I have contributed a significant amount of time and effort to help my school's community. A famous quote by Nelson Mendela reads, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." I believe that if I am educating someone, I am making a change in my community. My most significant contribution to my school is peer tutoring. Teaching math and science to students who need assistance is what my program did. I tutored more than fifteen students at Central Peel. I was very committed and dedicated towards teaching other people. I have an ability to teach other students in a very intuitive way. The students I tutored all ended up achieving a better grade than they started with. I just didn't tutor them in the subject; I also motivated them to work hard and to achieve academic excellence. I was a positive role model for some students with 95% average in grade 10. I educated them on essential study tips, such as procrastination.
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This was really valuable to students because of many reasons. First, this provides an environment of student working with another student. Students have opportunities to ask questions that they aren't comfortable in asking the teacher. Second, students got high quality tutoring free of any charge. It was available to them every other day of the week in the lunch period. The fact that it was in the lunch period, students got help and last minute tips on their upcoming test. Lastly, a lot of other people got motivated to be peer tutors after watching me get appreciated from a lot of different teachers. This helped boom the number of peer tutors at Central Peel.
It was important for me because of numerous reasons. Firstly, I think learning is a two way process. As peer tutors help students achieve their goals, they also get valuable experience and deepen their understanding at material by learning how to communicate it in an intuitive way. I learn a lot while I am teaching. For example, I learn how I can make tough topics easy for people to understand, who have a weak foundation. I am constantly learning new styles of teaching as one style does not work for every single student. Second, I get moral satisfaction by helping other people and making a change in my community. As a citizen, it is my responsibility to help my community in need. I think if I can help someone in need in my spare time, I can't imagine a better use of that time. Lastly, by tutoring other students I am also helping the staff. Therefore, my reputation increases in the school community.
I believe that my contribution to my school's community is significant because I am trying to prove that every student can learn and be successful. If one student can learn, all of them can.
Describe a time you challenged yourself by taking on a task/project that was beyond your scope and capability at the time. Why did you do it? What happened?
I have challenged myself a lot of times by taking on a task/project that was beyond my scope and capability. There was one specific challenge that I undertook that had a significant impact on my learning. In grade 11, I was challenged by my school's math department to write a grade 12 math competition. The name of the competition was Sun Life Financial Canadian Math Competition, and it is the hardest math competition at the high school level. I was currently taking the course of MCR3U (grade 11 Functions) but the competition required the knowledge of grade 12 advanced functions. I had about three weeks of time to prepare for the competition. Even though I had work load from physics, math, marketing and Computer science, I worked hard every night and studied advanced functions. I completed the whole course of advanced functions in less than three weeks, without any assistance and at home. After all that hard work, I wrote the competition.
I did this because almost the entire grade 11 student body knew that I was going to write the competition. The word was spread by the math department. So there was no way I was backing up. Also, I wanted to show the students that it is possible to achieve anything, if you put your mind into it. I also wanted other students to get motivated to challenge something bigger. Math teachers were using me as an example to motivate other students to write this competition.
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When the results came for the competition, I was ranked number four in the whole school. I was respected and honoured in the math assembly. Also, my picture was printed in the school newspaper. A lot of other students and my friends got motivated. They also decided to write the next grade 12 competition. This was only one of the activities where I challenged myself on a task that was out of my scope.
Using one of the roles from the list above, describe an activity where you led a group of people towards a common goal. Using concrete examples, how did you engage others? What difficulties did you encounter? What were the outcomes?
Newcomer's Orientation Week (NOW) program was an activity where I led a group of people towards a common goal. The goal of the program was to educate newcomers to on the Canadian Education System, Brampton transit, libraries, recreation centers, school environment and common issues within school's community such as bullying and fights. There were six leaders and about thirty six new comer students. We had to set up different activities through which we educated the students. We also went to places like Brampton Library for better understanding. An example where I engaged others was when I helped the students in making their personal portfolio. Then they had to pair up with a friend and present each other's portfolio in an expressive way. Other group activities such as school scavenger hunt were put in place to familiarize them with school's building.
Some problems such as language problems and shyness were encountered. Some students could not understand fast spoken English and some were not feeling comfortable speaking in public. To solve the language problem, I spoke the words clearly and slowly, and then I verified it in Hindi, Punjabi, or Urdu. This made them more comfortable to talk to me, instead of talking to other peer leaders. The shyness was eliminated by sharing common interests and past experiences.
The outcome was very pleasing. By the end of the week, everyone was mixed up and talking to each other fluently and without any shyness. At the end, the portfolio presentations were a huge success. Once the program was over, my responsibility didn't finish. Once they started school, I also tutored them in math, science and English. I constantly motivated them to do well in school and to get involved in sports.
Describe a time when you undertook to address an unmet need at school or in the community. What was the need and what steps did you take? What were the results of your actions?
Central Peel secondary school is one of the oldest schools in Peel District School Board; therefore steps were needed to be taken to make our school more eco-friendly. The unmet need of our school could be summed up into one word "Eco-Certification". To overcome this need, there were certain tasks and steps that needed to be undertaken. These tasks included waste minimization, school ground greening, energy conservation, and ecological literacy. These eco tasks would not only make our school eco-friendly but would also increase its reputation among other schools. To accomplish these tasks, a team was assembled together by a group of seven executives, called Eco-Club. The title of my position was senior financial advisor, however all the executives have the same role.
To build a strong base, we recruited more than thirty general members in our group and explained them the purpose of the club. Most of the ideas to raise awareness in the school community came from me, such as sprit days and booths on events such as Terry Fox run. One of the most successful ways of creating awareness was through reminder stickers beside the computers and lights. Every other Thursday I got two general members with me and we picked up the recycling for the whole school. During this process we also educated students about recycling different materials. Eco-club had clean sweeps, in which my team and I cleaned the area outside our school. We had a waste audit, where I analyzed waste for the whole school and prepared a statistical data chart for the Central Peel. I attended and learnt from many different conferences related to eco-certification and educated my colleagues. As a financial advisor, I helped my club host fundraising on events like fall rush. I also made sure that the club would not have any financial difficulties during the course of action.
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All the hard work paid off at the end of the season. An auditor from Eco-Certification Body visited our school for an inspection and verified all the activities we had done. She specially appreciated the detailed analysis of the waste audit and kept it as an example. A month later our school received a silver eco-certification. The whole Eco-Club was a great success. Ms. Squire, the principal deeply appreciated the effort by the executives. Even though I did my part in helping to achieve these goals, this was a team effort and without the hard work and cooperation of every individual this goal would not have been met. This year our team of executives are aiming for a gold certification and I am confident we will get it.