September 28, 2011

 Falcon Soars at Leadership Camp  

At first glance, Forestview Public School student Donovan Vanegas had a pretty normal summer. He spent many long hours in the sun playing basketball, soccer, handball and a variety of other sports.

But that’s not all that Donovan did.

As the first-ever winner of Forestview’s Perseverance Award, Donovan earned the opportunity to enjoy a week at the Ontario Educational Leadership Centre (OELC) in Orillia. The Centre offers a wide range of programming that equips young people with the tools and desire to make positive change in their schools and surrounding communities. While at camp, students participated in programs that encouraged the development of key leadership skills such as interpersonal communication, creative problem-solving, responsibility and teamwork.

“Anyone who gets the chance to go to the OELC should be encouraged to,” said Donovan. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!”

Focusing on the centre’s athletics programming, Donovan’s days were largely spent on the fields and courts. “Donovan is very tenacious. At the age of 13, he already knows that he wants to compete at an elite level in a post-secondary athletics program,” said teacher Kristy-Lee Darling.

Outside of sports, Donovan and his cabin-mates also had the chance to be leaders for the day as they planned and facilitated activities for students in the four other cabins. Showing that service is an important part of leadership, Donovan also set up dinner one evening, and breakfast the following morning.

Donovan earned the chance to attend leadership camp by showing his peers, teachers and school administration that he had one of the most important qualities that a leader can possess; perseverance.  “Donovan never gives up, and always strives for excellence in everything he does. He is an extremely deserving recipient of our school’s first-ever perseverance award,” says Principal Todd Bright.