The students at Lake Cowichan Secondary School have had their hands full with a university day, their backpack drive and the annual Christmas hamper project lately. Here’s a quick look at what’s new, fresh and exciting in the hallways of LCSS.
Thinking about the future
Last week a handful of post-secondary universities from around the Island and the province attended LCSS for a university day to speak with grade 10, 11 and 12s on their prospective futures.
The University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Island University, British Columbia Institute of Technology, Thompson Rivers University and the Canadian Military were on hand at LCSS to give the LCSS youth a better perspective of what the college life is like.
These institutions sent representatives to give information sessions, presentations and take questions on their respected academic programs and classes.
LCSS principal Peter Jory was pleased his students have started thinking about their futures and have started thinking about life after high school.
“For a day, the kids could focus on going around and seeing what each of these colleges and universities have to offer,” he said.
Grade 12 student Jennifer Thompson was one of these enlightened students. She thoroughly enjoyed the university information day.
“It was good. It’s a cool opportunity. It got me thinking a lot. They had a lot of information and they answered a lot of my questions,” said Thompson.
Given her family name, it was difficult for Thompson not to enjoy TRU’s information session.
“I liked it because it had my last name,” she joked. “I liked the campus and it seemed like it would be a good environment and it had a course list I wanted but not all of them.”
Thompson, who is a busy volunteer at LCSS, also mentioned she’s been involved with an awareness campaign for violence against women. Her campaign entails her collecting shoes which will be exhibited in display cases along with pink candles throughout the hallways of LCSS. Thompson plans to then donate the shoes to the women’s shelter in Duncan.
“Each shoe is going to represent a woman who has been affected by violence or has been a victim of violence in B.C.,” said Thompson.
Thompson is also in charge of coordinating a poster contest at LCSS for the violence against women project, of which the winner’s work will be displayed around the school.
Backpacking for a better good
In conjunction with the District Student Advisory Committee, LCSS is also in the thick of their annual backpack drive to give a helping hand to Lake Cowichan’s less privileged families.
A total of roughly 30 backpacks have already been gathered at LCSS and soon the students will fill each one with toiletries and household items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, clothing and school supplies.
“This kind of service is fantastic and I agree that there is a real need for it not just in our community but in every community and for me as an educator it’s wonderful to give kids opportunities to do things for others and I’m always impressed at how they step up and take advantage of those opportunities,” said Jory.
Two LCSS students who sit on DSAC are Leah Hudson and Kenzie Roberts. The two students truly enjoy playing the role of philanthropists. They meet with students across the District 79 regularly to plan initiatives such as this.
“It leaves everyone with a good feeling, especially knowing I gave more than just to my family this Christmas. It’s all going towards a good cause,” said Roberts.
Hudson is pleased she can give back to the community, especially when her upbringing has allowed her so much.
“It’s great. A lot of people take advantage of things — I have tonnes of school supplies at home that I’ve had forever and I don’t use. I buy more every year so it’s good to give things that you have that you don’t use to other people,” she said.
Christmas hamper drive
In conjunction with community services’ annual Christmas hamper drive, LCSS’ leadership committee, which is composed of students, has been hurriedly collecting hamper items in anticipation of the Dec. 15 hamper give-out at Centennial Hall.
The leadership class involves students picking an initiative to work on during the year and then it is their responsibility to ensure the project is carried out.
“The Christmas hamper is a great idea but the leadership class in general it seems to be a wonderful excuse for kids to do things for other people and I love it,” added the LCSS principal.
Grade 12 student Sierra Tjepkema is one of LCCS’ seniors helping coordinate the school’s efforts for this year’s hampers.”The drive is going really good. We did have a better year last year. I feel great doing it. I did it last year, too and it’s awesome,” said Tjepkema from behind the wheel of the car in the midst of delivering poinsettias, yet another fundraising initiative LCSS is behind. Tjepkema also noted the poinsettia drive has amassed over $1,000.
However, since Tjepkema said that this year’s hamper drive has been slower than in years past, she wanted to let Lake Cowichan residents know that there are still three weeks left to give and be apart of the LCSS hamper project.
“If you have hampers and want to bring any in, bring them to the school,” she said.
LCSS will be accepting Christmas hamper donations until Dec. 13.