Rosthern, SK | Grades 10 - 12 | Shortlist
My overall experience at RJC was life changing. I always say that RJC has been the best years of my life, and it was most definitely one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me. It was not just any other school, it was not a building for you to go to classes, but it was an experience. You have to live through it, to grow and learn from it. RJC gave me the freedom, the tools, and the support to grow into the person I am today. Without RJC, I wouldn't have been as confident, I probably wouldn't have ran for an executive position at the University, and I wouldn't have gained the life skills I needed to be a young adult. The teachers and staff are more than just the people who worked at the building, they were educators, both in classrooms and in life. They have given me many gifts and helped my parents to be the parents for me, away from home. I have so much to thank them for, and I will continue to come back and give back to RJC, which I consider my second home. My university was great, but it was never the same as what RJC gave me, for the University was far too big for anyone to know everyone. RJC noticed me, RJC recognized me.
There were lots of chapel announcements with different universities and job opportunities presented to us. We would hear recruiters from Usask, CMU, some of the programs like Outtatown program, or language programs for us to explore! Teachers not only taugh us in class, they taught us life lessons outside of the classrooms, and gave us guidance on how to choose what to do after High school, and how to choose which University to apply to. They reminded us about scholarships, which I received and it helped with my University career. After I graduated from RJC, I went onto the University of Saskatchewan. With the experience and life skills I got from RJC, I volunteered and worked with many different groups on campus , then I went onto become the Help Centre Coordinator, and eventually, I ran in the election and won, as the Executive of the University Students' Union, serving over 17000 undergrad students as their Vice President of Students Affairs. I
I was eased into the admissions process from overseas, the admission person helped me out with all kinds of questions from what the dorm room looks like, to how to get the visa to study in Canada. I knew it was the right fit for me from the beginning, although it was scary to move to the other side of the country for school, the admission process helped prepared my stay in Canada! It is important to know that you can only apply starting from Grade 10, but there are many events you can join even before Grade 10, to get used to this campus and explore how and who you could be when you go to RJC! I never had that experience because I came from Hong Kong, but the admissions person helped me to imagine these Opportunites before I arrived, and everyone helped me ease into this RJC experience along the way!
This campus is on a big piece of land, we have a building for school, a building for our dorms, a brand new football field, two soccer fields, a rink, two tennis court, a beach volleyball court, an outdoor basketball court including more indoor, a gazebo and more spaces for our students to enjoy! There are usually commute provided by the school to go into the city for fun times, shopping and more. The town itself is the safest place I have lived in, with a very low crime rate, and a peaceful/quiet environment.
Once you are connected with RJC, you have this pride to belong in this loving community. We all know how RJC is a life-changing experience, and many alumni keep on coming back, giving back, and supporting this school. RJC noticed me, RJC recognized me. They gave us room to shine and show the talents we have hidden away, whether we were told not to show, or didn't have enough room for us to show in a bigger school. RJC gave me the life-changing opportunity to shine. The teachers and staff are so caring and loving, that they became my second family. I have always loved visiting RJC since I graduated because this will always be my second home for me. There are so many alumnus that went on and did great things, lots would come back and share with RJC, whether its their knowledge, their financial support, coming back to be on the board or one of the teacher/ staff at RJC, because this has been a family in many people's heart.
I LOVED going to school at RJC, the girls in the dorms just became my sisters, they helped me with fashion tips, we braided each others' hair... Lots of sleepovers on the weekends, that's how we bonded! The dorms are a big part of why I love RJC. The teachers and staff are so caring and loving, that they became my second family. I have always loved visiting RJC since I graduated because this will always be my second home for me. I have always enjoyed our different cultural background, and how we can learn English in an immersion style, living in the dorms! We have a flexible dorm life, so aside from academic stuff, the deans and dorm leaders would organize fun activities for us to do together. They would sometimes organize trips for us to go to the city and have fun, they would care for those that have different cultural background, helping us to feel like home, helping us with our traditions or religions.
RJC students have a high spirit and a sense of pride to be an RJC student. I have always bragged about how going to RJC was the best 3 years of my life, I have made life long friends, I have bonded with everyone quickly, and since it is such a small size school, you really cut out the "in groups" and allowing everyone to bond and know each other. High school is hard, in general, with all the teenagers' hormones, but RJC made it that much better. We have a diverse background of students: including traditional Meonnite students who have been growing up with a church family, including students from a different religious background, or students that don't even know what religion is! We have students coming from all over the world, including local town students, students from different cities in Canada, students from different countries like myself, I am from Hong Kong. There are students from Germany, Switzerland, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan, India and many more!
I was in almost all the extracurriculars possible, I was in musical theatre, drama class, I joined all the choirs except the men's choir, I was in sports and even got to try out new sports (curling), I was on SRC... since it is a smaller school, we really had a lot of opportunities to join and be a part of these groups - we might not get these chances in a bigger school.
The academic program at RJC is very diverse. There might be a gap between all the students in their academic levels, but since it is a smaller class size, it allows the teachers to work in different speed, according and adjusting with the class. Class materials can get creative, and they aren't all stuck in a classroom! We have a program called ALSO (Alternative learning and service opportunity), which we take the classroom outside of the province/country, travelling to BC/ Manitoba/ Alabama/ Guatemala, to serve and learn from different communities. I thought the way the teachers let us express our Academic ideas creatively, we have structures to follow, but also the freedom to express! I was stuck in the stressful-classroom learning style in Hong Kong, but at RJC, with the different ways of learning, I was not told that I wasn't good enough. I got help to thrive in ways I didn't know I could thrive before, and I was given chances to try things that I normally was told "not allowed".
With the smaller class size, we get lots of one on one time with teachers. The teachers are always very helpful and supportive, they are always willing to help out even after class. We as students learn how to respect the teachers, but the relationships can be very informal in a positive way - we call our teachers by the first name, just as they call all of us by our first names. Since we have small class sizes, the teachers know us beyond just a student, but our lives and care about our family. They care for us beyond any school I have experienced, they became my second family away from home (I am an international student). The teachers and staff are more than just the people who worked at the building, they were educators, both in classrooms and in life. They have given me many gifts and helped my parents to be the parents for me, away from home. I have so much to thank them for, and I will continue to come back and give back to RJC, which I consider my second home.
The school has a new Explore program, it is to allow students to step up and become leaders. I was elected as the Spirit leader two years in a row, and I had so much opportunity to serve my student body and the community on SRC. The teachers have been supportive and were very helpful as to giving us guidance to be better leaders. The handled discipline with love, and taught us to learn from our mistakes. RJC noticed me, RJC recognized me. They gave us room to shine and show the talents we have hidden away, whether we were told not to show, or didn't have enough room for us to show in a bigger school. RJC gave me the life-changing opportunity to shine.