Gold Award Achiever
My Duke of Edinburgh’s journey has taken me places I never dreamed of visiting and developed skills I did not know I had. Already engaged in community activities, I began my journey in 2011 with the Bronze Award, which reinforced my motivation and ability to track my service hours and progress. I found myself gaining additional satisfaction from the completion of the various sections of the Bronze Award level. This satisfaction increased my desire to set and achieve goals, and as a result, I pursued Silver and Gold immediately, completing one level of The Award after the next.
The motivation and perseverance demonstrated in my Skills section enabled me to keep up with my music, and my passion for it grew as I dedicated more and more time. I am now the co-chair of Beatstock, a citywide fundraising event that supports Lost Lyrics, an organization that uses the arts to help at-risk youth in the Greater Toronto Area.
During the early days of my Award journey, I discovered my love for camping and canoeing. By the time I worked on my Gold Award, I had developed the skills needed to organize my own journey, bringing together 8 other Duke of Edinburgh participants and covering over 100km of Algonquin terrain. Over six days, we slipped into a basic routine, taking shifts with camp chores and moving through guiding and portages with ease. Following a natural schedule such as rising with the sun, sleeping with the onset of darkness, eating when hungry even breaking out into spontaneous song–have a relaxing effect on both the body and the mind. As a result, although my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award experiences are now completed, I will continue to pursue qualifications for camping and taking groups out to enjoy the wilderness.
My residential project took me around the world to Durban, South Africa, where I worked with ‘Nurturing Orphans of Aids for Humanity’ (NOAH) during the summer of 2012. My time spent with these children and their remaining families helped me realize the fundamental role of health and healthcare in the maintenance and restoration of human dignity. I realized that without good health or proper healthcare, even the simple task of caring for oneself or for one’s family is unattainable. I shared this perspective later that year when I travelled as one of four delegates from Canada to the Community Development and Leadership Summit in New Delhi, India. Meeting with over 300 delegates from 23 countries, we discussed social issues and the road ahead as a global community. I gained knowledge of future steps that our generation can take to make this world a better place and of the importance of culture, tradition, and history in shaping people and their lives.
I am deeply thankful for my participation in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. It has made me a more confident, motivated, and out-spoken person, traits I know I will carry with me always.
-Kendra Wong, Toronto, Ontario
"I gained knowledge of future steps that our generation can take to make this world a better place and of the importance of culture, tradition, and history in shaping people and their lives."