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Balfour Beacons - May 2018


November, 2018

In an effort to recognize the outstanding individuals that we have at Balfour Collegiate, we are going to embark upon recognition of these students.  The word ‘Beacon’ has long been associated with the bright light that stands out, that leads and guides, and is something to which many are drawn.  These are the exact characteristics we are attempting to showcase through the Balfour Beacons.

Past Beacons: November 2013 | January 2014 I March 2014 I June 2014 | October 2014 | January 2015 | April 2015 | December 2015 | November 2016 | February 2017 | May 2017 | November 2017 | February 2018



Ibrahim Kamara - Grade 12


My name is Ibrahim Kamara, and I was born in Gambia, West Africa. I came to Canada in 2015 and this was a huge new beginning in my life, other than starting high school at Balfour Collegiate. When I started high school, I didn’t know what to expect, with all different types of emotions running through my head, and this was sometimes stressful. When I started high school, I didn't know what to do because I was new to Canada, but being at Balfour has been an exciting experience for me and each year has been special and unique in different ways. I have had my highs and lows and many painful experiences in between.

Overall, I feel like these last few years have been preparing me not only for the university but also for my life as a whole. I really believe that my high school experience is going to get me through my life successfully and through hard times, because of the lessons I have learned that have been valuable. Being at Balfour Collegiate has taught me many things, both academically and emotionally, and has helped me reveal my true colours and as a result, has helped build many aspects of my character.

My experiences at Balfour Collegiate have shaped me into the person that I am today. I have learned a lot about my personal qualities, such as my strengths and weaknesses, my work habits, and attitudes. One of the first things I had to learn in high school was to be responsible, independent, and get involved in school and extracurricular activities. I had to learn how to be humble and become conscious of those around me. I could no longer continue to talk over others and disregard their thoughts. In my four years of studying here, I have studied with memorable teachers - teachers with which I was able to connect, laugh, and share my misgivings.


The Balfour teachers have influenced me to be who I am as a person today. The teachers at Balfour have also taught me to believe in myself, and when a teacher believes in you, you cannot help but work even harder, which only leads to success. They also demonstrate kindness and patience to every student in their class. Ms. Loeppky, my advisory teacher, who I would describe as my mother, is the happiest and the most cheerful person I know. She is always helping me out and treats everyone I know with respect. She also understands any situation you are going through, so it is nice to talk it out with her, and in those times she listens like she is your best friend. It does not matter my mood, before I walk into her classroom she will always bring a smile to my face. I'm very lucky to have a teacher like Ms. Loeppky.
I have learned many great things from participating in sports such as soccer, and football. Getting involved in school activities has changed my entire outlook and attitude toward life. Before my freshman year at Balfour, I was shy and had low self-esteem; however, joining soccer has altered all of these qualities. High school soccer has shaped my identity by making me more social, more of a leader, and more open-minded about diversity. Playing in high school sports has guided me to become the person I am today by showing me how to be more cooperative and open with others. Being the captain of the Balfour soccer team for the past two years gave me more confidence and challenged me to develop some leadership skills. I have learned that it is best for the team if you do your best to help lead teammates on and off the field and in every situation. I believe that I took this idea and brought it into my everyday life rather than just with my team.
I remember being a freshman, and I know I have changed in a significant way since then. The first year into high school, I was a timid, unmotivated young man who did not know what he was getting into. Now, I am leaving high school as a man who is mature, outgoing, and very sure of himself. Balfour has prepared me and has shown me that I should always have confidence in myself. One of the most important things I have learned, is that if you believe in yourself and you believe that you can accomplish anything you want in life, great things will happen to you. The fact that I am graduating this year has not hit me yet. These past four years have been an overall life-changing experience that I will always remember. In all honesty, I do not want to leave this amazing place.   



Jordan Feicht - Grade 10


I still remember my first day of High School at Balfour Collegiate. Walking into this big new environment, I was so scared and I didn’t know what to expect. Transitioning from elementary to High School was very tough. Balfour was not the original High School I was planning on going to, but it had turned out being my only option, and now I’m so glad it was.

My first year of High School was very difficult and I struggled with several things; but I had people who were there for me and people who helped me along the way. Although I faced many challenges in my first year I had a very successful and fulfilling year.

I have been given so many great opportunities in the little amount of time that I have been at Balfour. Getting involved with the school is very important. My passion and love for the arts is huge and I’m continuing to learn and grow with help from my family, teachers, and friends. I’m so thankful and thrilled to be involved in the new program at Balfour called the Balfour Arts Collective (BAC). This is a new program involving the arts such as Drama, Dance, Visual Art, and Musical Theatre. I’m in the Drama part of the program. Since I want to continue with this after High School and make this my career; this new program has opened up several doors and opportunities for me to be involved in. I’m very fortunate to have people in my life helping me continue with what's so important to me. Balfour is a great place to be and I have come to feel very accepted and appreciative of everything I have.

Being the fun, happy, and confident person I am; making friends and having good relationships with my teachers has been easy and one of the best parts of High School. I love to make people's day. My goal for each day is to make at least one person laugh or smile, being funny makes this easy. When I can make someone happy, I’m happy.

Becoming the Balfour Beacon has showed me that I’m succeeding in what I’m doing. Trying so hard in everything I do while continuing with my goal each day is working and making a difference. Only being at this school for little over a year, Balfour has brought me many amazing experiences which I am very proud to be apart of.

Balfour is a very welcoming and safe space that I’m glad to be contributing to. I still have quite a bit of time left at Balfour but I’m excited and nervous for upcoming experiences and what the future holds for me. High School is a big part of everyone's life and I’m happy that Balfour is where I am. I’m looking forward to what's to come! Thank you for giving me this great opportunity!




Thea Samuelson - Grade 9


Hi I’m Théa! I love to dance. I spend most of my time doing it! Dancing is what makes me happy and gives me purpose. Dancing is my passion. I chose to come to Balfour because of the Arts Collective program. I love to remember the day when I first met Ms. Hunter, Ms. Kuz, and Ms. Clark. These three ladies came into my elementary school to speak about their new program Balfour Arts Collective. I was filled with joy and excitement when they talked about how our school days everyday would consist of us doing what we loved. I sat with a the biggest smile staring at them; I knew this is what I was meant to do.


Here I am now. I spend everyday doing what I love, dancing. In school I’m surrounded by amazing people here to pursue doing what they love and are passionate about. Being in such an amazing environment has made school something I love to do. At Balfour I have teachers that I know I can count on and peers that are filled with kindness. The community at Balfour is so welcoming and filled with opportunity. I look forward to spending my highschool years in such a great community!

 Past Beacons: November 2013 | January 2014 I March 2014 I June 2014 | October 2014 | January 2015 | April 2015 | December 2015 | November 2016 | February 2017 | May 2017 | November 2017 | February 2018

 photography by: Chelsea Bauer (grade 12)