‘It feels really good’
Eskasoni student wins Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award
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.
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...