Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Ben Williams, second from left, receives the Rotary Club of Duncan Student of the Month Award for September from club president Gregg Perry and Student of the Month program coordinator Kim Barnard. To the left is teacher sponsor Tom Veenstra. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Duncan Christian standout is Rotary Student of the Month for September

Ben Williams has made an impression at DCS since day one

It didn’t take long for Ben Williams to make an impression at Duncan Christian School.

Just nine days after starting at the school in September 2019, he embarked on the school’s annual Grade 11 hike on the West Coast Trail.

“It started to become obvious to all of us that Ben was a natural leader,” DCS teacher and athletic director Tom Veenstra recalled. “He is always positive in his words to adults and peers. On the hike, he always took on extra things to carry if someone needed a hand. He volunteered to share devotions and leadership talks on the trail. It was like he was a chaperone for our seven-day adventure.”

Just over a year later, Williams was named the Rotary Club of Duncan’s Student of the Month for September 2020. The staff at DCS were asked to submit a name to the Rotary Club for consideration, and Williams was a natural choice. Students are usually presented with the award in person, but due to COVID-19, Williams, his family, and Veenstra joined the club for a virtual visit via Zoom on Sept. 28. Rotarians learned about his talents, including leadership, athletic ability, performing arts, and even mechanical aptitude, as demonstrated by a clever Rube Goldberg device he built for a challenge Veenstra created during the first weeks of COVID lockdown.

Unrelated to his selection as Student of the Month, Williams has also competed in the Rotary Club Hector McIntosh Speaking Competition, winning it three times.

Kim Barnard, the program coordinator for the Rotary Club of Duncan, spoke highly of Williams’s virtual interactions with the club.

“Undeterred by the unfortunate program limitations necessary this year, Ben Williams has a bright outlook and spoke highly of his school and opportunities there to serve and grow,” she said.

Williams received a certificate sponsored by Duncan PrintCraft and a cheque for $100 from the Rotary Club.

“I’m grateful to my teachers and to the school for being so accommodating, especially during COVID,” Williams said. “They’ve been willing to adapt to the scenarios we have and still provide a healthy learning environment.”

Reflecting on the recent death of a friend of a friend, Williams said the “impermanence of life” is what keeps him motivated to do so many different things.

“Life should be taken in full and not taken for granted,” he said. “Even in your younger years, you should still be doing things and making a difference in the world.”

EducationRotary

Just Posted

Sierra Acton, regional district director for Shawnigan Lake. (file photo)
New parkland in Shawnigan creating connections

Used to created parking for the popular Masons Beach Park

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: This could be the worst thing done to you during the pandemic

As a result, all of us will contend with more ‘scarcity’ thinking and mindset.

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read