Tag Archives: Ridley College

Ridley Becomes the First Visible Wellbeing™ School in North America

Three years following the launch of our Strategic Plan, Ridley is confidently enacting our mission to inspire flourishing lives in a novel and intentional way. Recently, our school launched an exciting two-year partnership with Professor Lea Waters (PhD), a leading researcher and global expert in the field of positive psychology – making Ridley the first Visible Wellbeing TM Foundational School in North America.

Developing well-rounded individuals has been a focus at Ridley for over a century, however, over the past five years we have deliberately and consciously applied the science behind positive education – the notion of improving students’ emotional, psychological and physical well-being in order to help them flourish in the classroom and in their lives.

In 2012 Ridley began to effect applied positive psychology methodologies, such as Martin Seligman’s PERMA-V model, which breaks down the core elements of psychological well-being and happiness. Since then, our faculty has been participating in professional development, becoming deeply familiar with key frameworks and integrating them into their classrooms, on the sports field, within the boarding houses and even in their own lives. Today, it would not be out of the ordinary for one to walk into the Grade 3 class to witness mindfulness breathing exercises taking place, or to hear students at the lunch table talking about their top character strengths.

With this school-wide exposure to positive psychology, the introduction of a dedicated Upper School Counselor and the PERMA-V model being adopted by faculty and Ridleians alike, it became clear that Ridley was quickly becoming a leader in positive education within North American schools. It was with this realization that we decided to embark upon a fundraising effort to bring a world-class expert in this field to Ridley. With the support of our generous community, Ridley successfully raised more than $100,000 towards a ‘Positive Education Fellowship’ during the 2016-17 Annual Fund campaign.

The search for the most suitable positive psychology expert, who would advance our school’s mission, led Ridley straight to Professor Lea Waters.

    

Although she playfully refers to herself as a “pracademic,” Professor Lea Waters is more formally a psychologist, researcher, author and facilitator who specializes in positive education, positive parenting, and positive organizations.  She is the Founding Director of Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Melbourne – where she has also published over 90 scientific articles and book chapters in 21 years. Professor Waters is the President of the International Positive Psychology Association, has affiliate positions with Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and is the Ambassador for the Positive Education Schools Association.

Among her many contributions to the field, the multi-award winning research professor has designed and developed a framework known as Visible WellbeingTM (VWB), which is an approach that combines the science of well-being with the science of learning and teaching to make well-being visible in all classes and across co-curricula. Over the next two years, Professor Waters will bring her scientifically-grounded techniques in VWB to Ridley, which will enable teachers to use the learning process itself as a delivery mechanism to build student well-being. Unlike some rigid curriculum, VWB is a flexible approach which can be applied in a trans-disciplinary manner across all grades and amongst faculty and staff. With the VWB approach, academic learning and well-being are truly integrated and produce a positive feedback cycle.

Professor Waters’ drive to develop the VWB approach was in reaction to staggering global rates of teen depression, anxiety, eating disorders and suicide. According to the World Health Organization, 10 to 20 percent of children and adolescents experience mental disorders worldwide. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death amongst 15 to 19-year-olds. Ridley responds to this teenage need for support, explains Head of Upper School, Michele Bett, “At Ridley, we believe a child’s physical and emotional, psychological well-being will underpin everything they do – not just in school, but beyond school.”

To launch VWB at Ridley, Professor Waters recently spent two days facilitating faculty and staff workshops. During these dynamic sessions, she introduced concepts such as the SEARCH Framework, which helps identify character strengths, as well as delivery methods and measurement techniques for VWB. Professor Waters also shared why she was keen to partner with Ridley. “What made me feel that [Ridley] would do well by Visible Wellbeing is that I know that the intention of Ridley is truly and genuinely to make flourishing lives. It’s not just a statement on a document…The school has the right structure, it has the right people, it has the right ethos…From an organizational psychology perspective it ticks all the checklist of organizational readiness for change,” says Waters.

Professor Lea Waters facilitating Visible WellbeingTM workshops with faculty and staff.

“I truly feel that the adoption of Professor Waters’ Visible Wellbeing approach and positive education expertise will provide the exact direction, resources and consistent language that our community requires to forge ahead as the trailblazer for positive education in Canada…and North America for that matter,” remarked Headmaster, Ed Kidd. Ridley looks forwards to enhancing the student experience through this ongoing VWB initiative and to sharing our outcomes with other schools around the world.

Ridley faculty show off their copies of The Strength Switch by Professor Lea Waters (PhD), the selection for this past summer’s professional development reading.

“This is a world-class school to take on this new innovation and to marry together the science of learning with the science of well-being to help everyone thrive at the school.” – Professor Lea Waters (PhD)

TransfORming Our Globe – Luc Brodeur ’14 & Laura Court ’14

For this month’s installment of the TransfORming Our Globe series, we’re sharing the story of alumni, Luc Brodeur ’14 and Laura Court ’14, who both recently competed for Canada at the U23 World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria.

Luc’s Journey
Luc Brodeur ’14 became a Ridleian in 2010. A natural-born athlete, he jumped at the chance to row when he began at Ridley. When Luc wasn’t out on the water, he was developing a passion for biology and acquiring leadership skills through the Cadet Programme. It wasn’t until his Grade 11 year that his rowing talents began to soar. Under the guidance of Olympian and Coach, Jason Dorland ’83, Luc quickly excelled in the sport.

“[Coach Dorland’s] philosophy and training program allowed me to push my limits every day and to become a humble, mature, and disciplined oarsman. Improvements in terms of my fitness, technique and mentality were made in very large amounts over the two years spent with him. This was when university coaches began to pay attention to how I was doing and when they became interested in me. I owe a lot to Jason.”
– Luc Brodeur ’14

When Luc graduated – alongside his fellow U23 National teammate, Laura Court ’14 – he took the skills he learned on the water and in the classroom with him, beginning his post-graduate studies at Brock University before heading to the University of Victoria to study Biology and row with its varsity team.

This summer, Luc was named to the U23 National Team, competing for Canada in the Men’s quadruple sculls race. This was Luc’s third time competing at the World Championships – once at the Junior level and twice at the U23 level. Team Canada performed well this year in Bulgaria, with Luc’s quad placing 7th in the finals.

While Luc is making headlines in the world of rowing, he doesn’t plan to stop there. He’s striving towards goals in both rowing and science, with hopes of making it to the Olympics and becoming a researcher in the field of human genetics.

Laura’s Journey
Laura Court ’14 began Ridley in Grade 5, making her a “Lifer” by the time she graduated high school in 2014. She started her rowing career as a coxswain in Grade 9, where she was tasked with the responsibility of both steering the shell during a race and coaching her crew to the finish line. She spent all four years with the Ridley College Rowing Club, was involved in the arts on campus and was a House Captain during her final year.

Upon graduation, Laura began her studies at Brock University. She is currently in her fourth year of Psychology and has been an important member of Brock Rowing. “Ridley helped me understand what it was like to work hard and persevere and taught me time management skills, which help me juggle my studies and a hectic rowing schedule,” says Laura.

While rowing as a Brock Badger, Laura was given the opportunity to represent her school at the Canadian University Rowing Championships and has done so for the past three years. Laura’s coach recognized her drive and introduced her to the Rowing Canada coach in the Spring of 2016. In May 2017, Laura was invited to the Rowing Canada selection camp – alongside several Old Ridleians – and was named to the U23 National Team.

During the U23 World Championships in August 2017, Team Canada’s women’s eight crew captured gold during the finals. Laura’s big win has motivated her to take her talents even further, with hopes of making the U23 team again next year, followed by the Senior National team when she graduates university.

“Knowing that I still have a lot to learn and that I know I’m willing to put in the work to continue to progress is a big motivator. But another is the women I train with. They are a big reason I still enjoy waking up early. Having a taste of international competition at the U23 World Championships has made me that much more motivated. ”
– Laura Court ’14

Both Luc and Laura have worked tirelessly to pursue their goals, both in the classroom and on the water. To Ridleians who are unlocking their own potential and discovering their passions, they say this:

“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

“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


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.

 

 

 

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.