Each year, students from across the country have the opportunity to become a recipient of the Vimy Pilgrimage Award. This prestigious prize is awarded to 15-17-year-old students who, by their volunteer work, contribute to the betterment of society–and, among this year’s recipients, is Kindersley Composite Student, Jill Dobbin.
Still in only Grade 11, Jill has demonstrated true determination in reaching her goals, but always finds time to help those around her.
We recently caught up with Jill, who spoke so passionately about her reasons for volunteering, what her plans are for the future, and why she feels it is important to contribute to society.
“I am a grade 11 student at Kindersley Composite School, and I am one of the co-presidents for our Student Leadership Council this year. I am also a member of our Interact Club, and I do work through Rotary at both the district and international levels. While these things are very important to me, the most important part of my life is my volunteering with Special Olympics Kindersley and District. I coach both track and field, and bowling. Coaching is my favourite thing in the world. Social justice is my biggest passion and I will fight for social justice all of my life. That is why I plan on going into law and becoming a prosecutor. I see it as my way to fight for the people of the country that I call home.
Volunteer work and contribution to the betterment of society is important to me because I feel it is my duty as a Canadian to do my part to improve the world for those around me. There are so many less privileged people in the world, so I want to do everything in my power to help them however I can. Volunteering gives me a rush like nothing else does. It feels absolutely incredible to help those less fortunate than me.
While participating in the program in Ottawa, I visited various cemeteries, war memorials, museums, and government buildings. Each student that was selected did research on one specific soldier for whom we wrote a biography and reflection on. I did my presentation on a soldier from Newfoundland. My entire family is from Newfoundland, and I have always considered it home, so I felt that it was only right if I did someone from there.
The group of twenty recipients was been split into four smaller groups and we are each did presentations on an underrepresented aspect of Canada’s First World War efforts. My group did a presentation on racism at home and on the front lines.”
This award comes with a one-week educational program, during which recipients learnt about the history of the First and Second World Wars and participated in Remembrance ceremonies while reflecting on the role and Legacy of leadership demonstrated by Canada during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Originally the recipients were to travel to Vimy Ridge, however, due to the pandemic, the group gathered in Ottawa.
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