mind rest.” – Marc Seitz ’08

9. Be a Part the Bigger Picture
“Remember what it means to be a positive part of a community. Don’t get caught up trying to clamor to the top. Build strong supportive relationships with your peers and your competitors, think globally, act locally.” – Jordan Fowler ’05

10. Be Patient
“Take your time in figuring out what you want to do. There is a lot of pressure to pick something and stick with it, but I think careers and passions grow and evolve just as we do.” – Megan Breukelman ’11

Oh and… “Thank your parents. Seriously.” – Jeanette Stock ’09

Many Ridley College alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in their respective fields. The Ridley College MentORship Programme offers these Old Ridleians an opportunity to contribute to the Ridley mission by advising younger alumni who have graduated within the last ten years. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to take advantage of this programme as a mentee, visit here.

Students Transform Our Globe on Annual Service Trips

The Ridley motto, “May I be consumed in service” was aptly applied by three groups of students who travelled to Malawi, Guatemala and China during the March break. These service-learning excursions provided Ridleians with the unique opportunity to experience the living conditions in these countries, while actively contributing to their betterment.

At Ridley, emphasis is placed on global mindedness and service, so it comes as no surprise that so many Tigers were willing to dedicate their holidays to helping those less fortunate in distant communities. Here are some highlights from each of the 2018 service-learning trips:

Malawi

This March, Ridley continued its commitment to the Jacaranda School for Orphans, with 23 representatives making the long trek to Malawi for two weeks. Mr. Burke, Mrs. Darby and Dr. Des Vignes accompanied 20 students from Grades 9 to 12 as they embarked on an experience of a lifetime. This year, students brought an additional suitcase (23 suitcases total) filled with a variety of resources doe Jacaranda students including medical supplies, toys, laptops, tablets, art supplies, clothing and games.

While there, Ridleians were involved in an array of initiatives to benefit in the well-being of the local community, such as the Days for Girls project, delivering more than 20 feminine hygiene kits to the girls of Jacaranda. Students also worked on an outreach programme, going into a local village and helping to build a home for Mike, a boy in Grade 2, who is living with HIV and is also currently fighting cancer. One of the unique initiatives, that was even featured on a local television station, was the involvement of students collaborating with Jacaranda children to build prosthetic hands, brought in from Ridley’s “Helping Hands” Grade 11 class project.

 “Nothing prepares you for the experience of going to Malawi and Jacaranda. All you can do is “be free to fly” because that’s what the children of Jacaranda would do.” – Mrs. Wendy Darby ’99, Librarian and Archivist.

Many of the students reflected on how their time at Jacaranda had affected their perspective on life in a positive way. Some mentioned how they will now focus on the importance of expressing their gratitude towards their parents, becoming willing to convey their emotions more freely based on their personal observations of the children of Malawi, and treat every day as a gift – not taking for granted simple luxuries like running water and a warm bed.

Ridley’s connection to the Jacaranda School was initiated in October 2016, when founder, Marie Da Silva visited our campus to educate students on her mission in Malawi.

View photos.

Guatemala

The annual service trip once again brought a group of students to volunteer with The Doppenbergs in Guatemala (D.I.G.). This is a non-profit organization that helps build local schools, provides water and nutrition solutions to families and has developed the Centre of Hope for special needs children.

Part of the Doppenbergs mission is, “to work together with other to open their hearts and mind to service so together we can make this world a better place.” Ridleians followed in these footsteps by joining the Doppenberg’s altruistic efforts and positively impacting the children of Guatemala.

Ridleians spent the week participating in various projects, such as painting the school in preparation for the upcoming rainy season, as well as planting the nutrient-rich Moringa plants.

One particular experience put the students into the shoes of the Guatemalans. In an effort to better understand one of the challenges that local families endure, our students participated in a 1.5km “water walk.”

“This water walk made me realize that I take basic human needs such as clean water for granted. I did not realize how much work these women did for water until I experienced it myself.” – Vanessa Ferrante ’21

Students got to experience first-hand what life is like in Guatemala. The most cherished time spent, however, was connecting with children at the Centre for Hope who welcomed our students with open arms. The connections with these children had the most striking impact on our students.

“I learned how to be more independent, I created stronger bonds with my friends and teachers and I experienced a different way of living.” – Victoria Ferreira ’21

View photos.

China

A group of students travelled to China from March 16th to April 1st to participate in a cultural exchange sponsored by the Guiyang Education Bureau. Participants of the trip had the opportunity to collaborate with several primary schools in Guiyang, interacting with the school community, exchanging cultures and taking part in a variety of co-curricular activities.

The school communities were comprised of China’s left-behind children, and our Rildey students’ purpose was to inspire these children to pursue their education, strive to achieve their goals and dreams, and reduce the drop-out rate within these communities.

While all three trips comprised of vastly different experiences, what connects them is the intention behind their travel: giving back. Through these unique travel opportunities, students gain an appreciation of different cultures, opinions and ways of life. Service initiatives continue on campus, with our Ridleians dedicated to transforming our globe.

TransfORming Our Globe – Colt Iggulden ’03

For this month’s installment of the TransfORming Our Globe blog series, we’re sharing the story of alumnus, Colt Iggulden ’03, whose diverse and creative career has led him back home, where he is hoping to change the way hard work is rewarded in Canadian organizations.

Colt began Ridley in 1998 and spent the next five years on campus. As the last cohort to receive a Grade 13 education, Colt and his peers were given an additional year at Ridley to discover and explore their passions. Colt was always invested in the arts – at Ridley and in his career to follow. He also recognized the importance of leadership skills; joining the Cadet Programme, the Drill Team and taking on the role as a Prefect in his final year.

“My time at Ridley helped lay a foundation of skills that I draw on daily. It taught me time management, collaboration, attentive listening and creative thinking. As well, my time in the theatre prepared me for public speaking and presenting with ease. Whether for a school project, Chapel announcements, being in the play, on a team or as a Prefect – these personal development skills were ones that found their way into the many areas of school life.”                                                                          – Colt Iggulden ’03

After graduating, Colt explored several areas of the arts – both in his education and his professional career.  Starting on the east coast, he studied photography at the International Centre of Photography in New York City. He was able to connect with his subjects on a deeper level. “I always enjoyed finding those stills after a shoot where you could see the flicker in an eye that was truly honest and revealed a glimpse into the soul of the subject,” recalls Colt. He enjoyed the challenge of capturing someone’s character and story in a single image. Colt also attended the Lee Strasberg Centre for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles, where he studied acting. He refined his ability to read body language and build relationships while on the west coast; helping both his television production and sales careers.

As Colt gained skills, explored creative avenues and sought out learning opportunities, he found himself working with alumnus, John Brunton ’73 at Insight Productions. He began as an intern and then spent the next 10 years working his way up the ladder, producing some of Canada’s most popular shows. He worked with big names like Rihanna, Queen, Bon Jovi and Maroon 5 and on shows like Big Brother Canada and Canadian Idol. He thrived in the fast-paced and competitive nature of television. The collaboration and opportunity to learn made up for the long hours he put in to succeed.

“Ridley teaches its students how to be able to adapt to myriad situations. It is because of these skills learned that I have been able to move and adapt more readily into the differing careers that I have been fortunate to pursue.”                                                   – Colt Iggulden ’03

If you had asked Colt years ago if his media career would contribute to a successful sales career, he would have said no, but his new career path would indicate the opposite.

When the opportunity arose to join his father’s family business, Colt jumped at the chance to bring his ideas to P.I. Incentives. Colt’s father, Paul Iggulden ’72, started P.I. Incentives in 1990; bringing rewards to employees through incentive programmes. Over 20 years later – as businesses have had to adapt and compete – Colt and his sister, Britt decided they needed to bring something new to the table. With the help of Scott Snowden ’97 (who brought their platform to life), the siblings launched  WRKSHOP. WRKSHOP is a state of the art reward point platform that allows its members access to premium brands at the most competitive prices. With no initiation, setup or membership fees, registered organizations of WRKSHOP have the option to reward points to their employees for achieving milestones and accomplishments. Members can also purchase points at any time to save on hundreds of products from SONOS, Links of London, Riedel, Callaway and more. “Organizations are made up of such diverse groups of people, with a host of interests and passions both inside and outside the workplace. Why not let people be rewarded with items that speak to those interests? Why not give them the choice to choose their own reward?” asks Colt.

Beyond providing a platform that celebrates the personality of employees, organizations also reap rewards when it comes to partnering with WRKSHOP and P.I. Incentives. He shared that at P.I. Incentives, over 80% of their team has been with them for over 10 years, proving the worth of reward. The more an employee feels they are appreciated, the harder they work and the longer they stay with their employer. A positive work environment is important for both the company and its employees. Colt is hoping that (with his own hard work and dedication) WRKSHOP can become the leading incentive programme in Canada. Although his journey has been winding, taking him down many paths, Colt is eager to see where he and his family can take both P.I. Incentives and WRKSHOP.

With as many experiences as he’s had, Colt had some wonderful advice for Ridleians who are looking to their futures:

“Try working in various industries. I worked during the summers landscaping, I gave tours on a tour bus and interned on the production side of various TV shows. These experiences in my career infancy helped me harness different skills that would turn out to be vital in my career now. I learned that you have to get your hands dirty, that if you want to capture attention you better be engaged in your audience, and that when the pressure is on, that’s when real leadership is most important. Don’t be afraid to reach out to contacts and continue to grow your contact pool. Set goals and then reset them regularly. Stand behind your ideas. Even if the first ones don’t take, keep an entrepreneurial spirit alive. Think outside the box. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that break the mold.”      – Colt Iggulden ’03


TransfORming Our Globe is a blog series where we share the exciting stories of alumni who are leading flourishing lives and changing the world. It is important to Ridley College to support our alumni and share the stories of Old Ridleians, who discovered their passion and found success and happiness down the path of their choosing. 

Do you know of any classmates that are living flourishing lives or transforming our globe? Email any suggestions for the TransfORming Our Globe blog series to development@ridleycollege.com or use the form below.

[contact-form to=”development@ridleycollege.com” subject=”TransfORming Our Globe”][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”1″][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”1″][contact-field label=”TransfORming Our Globe Feature Suggestion” type=”textarea” required=”1″][/contact-form]

TOP 10: Ways the IB Programme Helps Students Flourish

With the new school year underway, we asked some of our faculty members how the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme enable our students to reach their full potential.

According to our faculty members, here are the top 10 ways the IB Programme helps students flourish:

  1. Equips Students with the Tools to Learn

Students learn more than facts and figures; they learn the tools to apply them to real world situations.

  1. Helps Them Discover Their Passions

Students are challenged to discover their own passions, while exploring the opportunities each may uncover.

  1. Teaches Communication Skills

Students discover how to better communicate and understand themselves, their peers and the world around them.

  1. Instills Global-mindedness

The IB Programme teaches students global-mindedness; it teaches them to not only be open to other perspectives, but to embrace global worldviews. This helps to develop empathy and caring, and ultimately, it helps students become good global citizens.

  1. Teaches Students to Think Critically

The IB is a remarkable programme that encourages students to think critically about the world in which we live and challenges them to think about the larger picture.

  1. Encourages Students to Take Risks

The programme encourages students to become risk-takers and inquirers.

  1. Teaches Lifelong Skills

The IB Programme helps our students flourish, teaches them resilience and team work and, most importantly, teaches them about humanity.

Prepares Students for Their Educational Journey

Although the programme can be challenging at times, it is a fantastic preparation for post-secondary education.

  1. Creates a Personalized Education

With a focus on student-centered learning, the IB allows for richer experiences in education. In the MYP, through the Personal Project, students can learn more about topics that are relevant and interesting to them. This leads to greater engagement in the learning process and is highly rewarding from a student perspective.

  1. Opens Opportunities for Faculty

Teachers can also open many doors to learning through the IB Programme, through IB professional development. This allows our teachers to continue to grow and provide students with the best learning experience.

 

Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger

When Tigers graduate, their relationships with Ridley don’t end; our alumni continue on as proud members of the Ridley community. For some, the connection to Ridley is so great, that they find themselves returning to campus, as faculty and staff members. You know what they say – ‘once a Tiger, always a Tiger‘.

Here are our Old Ridleians who are contributing to future generations of students:

Mike Moulden ’70
Years at Ridley: 1967-1970
Position: Senior Development Officer & Manager of Planned Giving
Favourite thing about Ridley: “A diverse family of faculty/staff with amazing students from around the world.”

 

 

Geoff Park ’80                                               
Years at Ridley: 1976-1980 (Gr. 10-13)
Position: Teacher, Department Head, Soccer Coach,  Squash Coach & Former Head of House
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The relationship between faculty and students. Because we do so much together, we know each other better and form stronger bonds that last forever.”

 

Charlene (Ebert) Hutton ’83
Years at Ridley: 1981-1983
Position: Guidance & Academics Administrative Assistant
Favourite thing about: “The community feeling among faculty and students.”

 

 

 

Paul Filion ’86
Years at Ridley: 1981-1986
Position: Teacher & Ridley College Cadet Corps No.162 RCACC Commanding Officer
Favourite thing about Ridley: “Being in the classroom with students and watching them absorb new material and watching their eyes light up is a wonderful experience.”

 

Derek Dunkley ’87
Years at Ridley: 1980-1987
Position: History & Economics Teacher
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The cultural mosaic that is our community.”

 

 

 

Jay Tredway ’96
Years at Ridley: 1992-1996
Position: Director of Athletics & Department Head – Health and Physical Education
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The opportunity for students from all over the world to come to Canada and find their niche, their special place to thrive and grow in this amazingly diverse community.”

Anjali Kundi ’97
Years at Ridley: 1993-1997
Position: Health Centre Physician
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The great memories and friends I made.”

 

 

 

 

Wendy (Crossingham) Darby ’99
Years at Ridley: 1990-1999
Position: Librarian, Archivist & Extended Essay Coordinator
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The connections. I love that I can sit down with an alum from the 40s or the 80s and we can speak the same language and have a common understanding about life.”

 

Marcie Lewis ’03
Years at Ridley: 2000-2003
Position: Grade 6 Teacher & PYP Coordinator
Favourite thing about Ridley: “My favourite thing about Ridley is the wide variety of options that we provide all students. This allows students to explore and discover their strengths, interests, and passions in academics, athletics, the arts and service.”

Alexandra Little ’03
Years at Ridley: 1998-2003
Position: Admissions Officer (International Markets)
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The connections. Over the years, I have met so many people, from all over the world, who are strongly connected to and passionate about Ridley and their experiences here. The network of Ridleians is wide, but surprisingly closely knit.”

Kenn Corfield ’03
Years at Ridley: 1997–2001
Position: Sports Attendant
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The wide selection of programs available from sports to academics to extra-curricular clubs for students – there’s never a boring day here”

 

Celeste Doucet ’07
Years at Ridley: 2004-2007
Position: Primary/Junior French Teacher
Favourite thing about working at Ridley: “The wonderful group of colleagues I get to work with every day.”

 

 

Mackenzie Fowler ’11
Years at Ridley: 2003-2011
Position: New Media Coordinator & TigerPost Supervisor
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The nostalgia. In my position, I am tasked with capturing all of Ridley’s biggest moments and brightest achievements and because of that, I get to relive some of my favourite Ridley experiences and revisit my home away from home every day of the week.”

Nick Blaikie-Puk ’12
Years at Ridley:
2010-2012.
Position: Admissions Officer
Favourite thing about Ridley: “The connections! Thanks to Ridley, I’ve been fortunate enough to have more global experiences throughout my life. I’ve made friends from around the world, both as a student and as a staff member. I continue to learn through being in such a uniquely diverse environment, sharing my stories, and creating worldly opportunities for others.”

Jacob Toms-Boudreau ’13
Years at Ridley: 2008-2013
Position: General Maintenance Assistant
Favourite thing about Ridley: “Seeing students excited about playing/using with something I helped to setup/install.”

 

 

Additional Faculty & Staff: Robert Poe ’90, Alyssa Toffolo ’14

 

 

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.