Looking back on his childhood, I am sure that Arshvir never thought that he would be graduating from CEC in Truro, Nova Scotia. “I was born in Italy but my family is originally from India. I moved to India in 2006 because the school system in Italy, at that time, was not great. My parents decided going to school in India was best for me and I agreed with them,” he said. “Wow that is amazing! When did you move to Truro?” I asked. He paused for a moment, “My mom, my brother, and I moved to Canada in 2014 to join my dad who moved here in 2012. We were originally in PEI, and we moved to Nova Scotia in 2017.” I asked, ‘How do you like living in Truro?” He quickly smiled, “I really enjoy living here. The people here are great, and I really felt the sense of community when we first moved in.”
I wanted to know more about his time at school so I asked, “Were you involved in any sports or extra-curricular activities?” He quickly replied, “Yes, I was involved in football, wrestling, and had been doing track & field for 2 years.” He continued, “I love challenging myself and I think that’s why I’ve done sports. I wasn’t able to do track this year and that’s been the worst part.” I wondered what was the best part of his time at CEC was to which he enthausically replied, “Being in the IB program was one of my favorite things. The students and the teachers in it were great!”
Arshvir is a very motivated, polite, and well-rounded young man. I wondered who inspires him, “I look up to both of my parents because of how they have built themselves. Coming from low income families to being able to live in Canada takes a lot of hard work and I find that really inspiring.” I couldn’t agree more.
After graduation, Arshvir plans to attend the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus for Engineering. He will study in Truro for two years before finishing the remainder of the course in Halifax. I will leave you with this quote, “Behind you, all your memories. Before you, all your dreams. Around you, all who love you. Within you, all you need.” Congratulations Arshvir!
This self-described laid back, witty, and proactive young man was born and raised in Truro. Before starting a whole new chapter in his life after graduation, we chatted about his fondest memories of the years he spent at CEC. He shared that some of the greatest memories he made was with the soccer team. “I have made a ton of great friends through that team.” He continued, “This past fall we won a bronze medal at Provincials which is only the second time that has happened in CEC history! Coach Foster and Budgey have both taught me a lot about, not only soccer, but sportsmanship and integrity. They have been huge role models
In addition to playing soccer, Tyler is passionate about his favourite track and field event, hurdles. “The first time I tried hurdles was in grade 7. I did it kind of as a joke at first, but my coaches suggested I give it a serious try. I did and that’s how it started.” Tyler may be finished this chapter of hurdle athletics at CEC but he is not closing the book. “I’ll be heading to the University of Western Ontario for a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.” He continued, “It will be a big change for me moving to a big city, but I think it’s a good decision for my future; not just academically but for athletics as well.” With a huge smile he continued, “I have also signed with their track and field team. So that is something I’m really looking forward to. My friend is also heading to Western with me.”
I decided to switch gears and ask Tyler a few fun questions. “What is your favourite food and dessert?” He thought for a moment, “It would have to be any type of fruit. I eat a lot of bananas. And for dessert, I am going to say ice cream - Mint chocolate chip” I continued, “What is your favourite tv show? How about your favourite music?” He answered, “Sports when I watch tv, I like hip hop music and I’m a big Drake fan.”
Congratulations Tyler! I leave you with this fitting quote by Nelson Mandela, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” We wish you the best of luck on this next exciting chapter in your life.
This lovely married mother of three young children has been living in Truro since moving from her hometown of Corner Brook, Newfoundland in 1996. When most people think about Newfoundlanders, their thoughts quickly go to caring, giving, easy-going, proud community-minded type people. While speaking with Jane, it was easy to see just how many of these qualities she possesses.
Before becoming a Lawyer, Jane was an elementary school teacher who taught in Halifax at the maritime Muslim Academy and the Douglas Street Elementary School in Truro. “Why did you choose to become a Lawyer?” I asked curiously. She replied, “I thought law would be interesting. I met someone at a Christmas party who was in law school and she encouraged me to take the LSAT and then decide. I received a letter of acceptance that spring from Dalhousie. It was a great decision and I made some of my best friends there.” She continued, “I enjoy solicitor work; it’s helping people in very concrete way.”
Jane also enjoys helping her local community by volunteering. She currently sits on the Board of the Jane Norman College and she will be the President of the Rotary Club of Truro at the end of June. She also shared one of her passions. “I try to live a small footprint - shopping local, living local. I try to be as environmentally conscious as I can be.” She giggled, “I’m sure I'm not the best at it but it is a definitely passion of mine.”
Just before our conversation ended, Jane shared that her most privileged experience is being a mom. “Raising children, and being able to share that experience with your spouse is amazing. It's not always easy, but there are those moments that bring the type of joy you can't get from anywhere else.” Jane may have many titles but I think this quote by Michelle Obama sums it up best, “At the end of the day, my most important title is still Mom-in-Chief.”
One of the first questions I asked Martha, who is a high school senior at CEC, was how she felt about no prom. She replied, “To be very honest, at the time in March when we were still at school, prom was one of the last things on my mind. I was thinking a lot more about my school assignments.” She giggled. This very responsible young lady is also a member of the Track Team. “I started by doing school competitions in grade 6 and I've done school track ever since. I'm now a part of Truro Lions Track Club,” she said proudly.
I quickly learned that she will be attending the University of Guelph in the fall. “I am really interested in the Food Science industry. I'm also really intrigued in the chemistry behind foods and how what we put in our bodies affects how we perform tasks in such drastically different ways,” she said. What a great time to ask her what her favorite food is. “My favorite food is mangoes because there's never a time I don't want to eat one!” she laughed. I had to agree as mango is my favorite fruit!
I asked, “As you look back at your years at CEC, what is your fondest memory?” She beamed, “Last year I was selected to be one of the four emcees for the Rally Against Racism that took place at Civic Square. There were many students who participated in the March. I did some public speaking before that event but it was nothing compared to speaking in front of over 2000 members of the public and students!”
As our conversation continued, I wondered who inspires this easy-going, motivated and slightly reserved young lady. “Congresswoman Maxine Waters because of how she stands up for what she believes in in an unapologetic way. But I also look up to my parents because they're two incredible people that I see working hard every day. My dad is a Professor at the Dal AC and my mom is a Nurse,” she shared with admiration.
I believe that you are also an inspiration, Martha. Your positive outlook, strong values, and graceful disposition are beautiful; just like your smile. Congratulations to all of the Class of 2020!
During my conversation with Chad, I discovered several things about him that stood out. Not only is he a talented published poetry author, but he is adventurous, loves nature, the beach, travelling, and laughing….a lot!
Chad was born in Armstrong, BC but always had a strong connection to Nova Scotia as his mom is from Masstown. “We lived in B.C until I was 11. We left in 1970, and drove across Canada to take up on the family farm in Masstown. My Dad was offered a job looking after the farm's book. I’ve traveled across Canada many times and I have lived in many places, “he shared. “Would you say that you were an adventure seeker as a youngster?” I asked. “Oh, yes!” he laughed. “In March 1980, I hitch hiked from Calgary to Debert.” Surprised and curious, I asked him to tell me more. “I headed out to 16th Ave, which is Hwy 1, stuck out my thumb, and arrived in Debert five days later where I stayed for about a year.” He continued, “In 2003, I put the names Victoria, Kamloops, and Debert in ball-hat. Debert was chosen, and I jumped on a Greyhound bus and left. And, so far, it has been one the best and major moves in my lifetime.”
Chad proposed to his beautiful wife, Elaine, 15 years ago on a beach in her hometown of Antigonish. I asked, “How are you guys doing in this time of social distancing?” He smiled, “Elaine is off work due to the office being closed, so we are getting to know one another in new ways. We're good friends so it hasn't been too tough.” Awe, isn’t that romantic I thought to myself. He continued, “We often refer to this isolation thing as being like we're travelling and staying in a hotel. We have time to have lots of conversations, and to enjoy some tasty beverages.” I laughed, “Like a stayaction?” He laughed too, “Yes exactly!
I quickly got the sense that there is no other place, in this moment, that either one of them would rather be. Instead of feeling the sense of lack, we can choose to feel the good, to feel the moments that create new memories, to feel gratitude and to share love. To quote Chad at the end of our conversation, “So far so good….the trip continues!
Just before we ended our conversation, Sonya also shared that she has several tattoos. I asked, “Do you have a special one?” She replied, “I have a very special one. My dad wrote out a quote for me before he passed away so I could tattoo his hand writing on me.” I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and a glow in my heart as she shared this quote, "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” She continued, “I live by it…now more than ever.”
This is my mom, her name is Sheri. You may see her and get greeted with a "Hi dear!" if you get your coffee at Pictou Road, Tim Hortons. She works very hard, especially these days to run her store and others. She is a front line essential worker. Behind the scenes of her already busy life, she is a mom to 6 kids, and a loving grandmother to 8 kids! Words cannot even begin to express the love, admiration and pride I have for my mom. Proverbs 31 is a passage that gives a good description! She has an amazing work ethic, she is a teacher, mentor, encourager, and is loved by many. I am blessed to not only call her mom, but also my best friend!"
Pictured: Charity and her Mom, Sheri
“My Mom works for 811 and has been tirelessly taking Covid-19 calls as well as raising 3 children under 12. She is a true hero and is the backbone of our family. She is resilient, hardworking and the strongest lady I know. She deserves more recognition.”
Pictured: (L - Megan, daughter) (M - Dawn, Mom) (R - Sarah, daughter)
"I honestly could write a book explaining how amazing of a woman she truly is but I will try and summarize it as best I can. My Mom is a truly selfless, giving, compassionate woman. She works extremely hard at her job as a CCA with VON giving her care and love to her clients. Myself and my 2 brothers are no stranger to this same care and love being raised by this awesome leader! Her grandchildren are the apples of her eye and she always puts her family first! Thank you Mom for simply being beautiful ,amazing YOU!!!"
Pictured: Linda's beautiful Mom, Connie
Here is what Carole's son, Chad, had to say about his Mudder....
"What I like most about my Mudder is throughout my life she has has always been the one to ask me, : How's your writing going?"
Pictured: Chad and his Mom, Carole
This married Mom of two has some of the most upbeat and positive energy that I’ve ever encountered. I wondered where she gets her upbeat energy and if it is inspired by someone. “I am a positive person by nature (I believe I take after my dad) and I love Jesus...He gives me joy. I also get to live my passion which is fitness...it has never been a job for me, but my calling. What is the saying....’when you truly love what you do, you never work a day in your life’!”
Laura has been in the Fitness industry for 20 years! Since 2012, she’s been the Manager of Health, Fitness and Special Populations at the RECC and also teaches classes. “What is the one thing you miss most about not teaching classes right now?” I asked. Without hesitation she quickly answered, “I miss the connection. I am a group person and get a lot of enjoyment and energy from my participants. I cannot wait to see them again.” As she spoke, I could feel the anticipation in her voice. In my mind, I envisioned a class full of participants smiling, laughing, and sweating it up. Her upbeat energy combined with the high energy tempo music must give every participant a blast of feel good endorphins. That visual quickly put a big smile on my face; almost as big as if I was there.
When she is not at the RECC doing what she loves, I wondered what she likes to do for fun. “I enjoy eating out and spending time with my family. I also lead worship at the church I attend which I LOVE...music is so awesome!” One thing most people may be surprised to learn about Laura is that she Loves food! She is a self-identified foodie and her favourite food is nachos. “I am not much of a cook or baker,” she giggled. “My husband is the cook in our family…thank God for that!”
I wondered how she is doing during these trying times. “I am starting to find the time long. I am not wired to be a stay at home parent or homeschooler. I really enjoy my job and I am much too hyper!” she laughed. I thank you Laura for having the time to chat with me. Here is to endorphin boosting, high energy, sweat filled, hyper days coming back soon. Keep on moving
One of the first things Emily shared with me is her connection to the Dalhousie Agricultural College. “My grandfather, my Dad's dad, was originally a teacher but after the war he went to NSAC and then worked for the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. My mother's father immigrated to Canada (from the Netherlands) after World War II to be a Veterinarian at NSAC,” she said proudly.
I wondered if she followed in their footsteps. “I consider Dal-AC to be an integral part of my family heritage, but decided to follow a different path when I graduated high school. I studied music!” she said. “Do you play any instruments?” I asked. “I play piano, flute and the saxophone. Although, I haven’t played in years, “she replied. I could sense there was more to the story, and I was right. “There was a moment in university where I practiced for a few hours every day. One day, I overheard a student saying that she was disappointed in herself for only practicing 10 hours per day. It was at the moment I realized there was always going to be better musician than me. I never wanted to feel disappointed in myself for only practicing 10 hours a day. That is when I switched programs to study Math and Science,” she giggled.
As the conversation continued, I learned that Emily is also one of the Soccer Coaches for the Junior Varsity Girls Soccer Team at Cobequid Educational Centre (CEC). “So, who is the other Coach?” I wondered. “My husband is! We actually met coaching,” she giggled and continued, “He is exceeding patient, and I am not. He is also more of a soccer player than I am. We complement each other in many ways.” I agree.
This married couple of 11 years makes a great team on and off the field. “Do you have any children?” I asked lastly. “No children….However, Andrew and I joke all the time that the girls on the team are our real kids,” she smiled. Awe, now doesn’t that just warm your heart