Jason Cheng became an integral part of the Queen Margaret’s School community in a short time after coming to the Cowichan Valley from Vancouver.
The Grade 9 student, in his first year at QMS, has started faithfully documenting student life at the school, largely through beautifully produced videos, and earned recognition quickly, in the form of the Rotary Club of Duncan’s Student of the Month Award for October 2020.
“[Cheng] has been doing wondrous things with cameras and drones, capturing all sorts of community events in a professional and polished way,” deputy head of school Ander Monro wrote to the Rotary Club in his nomination letter. “The time and energy he has invested in editing his film has been so impressive; we believe he is thoroughly deserving of such an award.”
While the school has supported all of the efforts, Monro emphasizes that Cheng has been putting his own time and energy into the video projects.
“Jason really has just thrown himself into it,” Monro said. “It really has been student-led for him, an internally driven process, showing things that represent the experiences students are going through.”
A new initiative by the Rotary Club of Duncan this school year, the Student of the Month Award recognizes students in the Cowichan Valley who are positive role models and contribute to their schools and communities. Honoured students receive a cheque for $100 and a certificate sponsored by PrintCraft.
Club president Gregg Perry called Cheng “the George Lucas of QMS.”
“He’s a very talented young person,” added Kim Barnard, Student of the Month coordinator. “He just has a passion for telling the stories on campus.”
Cheng’s pursuit of development and learning are consistent with the values of Rotary, she added.
Cheng accepted the award from Perry with pride.
“It’s one of my first awards to win,” he said. “It’s definitely special for me to be recognized. I’m very grateful.”
Cheng says he is self-taught, and has been making videos for about two years. He previously created travelogues that he would upload to YouTube, and videos for the student council at his former school, Lord Byng Secondary in Vancouver. It all started when he began experimenting with drones.
“After editing a few drone videos, I was pretty sure it was something I would be passionate about,” he said.
Cheng’s work can be seen from time to time on the QMS Instagram feed. He is thrilled to be part of the school and he has taken a real liking to the Cowichan Valley.
“It’s a wonderful school and a great community,” he said.