Duke Delegate Will – British Columbia

Q: What level of the Award are you currently working on?
A: I have completed my Gold level.

Q: What activities do you do for each section of your Award?
Adventurous Journey:
I was chosen to participate in the Pulling Together 2016 Canoe Journey, where I was selected as one of three high school students to participate alongside the West Vancouver Police Department. It was my job as Youth Leader to ensure that the youth kept to our schedule and contributed to team. Pulling gave me an opportunity to demonstrate my leadership capabilities and overcome my physical challenges, and allowed for me to connect people across aboriginal and non-aboriginal cultures, forming long-lasting bonds with five First Nations communities. The preliminary planning consisted of a month’s worth of choppy water canoeing, packing, and route planning, culminating in the final adventure. For 10 days I travelled by canoe over 110 km, visiting a number of host First Nation villages. During this time, I was immersed in First Nation societies and made what will be life-long friendships with both the youth and elders from these communities, and I have since talked about this with my peers and classmates to show how there are so many ways to bond with people from other cultures and traditions.

Residential Project:
I had the life-changing opportunity to travel to Manitoba for LEAD 2016, the DOE-run youth Leadership Camp. Through LEAD, I met several youth who are now some of my closest friends. Together, we pursued a shared passion to make Canada a safer and more inclusive place. The trip also gave me my first chance to travel cross-country alone.

I was involved in various volunteering initiatives, including our municipal police Student Work Advisory Team, my church's youth leadership team, my
school's Student Council, and Student Events Committee.

Q: What was your worst Duke of Ed moment that you now look back on and laugh?
A: Forgetting the fly on my tent in the middle of a July West Coast monsoon! (And that was just day one of a ten-day canoe journey)

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your term as a Duke Delegate?
A: To spread the word about the overall awesomeness of the Duke of Ed program, and to encourage the growth the program to support and mentor youth,
and create a "Duke Dynasty" 

Q: What do you think of the qualities of a great Leader what comes to mind? What does Leadership mean to you?
A: To quote the legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” Leaders aren’t inspiring because of their own power, but because of their ability to instill that power in those around them. Through the program, I have been lucky enough to find an incredible family of current and future leaders who push me to test my own boundaries. I thank them, and everyone connected with Duke of Ed, for constantly motivating me to improve myself every day.

Q: What excites you about being a Duke Delegate?
A: Having the opportunity to stay connecting with Duke and spread the word about a program which influenced my own life so positively.

Q: Can you give us one interesting fact about yourself?
A: I was a published author at the age of 9, and have been published 2 times since!