Sarina is a grade 12 student at Hugh McRoberts Secondary in Richmond, BC. To say that she's involved with her school community would be an understatement — she's the past vice-president of Student Council, a current executive member of the Women in Leadership Club, as well as a general member of the Social Justice Club, the Multicultural Club, the Sisterhood Club and the MyEarthYourEarth Club. She's also a McRoberts Mentor for grade 8 students.
On top of all of these volunteer gigs, Sarina has been a part of our ambassador program since September 2020. She's helped us out by being one of the voices of Artona at her school, as well as an advocate for a great photo experience for her fellow grads. She was also part of an April Fools' Day prank we did that probably still has some people fooled.
Earlier in the program, we asked her a few questions about her future plans, what it's like to be graduating during a pandemic and if she has any advice for young high school students. Here are some of the highlights:
How would you describe your high school experience? I would describe my high school experience as a self-discovery journey where I gained a lot of new knowledge, skills and life experiences. When I was in grade 10, I realized that I was getting bored of doing the same routine every day: waking up, going to school, coming home, doing my homework, going to sleep, and repeat. I thought of school as a place where I went to learn; however, something snapped and I decided to run as a grade rep. That was probably the best decision that I ever made, as after being elected and being an executive member I was given insight into the world of clubs and non-profit organizations. It's thanks to my involvement in these programs that I was able to completely change how I would remember my high school experience, and I am forever grateful for it!
How does it feel to be graduating soon?
2020 decided to throw us a curve ball. While we all are trying our best to accept the changes that the coronavirus pandemic has brought our senior year, we cannot ignore that we miss having a traditional final year of high school. While we could sit and ponder on what could have been our senior year, many of us have decided to live in the moment and make the best of this situation, which I believe is the right way to go.
Do you have any advice for students just entering high school?
Get involved! I know this is common advice from principals, vice-principals and teachers, but trust me, doing so will change your whole high school experience. Taking on challenges and trying new things will help you learn so much more, as well as develop new skills. Not to mention, many post-secondary institutions now look for more than just good grades. You will also get to meet so many new people when you join a club, an athletic team, or any other extra-curricular activity. You may meet new people either in your grade, from a different school, or older than you! Getting involved will help equip you with skills that you'll need someday in the future, guaranteed.
Your grad portraits serve as a reminder that you have finally done it! You have graduated! You have completed high school and are on your way to live out the rest of your life.
What do grad photos mean to you?
Grad photos are important to my family as they serve as a reminder of all the major milestones we've accomplished. Coming from a family of 5 daughters, our photos show that we are on our way to becoming adults and living the rest of our lives. Currently, we have a family picture wall in our living room with one filled frame, among 4 empty ones. In each frame reads "Coming soon...Class of ----" serving as a reminder of how long we have left until we are all grown up. High school pictures usually serve as a reminder of your final years of your childhood. I think that my family views the pictures the same way while also thinking back of all that we have accomplished. In general, grad portraits serve as a reminder that you have finally done it! You have graduated! You have completed high school and are on your way to live out the rest of your life.
Although high school is coming to an end, Sarina has big plans for after grad — she'll be attending Simon Fraser University this fall in their Health Sciences Program.
I always thought I was going to go into Biomedical Engineering; however, after taking Physics 11, I realized that I did not enjoy physics at all. I really started to question if I really wanted to spend my life doing something that I didn't enjoy. After going on a tour at St. Paul's hospital, thanks to my friend's mom, I realized that maybe a job in the healthcare sector would be a possibility for me. This idea grew on me after I completed Anatomy and Physiology 12 in the summer, as I discovered that I actually enjoyed learning about biology far more than physics. I know that everyone says that you'll change your mind but it's true — we also need to start somewhere to discover what we want to do. So I'm starting with studying Health Sciences, then I'll see where that path will take me.
Want to congratulate Sarina on her upcoming graduation? Leave a comment below!