The Mills Story

Ray Mill's story, Class of 1982

Although my time at STS was brief, it was enough to transform not only my education, but me as a whole.

Prior to STS I was your average, introverted kid just doing enough work at school to get by.  I did not find school particularly inspiring nor did it seem important in helping me achieve my goal of being a farmer. I honestly would not have missed school if all of a sudden I did not have to attend.  That changed when my parents enrolled me in STS.

At first, I was not happy about the prospect of attending STS.  At the time the public school teachers were on strike and I was happily working at my uncle’s farm and planning the fall hunting season.  My parents had other plans.  Following a successful entrance exam, I found myself registered to attend STS.  Unbeknownst to me, my life was about to change dramatically.

The first few weeks at STS were an eye-opener. The good news was that, thanks to a few acquaintances at STS, I made new friends quickly, unlike my first year at a huge, public high school. The bad news was that everyone else was so much smarter and knowledgeable than me – I was way behind and there was no hiding it.  Fortunately for me, my friends and teachers were there to help me succeed.  I did not become an honour student but, I did realize the importance of my education to my future and, for the first time, worked hard to succeed at school.

My story is not unique. My brother and sister, Trevor ’84 and Monique ’87, had similar experiences while attending STS. It was truly transformational for all of us. In the same measure, I have no doubt there are many others who could benefit from an STS education if finances were not a barrier.

The Mills Alumni Challenge is very important to me and my siblings. Our donation will support scholarships and bursaries to make the school accessible to promising students, regardless of finances. We want to ensure that many more students can have the same incredible experience we had.

It’s interesting to note that a depression in the Alberta economy in the ’80s almost ended my ability to attend STS. Today, Alberta is experiencing a similar depression, and the thought of a student having to leave the school, or not even have the chance to get started, because they can’t afford the tuition, is heartbreaking to us.

There are many charities and causes worthy of your donations. I hope that you will help me, Trevor and Monique give young people full of potential a chance at a transformational STS education as a part of your charitable giving.  We invite you to join us in giving to the Inspiring Possibilities campaign, and we will match your gift 1:1.

Together, we can make a big impact on the lives of students, and our future leaders.  Thank you!

Ray Mills '82

The Mills then and now