Tag Archives: St. Catharines

Get to Know Your Prefects: Jack H. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Mesoma E. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kofi O. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Alex S. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Victoria K. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Brittany N. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get to Know Your Prefects: Selena L. ’18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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