One of our 2012 graduates - Lauren Taylor - was featured in the March 27th, 2013 edition of the Calgary Herald. Lauren spoke eloquently on her experience at Clear Water Academy, and how it impacted her post-secondary academic career thus far.
Source: Calgary Herald
SUCCESS STORIES:School inspires student driven charitable efforts
When Lauren Taylor graduated from high school in 2012, she already had a strong sense of wanting to make a difference in the world, something she attributes to her experiences attending Clear Water Academy.
Taylor says several events during her time at Clear Water, including two mission trips to Chili to work with local children, helped her decide on a further education path in medicine, with a goal of becoming a pediatrician.
On one of these she spent two months becoming immersed in the Chilean culture while volunteering at local schools. On a second 10-day trip she worked in an orphanage for disabled children.
“That was a really amazing experience.”
Before the second trip, Taylor and her brother, who was a university student, started a fundraising campaign called Change for Chili and were able to purchase toys, school supplies and sports equipment to take with them to donate to local children.
“I think I’ve kind of been drawn to that and have had a lot of interaction with kids,” she says. “Everything has kind of drawn me towards helping children.
“My experiences in Chili helped me realize that’s an area I’d like to help out in.”
Now a first-year biomedical sciences student at the University of Calgary, Taylor has fond memories of her time at Clear Water Academy.
She says the learning atmosphere and support from teachers helped her achieve her educational goals and led to a variety of scholarships, including the Premier’s Citizenship Award, Miller Thomson Foundation National Scholarship, APEGA Millennium Scholarship and several others.
“My high school experience was something I really treasured. It was very special.”
Taylor says the small class sizes at Clear Water Academy and the ability for one-on-one time with teachers was very useful. So was the concept of integral formation at the core of the Catholic school that focused on a student’s intellectual, apostolic, character and spiritual formation.
“They tried to really tap into all of the aspects of our lives and help us grow in those areas, so that when we were ready to leave and go to university or a job — we were well equipped to deal with those situations.”
Taylor also enjoyed playing on the basket ball team and performing in drama productions, and for Grade 12, was voted student council president, winning the election over four others.
She says working on student council was a chance to learn a lot about leadership skills.
“Being a leader isn’t necessarily about being the president of a student council, but in the simple everyday interactions that you have with others. The idea of leadership by positive example.”
Taylor remains interested in volunteer work in other countries and this summer will join other university students in the Help, Learn and Discover program heading to Ecuador to do pre-medical work in hospitals.
She says all her experiences going back to Clear Water Academy have helped shape her life.
“For me it was all about being balanced. Some of the things I didn’t even necessarily think I might like that much, but I tried them and I loved it, so it was good.”
— Gerald Vander-Pyl
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