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“Positivity is like a ripple. It spreads.” A quote that I remember seeing on a poster I would frequently read at Holy Cross Elementary School. During my time at Holy Cross Parish and Holy Cross Elementary School, I learned how to spread positivity to those around me and how to be a bucket filler. The homilies at mass taught me about my Catholic faith and what it meant to be a practicing Catholic. At Holy Cross, I was actively involved in the school community and participated in many initiatives of service and charity work such as creating care packages for those in need, helping teach younger children about God’s word at Children’s Liturgy, regularly altar serving at mass, and assisting my mother with Bingo (a very popular activity) at the school picnic. Furthermore, I was a an active member of many school clubs. I was a faithful and enthusiastic participant in Roman Catholic Challenge, a Catholic trivia competition where I demonstrated leadership and good sportsmanship. I was in the school choir, where I would sing at mass and other events when not altar serving, and competed with a team that I have successfully won trivia competitions with for Readers Are Leaders. I also served at CWL’s Strawberry Teas and supported craft fairs. I pride myself on growing my faith by still regularly attending mass as well as praying, and I will continue to do so throughout my post-secondary years and beyond. Holy Cross also allowed me to thrive academically and gave me many opportunities to explore many interests. I was recognized for my achievements in academics by receiving the Academic Excellence Award at my Grade 7 graduation ceremony. As a scholarly Holy Cross student, I continuously demonstrated drive, perseverance, grit, passion, tenacity, courage, and inclusivity. I made sure to always treat everyone with respect and was honorouble, despite not always being included in the class group and often feeling left out. I was also a mentor to my younger buddy whom I met through Holy Cross and am still in touch with to this day. Holy Cross has influenced my secondary school years and plans for the future by planting a seed for me; one that has helped me discover myself and grow into who I am as a person today. I am like a flower. I am thriving, blooming, finding myself, and looking forward to the many adventures that await me! My time at Holy Cross has inspired me to take bold risks and embark on new leadership journeys. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone and tried a variety of things in high school because of the positive influence Holy Cross has had on me. Currently in Grade 12, I created a female empowerment and social club called Girl Talk. This club was designed for the sole purpose of having girl’s talk and socialize in a safe, fun, and non-judgmental space. I have joined leadership in high school and was recognized for my exemplary leadership skills with awards as well. My most recent recognition was for Minerva’s Youth Leadership Award 2023, and I was interviewed for a blog that I wrote based on my leadership achievements. I was also a recipient for the Bea Kelly Volunteer Award from Soroptimist International of the TriCities. I wrote a speech and presented it at the annual Soroptimist Give Her Wings Award Night. Outside of school, I am involved with Minerva BC as a past member of the Learning to Lead cohort. I am currently a member of the Youth Advisory Council and am a part of the British Columbia Youth Parliament (BCYP). I served at a BCYP summer camp, Camp Phoenix, as a science and outdoor activity leader for underprivileged children. At this camp, I formed a deep connection with a young girl who was just diagnosed with autism and helped Ukrainian refugees who just arrived to Canada. Moreover, my mother focused on my faith and educating me in faith. As a single parent who struggled to make it all work together for my sister and I, she made sure education was a priority. Despite this not being the norm for my class, my brave mother was not always supported but she pulled through. I have been accepted by many top universities that I have applied to, including those in the USA. At the time of writing, I am still undecided between a few choice options. In the future, I plan to study international relations so that I can work as a diplomat or ambassador in diplomacy. I would like to work in social justice and humanitarian aid for the UN or other non-governmental organizations. I am also interested in voice acting in animation and audiobooks, wanting to be a voice actress as well. I appreciate your consideration and if selected, I hope to always be recognized for my contributions to the Holy Cross parish and community and uphold the Knights’ core values of Integrity, Professionalism, Excellence, and Respect.