Have you heard about the Kindness initiative at Princess Margaret Secondary School? Meet one of the student behind this initiative, Sarah Wood, March Rotary Student of the Month.
Sarah is a leader in the school and loves being involved. You will find her leading many regular fundraising events and other activities that are part of school life. She is always putting herself out there and she has trouble saying "no" when asked. "Doing something that matters makes me feel good", she says.
Most recently, she collaborated on a Kindness initiative where every single student was given a t-shirt that extolled others to "Be kind". "The logistics behind getting 550 students a shirt in a colour of their choosing to celebrate kindness was a feat upon itself. Few students could pull it off. But with Sarah as part of the initiative, it was possible and a great success! The ripple effect of this reminder to be kind can be seen in the change of tone in the school" says her English teacher Jeff Fitton.
"Sarah is always willing to work as part of a team. She is humble, hard-working and understands that these large-scale projects are only possible with the collaborative work of others.
She demonstrates leadership in the classroom through her vibrant energy and willingness to lead discussions enthusiastically. Through her joie-de-vivre and positive example, she inspires other students to participate", he says.
As a leader on 3 projects happening in early March, she feels the pressure and the need to delegate to others. She reminds herself of how much she would have liked to be involved when she was in grade 9 and works hard at involving others.
Sarah is one of the lead roles in this year's Musical "Seussical". She found it hard to audition for the same role against friends, but is proud of having been selected. She devoted countless hours in the last 6 months and felt the reward in the recent performances.
Sarah also coaches grade 6 soccer and likes to get them pointed in the right direction!!!
Sarah is one of those rare students whose vision extends far beyond her school. Despite being an incredibly self-motivated leader in the school, her influence is felt at the community level as well.
She is part of a dedicated team who are the impetus behind the YES Youth project. She is a member of the Steering Council and a youth advisor for the Resource Center that will help fill a desperately needed gap in resources for youth in our community.
"This project has been a huge part of my life. It keeps me busy for sure, but is a huge accomplishment. There were many obstacles in the way, not the least being that as a youth-based organization, people did not take us seriously initially. But we proved ourselves and we did it! Now a lot of people are helping us make the Resource Center a reality", Sarah says.
Matching her school and community involvement, she lead a special fundraiser at the school for the project. Along with a dedicated cast of students and without any teacher direction, they have put on an incredibly effective Haunted House. "An experience that was one of the best haunted houses I've attended", says her English teacher.
Sarah has a strong sense of belonging to Penticton and is one of the candidates in the Miss Penticton program. She loves the learning involved in building her confidence, anything from public speaking and interview techniques, to life skills such as how to change a car tire.
Sarah feels the pressure of graduating, deciding what she is going to do. She needs to balance her job working at the Regency Centre, her social life, her school and community involvement with keeping good marks needed to pursue a degree in Social Sciences.
"Sarah is an all-star and when she leaves the school after next year, her absence will be felt. She is a positive light in a world that desperately needs it" (Jeff Fitton, English)
"Student of the Month" is a Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan initiative. The award aims to recognize outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan is partnering with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their proactive involvement in wide-ranging community service projects.