Olivia Dey

Silver Award Participant

"After two years of doing the Duke of Ed Award Program, I am an aspiring 15 year old, ready to advocate for those in need."

Hi, I am Olivia. I just completed my Silver Award and am waiting to start my Gold Award when I turn 16. I am only 15 now and I thought to be able to stay involved with the Award program, I would share my story with youngsters like me who are planning to start or are already in the program.

My journey started when I was about to start Grade 9. I was a very shy girl during grade school. I was teased and bullied by my class mates for years. I even tried to hurt myself at one point being depressed and frustrated because of being bullied. I had no confidence and hated school. During the summer before Grade 9, my family sent me to a 2 week French camp in the wilderness at Camp Chez Nous, Mansfield. After living in the tent with a group of youngsters like me, I uncovered a whole new world for myself.

It was at this time I became familiar with the Duke of Ed program, which is advocated by my school. One Sunday afternoon while I was surfing through the website I felt that this is what I should be doing. I always loved traveling, sports, art, adventurous journey and all of it. Why not take credit for doing the things I love doing?
During my Bronze and Silver Award journey, I realized this program is absolutely addictive. It just keeps me going. I keep doing my activities and every weekend when I log the hours, watching the slider moving closer to the next level it makes me extremely excited. I was overwhelmed after completing my Bronze level when appreciations kept pouring in. During my Bronze and Silver program, I learned how to survive in -25 degrees in the wilderness in a tent, prepare drinking water from frozen stream water, take care of my team whether it be human or animal, prepare to jump in the fast flowing river current, survive in capsized boat, perform construction job, educate and help children and people from different communities, cultures and countries, learn empathy and compassion.

Sometimes when I look back to my Grade School days, I really cannot recognize who I was during that time. I was just an ordinary girl with no self confidence, no mental strength to fight back or even stand up for myself. After two years of doing the Duke of Ed Award Program, I am an aspiring 15 yrs old, ready to advocate for those in need. I am a National Water Polo player. I coach junior water polo players, I organize art exhibitions, sell my painting and also teach art to young children. I am full of enthusiasm and aspiration. My journey won’t stop when I complete my Gold Award. This program opened a door to a new world and I want to be an advocate for the Duke of Ed program at every stage of my life journey.

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