SMUS has four pillars – Respect, Honesty, Courage and Service – that buttress the Vision and Mission. The pillars are part of our daily school life and can quite literally be recited by most students. Each of the pillars speaks to heartened qualities for every SMUS member, which combine to create our compassionate and caring community. They also represent seeds that get planted in Victoria, Canada and around the world via student actions and ultimately through our graduates, who will have a major affect on our future global community.
Service is our most action-oriented pillar and is seen from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in acts of kindness, going on international service trips and in helping local and global causes, where the only accolades are personal satisfaction and the experience of being part of an endeavour that is selfless and impactful.
Grade 12 student Diya Courty-Stephens was highlighted in a recent SMUSpaper story regarding her organization called Neighbourhood Bites, a program borne from her AP Seminar course. Along with classmates Meredith Selwood, Portia Balfour and Jordan Stonehouse, this team collects perfectly good products from local food-based businesses, like grocery stores, that would otherwise be tossed and redirects it to shelters and support organizations in Victoria.
I am delighted to share that Diya was awarded the Youth in Philanthropy Award as part of National Philanthropy Day, held last Friday at the Conference Centre. This event was an inspiring celebration highlighting “the values we hold dear and the opportunity we have to create a world we know is possible,” as Jessica Bell, chair of National Philanthropy Day, says. I was very proud to attend the event to see her receive the award, but more importantly to accept it with words of humility, compassion and a challenge that we can all do more to help those around us and in the world in which we live. You can catch-up on the media coverage of Diya’s award on the SMUS in the News article.
Service leadership at SMUS is alive and well and we hope that as you move through each week in your respective lives that you seek opportunities to translate the strengths of our circumstances into the care of others who are in need.