Taking the Lead in Helping Others
Michelle Wong considered many schools, but what ultimately brought her to Brescia was her experience with the 2012 Take the Lead, a public speaking contest. Since the contest was recommended by her friend, and the 2011 Take the Lead winner, Sarah Van Dusen, Michelle decided to give it a try. Although she had no previous public speaking experience, she signed up without hesitation, explaining, “I liked my speech, I had something to say, and I wanted to share it with others.” Along with the opportunity to have her voice heard, the possibility of a scholarship for both tuition and residence was certainly enticing as well.
In her speech, Michelle spoke of a recent string of suicides at her high school. She encouraged everyone to try to make a positive impact on the lives of others, and reminded listeners that they were not alone, nor were they powerless. When reflecting on her experience at Take the Lead, she says, “It’s an encouraging day, and it’s uplifting to be affirmed and supported by others.”
Michelle is happy to have chosen Brescia, and enjoys the personal and caring environment Brescia offers. As a verbal learner, she appreciates the small class sizes that are conducive to discussion amongst peers and professors. She speaks fondly of her professors, saying, “They teach, but also give you time and opportunities to practise what you’ve learned.”
Though only in her second year, she has immersed herself fully into Brescia’s community by living in residence and assisting with the 2013 Take the Lead contest. In addition to this, she is a member of the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, which is part of an international student movement committed to changing the world by loving God and loving people. While participating fully in the Brescia community, she still finds time to maintain her grades, and plans to earn a BA Honors double major in French for Teaching and Spanish Language and Linguistics. Although planning to keep her options open for the time being, she is considering careers in speech pathology and teaching.
For those who are unsure of where life will take them, Michelle urges them to stay optimistic and lead boldly, explaining, “We all have a small role, and it may seem small, and it may even be small, but it is significant.”