On Saturday, November 23rd at Queen’s Park in Toronto, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario joined 38 young Canadians celebrating their hard work in achieving the Gold Award. Amongst those Canadians was Columbia International College’s student Xie Cong who received her Gold Award for the Duke of Edinburgh.
All across the world, the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (The Duke of Ed or the Award) has supported and encouraged young people (ages 14-24) to challenge themselves to achieve personal goals to help them be equipped for their future. The Duke of Ed has helped motivate youth to focus on their interests, improve their abilities and push themselves to be the best version of themselves. People who participate in this program are able to determine what they are passionate about by setting goals and challenging themselves.
Xie Cong came to CIC in October 2016, and she made an immediate impact in her new community. She joined the school as a part of the ESL school and quickly got involved with student leadership. In 2017, Cong joined the main academic campus, and began her journey with the Elite Pathway Partnership Program(EPP).
The Elite Partnership Program is designed to comprehensively prepare students for the rigorous requirements for entry to the world’s top universities. The EPP allows for students like Cong, to become strong in both academics and co-curricular activities. Students are able to maximize their personal development through the program and equip themselves with the skills, experience and ability to handle all challenges that they may face in their future studies and endeavors. During her time at CIC, Cong continued on her path of student leadership, helping to organize volunteer experiences for her peers.
At the heart of the Gold Award is the undertaking of a purposeful experience with diverse range of people, working towards a common goal. The Award rewards youth with a sense of personal achievement, enhanced social connections with new and interesting people, and a truly life changing experience. Her dedication to the program led to Cong being the first Columbia International College student to earn her Gold Level Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The impact of this award on Cong’s life has created a desire to set long term goals, to follow her passions, and to strive to achieve excellence in all aspects of her life.
“The resourceful events at CIC confirmed my passion to go to the University of Toronto and helped me organize my study path. Thank you CIC for providing me with the excellent opportunity to be selected into the EPP program.” – Xie Cong