Hunter Macdonald

CEO of Tutela Technologies

"I believe the Duke of Ed provides great preparation for young people pursuing careers. I have seen this first-hand from one of our previous co-op students who achieved her Gold level. She fit well with our organization, and her passion to give back to the community impressed me."

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award truly does create well rounded young people. It’s an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and to try something new. Even if some of the things you are participating in are things you would complete without the Award, you are forced to reflect upon them. The reflection piece for me was one of the most valuable.

Often times we are stuck going through the motions without acknowledging the growth and learning we experience. We don’t keep track of our challenges or achievements and this for me has been a great opportunity to do so.

Each of the sections of the Award for me is very important. Being outdoors and traveling by foot allowed me to marvel at the luxuries I so often take for granted and disconnect from the pressures and influences of social media. That time to “unplug” was just as valuable as the skills I acquired along the journey. Being active has numerous benefits to both mental and physical health and should be a priority in our lives no matter what form it may be in. It is never too late to learn a new skill. Often around high school or university people stick to what they know and don’t have the internal motivation to learn something new. While working on my Gold Award I was reminded that you are never too old to learn something new and set a goal to learn a new skill every year.

I explored a new corner of my country and immersed myself in a different language for my residential project, met many of my goals for my physical activity and spent 10 days in the woods in challenging circumstances. I am very thankful to have the resources to have been able to complete my Gold Award and am a very proud Duke of Ed Alumnus.

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