Parent Testimonials

The Award wants to hear from YOU. 
If you have a story about your or your child's Award journey you want to share please email cmcarthur@dukeofed.org. 

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"Imagine your child paddling through Tom Thompson Lake in the interior of Algonquin Park; teaching an autistic student to ski down the slope of a mountain; using artificial intelligence to program a robot; summiting Rattlesnake Point on an outdoor climb; conquering a seventy-foot vertical ice climb; cycling in Ontario Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tours to raise funds; volunteering at a soup kitchen, and creating the ‘Homeless Clothing Initiative’. These are a few of the soulful life gifts my son experienced, working within the framework of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program. At the suggestion of his curriculum director my son enrolled in the program when he turned 14 years old. He has achieved the Bronze and Silver Awards and is currently advancing through the Gold Award level. The creatively designed requirements of the program allow Patrick to choose activities in which he is interested, to personalize his award objectives. As a parent, of course, I want the best for my child. I want him to plan, work hard, overcome challenges, and enjoy successes. Completing short term goals as he journeys through this process, is encouraging and positive. I witnessed particular growth in my son as I observed him draft, practice, and deliver an address to an audience of three hundred people at the Silver Award Ceremony in Toronto, a challenge he would not have experienced if he was not a participant in this program. When he achieves his Gold Award, Patrick will have a significant accomplishment to include on his resume and he will also feel a sense of accomplishment."

- Patricia C

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"My name is Andrea and my son Tavish, who is 15, has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for almost a year. Tavish has had a love of the Royal Family for many years and we have read about them extensively so Tavish was aware of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for some time. In 2016, the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Tavish undertook the Diamond Challenge, open to anyone, and had his first taste of experiencing the award. When Tavish turned 14 we started to research the requirements for the award. Tavish is disabled and I wanted to make sure that the award would adapt to his needs and challenge him in ways that he is capable of achieving. After speaking with Laura at our local award office, I knew that the award would allow him to achieve the goals he set. We signed up for the bronze level of the award almost a year ago and have completed two of the four areas, physical activity and skill. Tavish swam and water walked, achieving Swimmer 3 at the YMCA, as his physical activity. We played handbells with a friend from church as a new skill. We have created a trio that has performed at a concert in December and will be playing again at church this spring. Throughout these activities, the online diary has been simple and easy to use and allowed us to record our achievements and include pictures as well. Laura has been so supportive and encouraging and is always open to any questions that I might have. We are working on ideas to finish the last two area requirements and hope that in the next eighteen months Tavish will have achieved what he has set out to do. We have both learned new things and found the experience rewarding. Both of us would recommend it to anyone."

 - Andrea

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“When my daughter told me she wanted to join the Duke of Edinburgh Award program I was supportive but unaware of what it could really do for her as I did not really understand what it was. Erin was a young girl very unsure of herself and often struggled to find her own place. This Award pushed her on so many different levels. I watched Erin become dedicated to things in a way she had never been before, the Award pushed her outside of her comfort zone and gave her opportunities I would never have been able to provide her. I am so grateful for the barrier free access to this award as it ensured Erin was able to achieve all three levels of this Award, see new places and try new things.

One moment that really stood out to me was when Erin decided to go dog sledding for her gold adventurous journey. She was the same girl who was afraid to go anywhere alone and to see her want to go on a trip for six days with no one she knew was a ground breaking moment. She had gained enough confidence throughout the award and its components that she believed that she could do it and wanted to see the world in new ways, and she did. After that trip, she came back even more confident but more importantly a much stronger person. She learned how to withstand extremely hard times with a smile on her face.
The Duke of Edinburgh award changed my daughter for the better. The change was so profound, it has become a family tradition. Her sister, Katie, was inspired by the new skills and new things that Erin was able to experience that she took on the award herself and accomplished all three levels as well.”


- Anne R

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