Sparking Interest in Community Service

Sparking Interest in Community Service

On Saturday, May 14 STS Grade 12 student Alia N. '22, was presented with the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award at the Gold Award Celebrations in Edmonton, A.B.

By: Alia N. '22


I commenced the Bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in September 2019. I found it an incredible way to become more involved in my community, and expand my interests. As I moved through the levels, I had to log activities in Skills, Physical Recreation, Voluntary Service, as well as Adventurous Journey.

For my Silver Award level, I had to log 26 hours, (an hour a week), in three categories. I logged my involvement in public speaking, volleyball, and tutoring. All three experiences taught me valuable skills such as communication, teamwork, and perseverance.

I also had to log a Practice Journey and a Qualifying Journey. They either had to be an exploration or expedition, aiming to challenge me, and further develop my understanding of the wider environment I live in. For these expeditions, I logged two separate backpacking trips. My Practice Journey consisted of easier treks, a lighter backpack, and an overall shorter trip. This prepared me exceptionally well for my Qualifying Journey. I absolutely felt challenged, but truly enjoyed the experience. The process leading up to both trips consisted of meal planning, mapping, and risk mitigation, which are all skills I hope to use again in the future.

I strongly believe that the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award’s levels are well planned, so that the Silver Award is a stepping stone towards the Gold Award. It constantly felt like I was progressing and learning as I moved through the levels.

Alia Biking Picture

For my Gold level award, I logged embroidery, personal training, my involvement with an organization called The Letter Project, and a bike trip from Banff to Jasper. With the support of my family, I cycled 230 km over the course of four days. It is something I am proud to say I completed, and it is all thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

Overall, the Duke of Edinburgh International Award experience has helped shape my high school experience, and find meaning in the activities I participate in. I have developed a deeper interest in community service and in seeing commitments through to completion.

AliaN Embriodery

In the Gold Level, a culminating Gold Project must also be completed that teaches an individual how to work with people of different backgrounds, as well as develop skills and confidence. For my Gold Project, I volunteered as a Youth Mentor with Immigrant Services Calgary through their Core Connections program. I was also a speaker on their Mental Health and Race Panel.