‘It feels really good’

Eska­soni stu­dent wins Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Car­ing Cana­dian Award

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

When Ken­dra Gould checked her email ear­lier this week, she got a big sur­prise.

The 17-year-old Grade 12 stu­dent at Al­li­son Bernard Me­mo­rial High School found out Mon­day that she was go­ing to re­ceive the Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Car­ing Cana­dian Award on Thurs­day.

“I wasn’t ex­pect­ing it,” said Gould, who spoke to the Cape Bre­ton Post just be­fore re­ceiv­ing the hon­our in Hal­i­fax on Thurs­day evening. “It feels really good.”

The Gov­er­nor Gen­eral’s Car­ing Cana­dian Award is given in recog­ni­tion of Gould’s con­tri­bu­tions to her com­mu­nity. Gould has been in­volved with var­i­ous projects, in­clud­ing most re­cently, Live Dif­fer­ent Build, which al­lows vol­un­teers from across Canada the chance to make a dif­fer­ence in the de­vel­op­ing world by build­ing houses, schools, and other projects. Ken­dra was in­volved in a Do­mini­can Repub­lic project where she helped build a home for a fam­ily of eight. She ap­plied to the pro­gram when she was in Grade 11, and in Septem­ber she went to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram. She fundraised through­out the school year so she could take part in the 11-day ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It was really tough — we were mix­ing ce­ment, do­ing bucket lines, making over a whole house,” said Gould. “It was really fun and un­for­get­table.”

Gould was nom­i­nated for the award by Al­li­son Bernard Me­mo­rial High School prin­ci­pal Newell John­son-Bernard, who ac­com­pa­nied Gould on the trip as chap­er­one. “I wit­nessed an amaz­ing group of stu­dents that worked tire­lessly and pas­sion­ately in or­der to pro­vide a safe home for a fam­ily that re­cently lost their home to a fire,” said John­son-Bernard. “Ken­dra was in­volved with the process with so much en­thu­si­asm, joy and em­pa­thy. She worked along­side con­trac­tors and lead­ers of the pro­gram along with her peers. She in­ter­acted with the com­mu­nity mem­bers and the fam­ily that we were build­ing for with so much un­der­stand­ing, love and friend­ship.”

In ad­di­tion to play­ing bas­ket­ball, Gould is also a mem­ber of the Al­li­son Bernard Me­mo­rial High School in­ter­act group, which does ser­vice projects within their com­mu­nity, makes in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tions and de­vel­ops lead­er­ship skills. This year, the group will have a Coat a Kid pro­gram for Eska­soni and will adopt a fam­ily within Eska­soni as part of their Christ­mas project.

Gould’s plans af­ter high school in­clude at­tend­ing Saint Mary’s Univer­sity in Hal­i­fax where she plans to study crim­i­nol­ogy.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Ken­dra Gould, right, is shown push­ing Perla Lopez on a swing when Gould was in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic ear­lier in the school year, help­ing to re­build the child’s home. For this and her other com­mu­nity work, the 17-year-old Eska­soni stu­dent has been...

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