Meet Madhav, also known as MC, from Hugh McRoberts Secondary in Richmond. With an impressive resume, he is super involved at his school and is a true leader at heart — he's the president of Student Council, Investment Club and the Green Team, as well as an exec for the Social Justice Club and Chess Club. He also volunteers as a Grade 8 mentor and ultimate frisbee coach. In addition to his school involvement, he works at South Arm Community Centre’s daycare and preschool. When he does have spare time, he loves to bake cakes and cookies, plus binge watch Netflix.
Somewhere between all of that, he has been helping us out as an Artona ambassador for #Grad2021. At the beginning of the school year, he volunteered at our photo days at his school, plus helped answer questions from his peers about the Artona experience. We recently took some time to ask a few questions about his experience as an ambassador and what it feels like to be graduating. Here are some of the highlights:
How would you describe your high school experience?
I have met so many amazing people through my community involvement in school, community organizations and sports. All my teachers are broad-minded individuals, passionate about their jobs. They truly want to make you understand their subject. I couldn’t have asked for better teachers that feel more like friends when they give their useful daily life lessons :) I’ve had amazing peers that have supported me throughout my journey. Also, all the counsellors have been very friendly. In short, my high school experience has been amazing and I owe all to the people that are around me everyday.
How does it feel to be graduating this year?
I wish I had known that March 13, 2020, a Friday like almost any other, was my last true day of grade 11. We all blinked, six months passed and we were returning to school for our final year of high school. It feels different to be graduating during a global pandemic. In grade 8, I imagined my graduating year to be full of lively events and claiming the prestigious tables in the foyer to sit at lunch with all my other peers. Instead, now the eighth graders all sit there, as they are in school for the full day. Our school is still trying to make our graduating year as normal as they can under the guidelines set by the district and province. With everyone’s schedule being shifted to accommodate the half days, I don’t see all of my peers due to them being a part of different cohorts. I never imagined my graduation year would consist of limitations to who I can see and when I can be at school. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the school and Artona to be open, making an effort to make our last year memorable and as positive as possible.
What advice would you give students who are just entering high school?
There is a lot that I wish someone had told me as I entered high school. In grade 11, I became a mentor to guide young students through their first year of high school. Through the mentor program, I was able to teach students what I have learned throughout high school and how it will help them in the long run. I always recommend using a planner, physically writing down events and assignments often helps one stay organized. Staying focused on a goal in mind is also vital, one must set priorities based on what their goal is. Get involved in your school and community, join clubs that you are interested in and become an active contributor, you will meet lots of new people and make loads of friends with the same interests as you. Work hard and take your classes seriously, the transition from elementary school to high school is very difficult. You should enter high school being ready to put in the work into your classes. Finally, make sure you try new things and have fun along the way!
How was your Artona experience?
Getting my photos taken at Artona was a wonderful experience for me! From checking in with the front desk staff to walking out the doors, the process was both efficient and enjoyable. The photographers were all very friendly and hyped me all up for my photos. They did an amazing job suggesting poses that would fit me. Usually, getting photos taken is an awkward process. This is not the case at Artona, I could tell that the photographers were all well-trained and have lots of experience taking graduation photos. I did not feel awkward with the photographers at any time throughout the whole session.
The quality of the photos is superb and are undoubtedly the best photos I have ever had taken of me. I got an insider tour of the top floor where all the photos are retouched and printed. I came to know that everything is done in the studio, from taking the photos to printing and packaging them to be sent out. Huge shoutout from me to Artona for staying open to document our graduation during a global pandemic and flawlessly taking photos of the class of 2021.
After graduating in a few weeks, Madhav plans to pursue further education in math and become a teacher.
MC, it's been an absolute pleasure working with you this year. Your ambition, work ethic and joyful spirit are inspiring. We wish you all the best and a successful future ahead!
Want to congratulate Madhav on his upcoming graduation? Leave a comment below!