Windsor Secondary graduating student Felisha Teja was presented by Gov. Gen. David Johnston the prestigious Gold Level of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in a special ceremony at the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby on June 2.
The ‘Duke of Ed’ is an international self-development leadership program available to young people ages 14-24, regardless of background, circumstances or abilities.
The program’s mission is to provide youth with the opportunities to challenge themselves and develop into the best possible versions of themselves.
To earn the Gold Award, the achievers must work actively in the four sections of the award program: service to community, development of a skill, physical recreation, and an adventurous journey in nature, working consistently over a minimum of one year. They must also complete a Gold Project that requires a minimum five-day immersive cultural experience.
Teja spent multiple years volunteering in summer day camp programs through North Vancouver Recreation & Culture, as well as acting as a counsellor at the Cheakamus Centre. The majority of her efforts, however, have been concentrated at Windsor where she’s the co-president of the school’s student council.
Teja used the position to give back to the community in many ways. For example, in December the student council organized a Santa’s Breakfast, the proceeds of which were donated to the Harvest Project.
“I feel incredibly fortunate and humbled to be receiving the Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh program. The time invested was significant, however it motivated me to become a well-rounded individual, while instilling leadership skills and building character along the way,” said Teja.
After graduation in June, Teja will keep busy preparing for a summer camp she is directing in July before making her way in the fall to UBC where she will study sciences.