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Summer 2013/Issue 30



Inside this Issue

Southridge School Alumni Association. . . . . . Pg 2 Alumni from 1999-2012 . . . . . . . . . . . . Pgs 2-23 Alumni connect with Southridge Grads . . . . Pg 24

Alumni News Southridge School Alumni Association For almost twenty years now, Southridge alumni have been making a difference in the world.


To recognize this, and given the growing success of our alumni events, the Southridge School Alumni Association is being launched to facilitate and encourage meaningful lifetime relationships amongst alumni and the school. Over the course of several months in the spring of 2013, six graduates met to discuss what this association might look like and what might be accomplished given that we now have nearly 800 graduates. Rob Levy (06), Lindsay Clark (04), Rick Mann (04), Oliver Browes (02), Lauren Compton (01) and Andrew Matheson (1999) have and will continue to work with myself and James Porpaczy, to establish the vision, mission and direction of the inaugural association. This is a very exciting and momentous time in Southridge’s history as a school. Once it is formally incorporated, the Southridge School Alumni Association will be open to all graduates, as well as anyone who has completed at least one full year at the school. Although we have only just begun, we are certainly planning to provide opportunities for grads to reconnect with fellow alumni and enjoy exclusive benefits. We’ve discussed a homecoming weekend, alumni concerts, sports events and art shows. We are looking at ways to facilitate opportunities and support the association as we create another milestone in the history of Southridge. The possibilities are truly endless. We ask that all of our alumni stay tuned for additional developments. We will post information on the Alumni Facebook Page as well as send out information via e-mail and post in the alumni portal of the school website. If you have not updated your e-mail address with the school recently, we encourage you to do so soon so that you don’t miss out on any of the exciting member benefits! I hope you enjoy this special edition of the Spirit. Christiane Hodson Director of Advancement


Sally Hynes (Higgins) I’m finishing my subspecialty training in paediatric plastic surgery at SickKids in Toronto (will be done in July). Following this, I will be working at BC Children’s Hospital for the summer. In the fall, my family will be moving to Switzerland for three years to pursue a job opportunity for my husband (I am in the process of looking for a job there myself). My daughter, Alice, is now 16 months old.

Andrew Matheson After graduating from Southridge I went to the University of Victoria and completed a BSc in Economics. I spent a bit of time travelling, after convocation, before starting the diploma in accounting at UBC. Currently I am the regional accountant for British Columbia for Graham Construction, managing accounting operations for Graham’s construction projects in the province. Recently I have overseen the implementation of a new ERP system at our company. I am in the late stages of completing my CMA (cer tified management accountant) designation and, after taking some time to refresh, will be pursuing either a CFA designation or an MBA.

2000 Kama Sulaiman

Shortly after graduation in 2000, I moved to Los Angeles, California for college and finished off my degree in Graphic Arts at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). During that time, I supported my tuition by working full time first at Mellon Bank, then I moved to Bank of America, then to Union Bank - all at the processing centres for data entry because these jobs take place after school hours (5pm to midnight) so I would go to school in the daytime and work in the evening until midnight. Fortunately, I was offered a job in the graphics department of a garment company even before I graduated, so that was a great transition. We made clothing and labels for companies such as Sinful, Disney, Rampage, Mattel, and many more, which was quite a learning experience for me. After a year, I felt like I had gained and learned enough from the company and sought to start my own, so I opened up a booth called CUSTOM BLING at Ontario Mills mall in California, selling custom shirts and custom Rhinestone/ Swarovski applications on garments. This was my first business so I was learning as I went along and I learnt that retail is exhausting! Especially if you’re watching the shop yourself every single day because you don’t want to increase a budget on hiring employees. But after a while, I was getting bulk orders and decided the piece by piece sales were not worth it, so I closed down the shop and opened a warehouse/office instead and we were getting bigger orders for companies such as Sunglass Hut, Edible Arrangements, car clubs, and more. But unfortunately, about a year after moving to the warehouse and just as business was picking up, my father encouraged me and convinced me to move to Jakarta, Indonesia to help him with one of his businesses. I closed up the company and set off to Indonesia in 2007.

We Are All One them out, we actually transplant them and grow them before we ship them worldwide. These transplantation facilities were off the shores of an island so it involved a lot of diving and fun on the beach. But after a couple of years doing this business with my father, I decided to leave the company and go back to my passion: the design and the garment industry. I quickly set up a clothing company called SKY International in 2009 and since then it has been growing in Indonesia, occupying one of the big department stores nationwide and a few other independent stores. All of our production is in-house and the facility not only produces for SKY, but also for other brands, uniforms, and promotional products. At the end of 2010 I was inspired to enter the food and beverage industry. I fortunately found a very strategic location on the ground floor of a massive apartment complex and quickly signed papers for the space - not knowing a thing about the F&B business. But within a month I was able to gather all the human resources and had the space renovated for launch in January 2011. It’s called Kafe Daun (meaning Leaf Cafe in Indonesian) serving Indonesian Cuisine. Today it is going strong and currently looking to expand. I married my wonderful wife in September 2011 after being together for over three years and we have been blessed with a son who just turned one this past April. Recently, I was inspired to open a coffee shop and fortunately found a nice location in the lobby of a twenty storey office building in the middle of a business district. This venture launched in January 2013 and now in May, we are already looking at a few different locations for expansions.

The business I was helping my father run was quite a fun one. It was a company called Tropical Aqua World, doing coral conservation and transplantation. Live coral are used for decorative hobby purposes in salt water aquariums which are popular across the world. Indonesia is a great source for live coral because they can only be found in tropical climates. But instead of destroying the reef by cutting the coral and shipping


Alumni News Lauren Compton I have been teaching in the Surrey School District for six years now at a designated ‘inner-city’ high school. This past September I started a new experiential learning program at L.A. Matheson Secondary with my teaching partner, called L.E.A.P. – Learning from Experience in Action Program. L.E.A.P. is an integrated curricular program that provides students with hands on learning opportunities through experiences outside of the classroom. Students spend their entire school day in the program for up to two years, where the intention is to provide learning in environments that complement the curriculum. Students in the program do not pay or contribute to any of the costs because the expectation is that they give back to the community instead. This year we have had Humble the Poet come to the school to perform his spoken word poetry, we went to the Granville Island Writers Festival, we spent a week at the Vancouver Aquarium learning about all of the species in Howe Sound and teaching elementar y school children, we participated in a day long canoe trip down the Harrison River to witness the salmon spawning run, we attended the UBC Holocaust Symposium, where we met Holocaust survivors, we took students to the UBC High Ropes Course, we have had numerous presenters visit our classroom,


and will be taking our students on a three day camping trip to Camp Fircom on Gambier Island. We have done a lot of work with our local elementary schools, inviting them in to make Christmas crafts, and read, along with cleaning up garbage in and around our school community. Students in the program receive credit for English, social studies, media arts, community recreation and leadership, PE, science, math and independent study at the Grade 10 and 11 level. I am happy to be able to provide my students with these learning opportunities. It is very rare to find funding for a program like this but the Surrey School District is committed to innovative education. I strive to provide my students with experiences similar to those I was privileged to have at Southridge. On a personal note, I coach the Senior Girls Soccer Team and I continue to play soccer on a women’s team for the Central City Breakers. In July of 2012 I got to walk across the stage in a cap and gown again with one of my best friends, Lindsey Gray, also a Southridge Alumnus. We completed our Master’s degrees in Imaginative Education. Over the Christmas break I got engaged and will be getting married in January 2014. My fiancé and I are looking to purchase our first home together. I look forward to working with the other board members of the Southridge Alumni Association to bring opportunities for alumni to come together in a social setting and to create a community where members can network for personal pleasure as well as career advancement.

Erin Hamanishi This past spring, I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto. The title of my thesis was: “Intraspecific variation in the Populus balsamifera drought response: A systems biology approach.” Most of my research focused on characterizing the variation in the stress responses

We Are All One among individuals of the same species of poplar. More specifically, I examined the effects of drought stress on whole plant metabolism and physiology, leaf development, and ultimately the genome wide transcriptome. Throughout my PhD I have been fortunate to collaborate with excellent colleagues across Canada, publish numerous manuscripts, and travel to international conferences, such as the IUFRO Tree Biotechnology conference in Brazil. Beyond academics, I have been actively involved with Girl Guides of Canada. I volunteer with two units in downtown Toronto, which are considered some of the most “urban” units in Canada. Taking girls from downtown Toronto camping is an experience that is pretty incredible. Having grown up in BC, I believe sometimes we take “nature” for granted! Most recently, I have been preparing to be a Guider on a nationally sponsored trip to Kenya with sixteen girls chosen across Canada. This international trip is a partnership between Girl Guides of Canada and Canada World Youth. We will be working on various service projects in local communities, as well as meeting some of the local Kenyan Girl Guides. I am very much looking forward to this adventure, and to the next opportunities that come my way.

Grant Dougans Since 2006 I have been working at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm, based in the Toronto office. At Bain, I work as a consultant and specialize in the energy industry. I really enjoy travelling internationally; from 2009-11 I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do my MBA at London Business School in London, UK.

Darren Jones Since graduating from Southridge in 2001 I have had the pleasure of going to many places. I immediately moved east of the Rockies to complete my BA at the University of Calgary, after which I backpacked in South America for several months. After marrying my wife Caity in 2008, we moved farther east to complete my B. Ed. at the University of Windsor. We then moved back to Vancouver where I taught Grade 1 and coached at York House School from 2009-2012. We welcomed my son Myles into the world in April 2012, and moved to New York in September. While in New York, I completed my MA in Ed. Leadership at Teachers College - Columbia University. It was an action-packed year of learning and adventure with my family that I won’t soon forget. We are happy to have just returned to the west coast where things are a little quieter and the air is a little fresher. I am looking forward to returning to my job at York House School in the fall.

2001 5

Alumni News

2002 Ryan Wilson

I have star ted another technology company in Vancouver called Medeo: We’ve grown to a team of 30 in just six months building the future of Canadian healthcare. Medeo lets patients securely video conference with their doctor from their computer, tablet or smart phone. Our service is now live and helping patients across BC and Alberta. The first of its kind in Canada, it brings a patient focused approach to healthcare.

Stephanie McGrath (Byrne) I am currently finishing my Bachelor of Education in Elementary Teaching at the University of British Columbia. I received my Bachelor of Arts in History from UBC as well, but had many life adventures before receiving this degree in 2010. I started my post-secondary education at the University of Calgary, which was life changing and lead me to friendships with people that I, to this day, eleven years later, still cherish and could not live without. I bounced around from career choice to career choice, and school to school and dabbled in everything from business and marketing to interior design and drafting. In 2006 I moved overseas to Ireland to work as a drafter in Dublin, but eventually moved to the city of Galway on the West Coast of Ireland, where

I met my husband. After returning to Canada I decided that I wanted to complete my undergraduate degree in history. We welcomed our first daughter, Aoife, in 2008, and our second daughter, Ciara, a mere six weeks after receiving my degree in 2010. Since graduating from Southridge in 2002 I have worked in a variety of different fields, travelled and been educated by countless “experts in their fields” who were both inspiring and dismal, but believe that I have finally found a career choice that inspires me and gets me excited about what my future will hold.

Oliver Browes After graduating, I studied a double major in economics and political science at McGill between 2002 and 2005. I did not actually graduate, but rather withdrew and returned home. Needing to work, I started in construction and before long was leading a team of framers building town homes on the Langley / Surrey border. After some soul searching I struck out as an independent contractor framing single family detached executive homes. Through 2008/9 I identified a preference for trying out a more corporate setting and found an entry level sales job and after a few months I was promoted into a more senior role. Since then I have worked in a few industries and continued to focus on developing my professional skill set. For the last 30 months I’ve been selling a cutting edge webbased law practice management software called Clio. I also organize a business meet up in Vancouver called ‘Getting Real’, have found an amazingly supportive partner, and continue to enjoy physical activities like road biking, skiing and hiking. Much of my professional foundation can be traced back to my years at Southridge. I remain appreciative of the exposure to opportunities the school provided and continue to contribute back to our community; recently becoming a founding board member of the Southridge Alumni Association. Any students or alumni interested in touching base or becoming active with the Alumni Association are very welcome to drop me a line at

2003 Ten Year Reunion

In June of this year, 24 members of the class of 2003, along with three other alumni and two faculty members, met at The Lamplighter and The Metropolitan pubs in Gastown, Vancouver; the event was organised by Chase Sereda via Facebook and enabled alumni from Canada, Taiwan, Southern California and London, England to reconnect.

Tyler McLean Well, since graduating from Southridge, life has been eventful! I took a couple of years to find myself, and by 2006, I was living with my girlfriend, Hayley, who I am now married to. I was working as a lumber trader for a few years but was ‘head-hunted’ by a wholesale distributor of building supplies in Nanaimo, back in March and now I sell to retail yards all over Vancouver Island.

We Are All One James Benoit Since the beginning of last summer, I’ve continued to work on the Pando sustainable community website under Mark Roseland at SFU. I also opened a small consulting business and worked with the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation to develop their online community, which drastically cuts the cost of in-person band meetings. I’m currently doing a PhD in psychiatry at the University of Alberta, where I’m working on three projects focusing on functional MRI imaging of mental illness in adolescents (specifically alcoholism, at-risk youth, and adolescent inpatients with ADHD/depression/anxiety). The U of A has one of the most powerful MRI scanners in Canada, and I get to work with anatomical MRI, functional MRI, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging, i.e., looking at brain anatomy, function, and connective integrity. To help this work along, I’ve been awarded three scholarships for the year. I also moved into Edmonton and bought a condo downtown.

Angela Wahlroth

We have a two year old little girl named Olivia and we have a second on the way in June. We just moved into a house at the beginning of May and are looking forward to raising our family there for years to come.

Nisha Sehn (Bakshi) I obtained a BSc Physics from University of Calgary, AB and an LLM in Environmental Law and Policy from University of Kent, UK. I got married in 2009 and I currently live in San Francisco with my husband who is a software engineer. At the moment, I’m a co-founder and software engineer of a start-up tech company that fosters environmental awareness and advocacy.

Matthew Hector I am running a debt fund in Cambodia on behalf of Asian families. In my spare time I am enjoying South East Asia with occasional trips back to the west.

I graduated with a Master of Professional Accounting from Western Washington University in 2009. In 2010 I moved to Seattle after completing my CPA exams and started my career at a public accounting firm in downtown Seattle called Peterson Sullivan. I’m still there three years later and am a tax associate. I also coordinate recruiting at the firm so for a few months of the year I do both that and tax. After starting the Interact Club at Southridge, I always had a desire to continue my Rotarian ways as an adult and finally joined a Rotary Club in Seattle last year where I am the current treasurer and enjoy being involved in the community. I travel, but just for pleasure, and took a trip to Australia last year which was incredible. Now I’m trying to juggle my work and Rotary with wedding planning and house hunting; I will be getting married next May and we hope to buy a house before then.

2004 7


Alumni News Nikki Hair I did my BSc in Biology at UBC, grad of 2008 and my J.D. at UBC Law, grad of 2012. I am currently working as an Articling Student at Boyd Jahani, Barristers and Solicitors in Surrey and I will be called as a lawyer on June 18, 2013 as I just passed my bar in May. I plan to keep working with this firm and will be practising in Family Law and Real Estate Conveyancing. During law school I did an exchange to the University of Manchester and travelled around Europe for four months including Italy, Scotland, Ireland, Prague and Barcelona.

Spencer Browes Following my graduation from Southridge I attended University of Toronto for two years and University of Victoria for two years, completing a degree in political science and history. While in university I participated in a number of sports and clubs including the Ski and Snowboard Club and the Whitewater Kayak Club. I also began rock climbing in university which I continue today.

and fundraisers. My most favourite event was coordinating the volunteers for the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival. It was a pleasure being able to interact with youth choirs from all over the world. Since then, I completed my Bachelors of Leadership at Trinity Western University. This past November I graduated with my Master of Leadership in Businesses. I focused on employee engagement, training and development and team building. This led to my current career as a Human Resources Manager. I love working with people and fostering personal and professional growth. Working within the HR field allows me to do both. I love to travel. I had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria and Peru where I volunteered with a few of the local orphanages. We played games, made crafts, and read stories. Really, we just spent the day loving each child we visited. I hope to be able to continue working with and serving others in any capacity. My future academic goal is to carry on and complete my PhD. I have a passion for information learning and I hope to be able to utilize this passion and work with the future leaders of tomorrow. My next big adventure is my upcoming wedding this summer.

Following university, like many in my cohort, opportunities for gainful employment were limited by the recession. After working some lower-level retail service and management positions I was able to parlay that experience, along with my degree, into a position with Kubera Payments, a Vancouver-based payment processing consultancy, where I am currently President.

Lindsay Clark After completing my undergraduate degree in commerce from Queen’s in 2008, I returned home to attend law school at UBC. I am currently living and working in Vancouver, where I practice corporate law with a focus on start-up technology companies. I recently joined West Coast LEAF’s Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Report Card subcommittee and I volunteer with the Vancouver’s Young Women in Business Society.

While I am not currently involved with any volunteer work, Kubera works with a wide range of charitable organizations including the Terry Fox Foundation and Beyond Borders (among many) providing processing solutions and consulting on donations acceptance.

Ashley McCartney I graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and I am now living in Vancouver in Olympic Village and working at Douglas College in the Centre for Campus Life and Athletics as a Youth Programs Coordinator. My long-term career plan is to obtain my Master’s Degree in Youth Counselling and be a child and youth counsellor.

Jessica Pasiuk Since graduating from Southridge almost ten years ago, I have accomplished many exciting and monumental events. I completed my Event Planning Cer tificate many years ago through the Art Institute of Vancouver and had the opportunity to be a part of galas, luncheons,


Rick Mann After graduating from Southridge, I was accepted into the Bachelor of Arts program at UBC where I majored in economics. From there I went to BCIT to study civil and structural engineering. During my school life I had many different jobs. I worked as a yard runner at Dick’s Lumber, stock boy at the Superstore bakery, a server at Cactus Club, and builder of bicycles at Toys R Us. After school I decided to join the family business. Now I’m a Project Manager within Isle of Mann Construction Ltd. I’m an active land developer investor. My career entails lots of people management and on-the-spot risk analysis. Project budgeting and creating pro formas are regular tasks during the day. I owe a lot of my success to my education both within and outside the classroom. Some of my biggest mistakes have become my best lessons. The website for the company is


Andrew Martin

I am living in Vancouver, working as a Motivation Speaker and a Youth Leadership Facilitator with Free the Children. This position takes me across the province delivering speeches and workshops on issues that we face in our local communities, and how we can make change on them. My connection to Free the Children all started when Joe Opatowski visited Southridge back when I was in high school, and it is amazing to think that I am now doing for other young people what he once did for me back then. I am blessed to have my former Southridge grad date and dear friend, Emily Payne, living just a few doors down from me. We are currently in the process of bringing our neighbours together to plan a block party and street mural painting this summer in our neighbourhood. Should be fun! This summer I will also be leading a group of students to Rajasthan, India with Free the Children. Coincidentally, my sister Kelsey was part of the Southridge group that was the first student group ever to travel to India on a Free the Children program. I hope to pursue a Master’s of Urban Planning in 2014, with the eventual dream of starting an Ecovillage and Environmental Education Centre somewhere in Metro Vancouver before too long!

Emily Payne One of the best choices I made since graduating from Southridge has been taking time off from my bachelor’s degree. I started my quest for new experiences in 2008 by backpacking for several months from the south to the north of India. Soon after, I moved to Toronto to work full time for Free the Children/Me to We as a Motivational Speaker and Leadership Facilitator. In this role, I was blessed with the many opportunities to see the world, and lead international volunteer trips to Ecuador and to Kenya. I

We Are All One was even lucky enough to lead a trip to Kenya in March of 2009 with Southridge students! In September of 2008, Spencer West and I set forth on an eight-month motivational speaking tour across North America. Together, we faced incredible highs and lows, as we travelled side by side to meet phenomenal young activists in high schools spanning the continent. Spencer’s continued successes are inspiring for many, and come from the great challenges he takes on in his life. I have yet to spend time with anyone who can truly make me laugh as hard as I did with him, at any moment. After leaving Me to We, I found myself paddling for two weeks down the Yukon River with some old friends to reclaim my home in nature, where I will always feel I belong. These days, I have graduated from UBC with a BA in Environmental Geography and am currently pursuing a 12-month B.Ed from SFU in the Professional Development Program. I am focusing on Indigenous Perspectives in my module, and will graduate with a minor in Environmental Education. I did my four-week teaching practicum this winter with the outdoor, experientialbased school called Take a Hike. We did a four-day winter camp in Tetrahedron Park. I’m a keen bicycler around the city, and last autumn made a two-month cycle trip from Vancouver to San Francisco. The remainder of 2013 has me enjoying my Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood in Vancouver this summer (where I now live a stone’s throw away from my fellow graduate and best friend Andrew Martin!), venturing on a long-awaited journey up to Haida Gwaii this August, and completing my teaching practicum up in Whitehorse for twelve weeks this autumn. I have recently kickstarted a small tea/herb company where I harvest wild medicinal plants and create infusions, salves and lotions. One of my growing passions is working with plants, and the larger dream I have is to build a wildcrafter’s collective, where local people can share resources and have access to locally produced herbs for wellness. My future plans include potentially teaching up in the Yukon, and interning with an herbalist in Whitehorse. I have some brewing ideas of travel plans taking me internationally in the next few years to teach and explore permaculture and farming techniques in various places. One day, I hope to realize my dreams of collaborating to design a place-based alternative school on BC’s coast.

Taryne Lepp After graduating in 2009 from Trinity Western University with my BSc. in Nursing I worked as a Paediatric Nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital. I also took time away from my job to nurse overseas in places like Cambodia, Haiti and most recently in India. In 2012 I transitioned into a new role as a Public Health Nurse – a career shift which, along with my international experience, solidified my passion for maternal and child health care. As a result, continued ...


Alumni News


... continued I have decided to pursue graduate studies in this field and I am thrilled to be starting my Master’s of Public Health this June at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I hope to complete my studies in the fall of 2014 and then explore a career in health care promotion and evaluation in the nonprofit development sector; ultimately I’d like to help other people get as excited about creating a world full of healthy moms and kids as I am! Until then, in between juggling work and school, I am currently volunteering as one of the directors for Anvil Island, a kids’ summer camp, and I am also heavily involved in young adult ministry at my church - the years since Southridge have been very full and it seems that the trend is continuing!

2006 Daniel Hong

I graduated from SFU in 2010 with a BA in Economics. Then I worked for Raymond James as a Tax Reporting Associate. I did that for a year and a half and decided I had enough of tax and got a job in Taiwan working in sales and marketing for an LED manufacturer. The job gave me a lot of opportunities to travel all over the world to participate in expos and conventions. The cities I visited include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Tokyo. I did that for almost six months and moved back to Vancouver and have been working for Spectra Energy as a Project Accountant since January 2013. I have also enrolled in the CPA program and begin classes in the fall.

Alexander Liang

Andrea Schmelcher I am still working at the pension consulting firm I started with four years ago after finishing university. To further my role as lead analyst, I have started working toward the CFA designation. I have been doing more than just work and study, though. Last summer, I received confirmation in the same week that I had passed both the CFA Level 1 exam and the PADI open water diver course. One was certainly more fun than the other, but both are worthwhile. In the fall, I took time off work to travel back to Nepal to trek and visit the organization I volunteered with in 2009. This trip I carried my 60L pack and hiked the Annapurna Circuit for two weeks, reaching an elevation of 5,416m over the Thorung La Pass. It was great to visit Volunteers Initiative Nepal (VIN) and get up to date on how the programs are doing. This grassroots organization has grown from five to twenty staff members since I was there last, and has expanded their programs to another region of the country. I was able to visit the community and the family I had stayed with before, whose daughter I sponsor through VIN. I also got to meet the other child I sponsor, and the two my mom sponsors. Recently I have been studying for the CFA Level 2 exam, and looking forward to playing field hockey and taking the next scuba course this summer!


This year has been a pretty big one for me so far. KENTON magazine is continuing to grow, keeping me quite busy. I added London Fashion Week to my fashion week itinerary this past February, which was a fantastic opportunity to connect with readers and fans across the pond. Before the end of last year, I launched a personal style blog as well, which has been well received online and has created many more opportunities for me in the fashion industry. As of last October, I’ve been making a home in Toronto, a market that is rapidly growing in the fashion sector. In between my work travels, it’s been great to enjoy and explore the city and all it has to offer!

We Are All One Jason Lee I completed my (Coop) Computer Science degree at University of Waterloo in 2011 and highly recommend future students to enrol in any co-op programs. Co-op programs are a great way to understand your field in real practice while getting experience and networking ready for your career. Throughout my co-op experience I was able to work with a variety of companies in the tech industry, ranging from video games to networking hardware. My most notable co-op jobs included working for Capcom and Silicon Knights where my work would be able to be enjoyed by many people across the globe. Due to my learnings from my co-op experience, I was able to land a job creating iPhone/iPad/Android games for Zynga (Toronto studio). Every day is a new challenge I enjoy and I’ve been fortunate to have worked on three game releases (Dream Zoo, Scramble with Friends, and Draw Something 2). I remember Ms. Sirois teaching Applied Design, and that really got me into music production and I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work on various sound design tasks, including five original theme songs in Hanging with Friends and sound effects in Scramble with Friends. Besides the occasional sound design, I am usually working on coding and architecting various game features with some UI design input every now and then. My latest work, which I am very excited about, is Draw Something 2 on Android that was released recently in Canada! Not only is it a great social channel to play with friends, but it is a wonderful tool to unleash artistic creativity in a digital realm that can be shared worldwide and through social media! Links: (iOS) and (Android) Zynga has also given us the great opportunity to give back to the community, and help out in other world emergencies such as the Japan tsunami. Some of our games grant exclusive rewards to players who donate to current world emergency appeals, and Zynga matches the donations dollar for dollar. Not only does this help the charity or world emergency in need, but it helps spread the word to less informed individuals. (See more at A similar charity was working with Save the Children. Ever since Southridge, I always wanted to “make it big” and work in the games industry as my backup plan to being a video games music composer. I am very excited to have been to the places I’ve been to and to have achieved my dream goals. My next goal is to be involved in the creation of a new game, including game design components and implementation. Without the excellent enrichment and motivation at

Southridge, I don’t think I would have taken the same path I have today. For those still in school and wanting to work in the games industry looking for advice: start now and build mobile games (iPhone/iPad/Android); you have all the resources and assistance on Google and Stack Overflow to guide you in the right direction. Starting early will only help buff your resume, your skill set, and learn about common pitfalls, before they become a more serious problem. Actually, I hope all students can follow this approach, regardless of their desired career field. You cannot reach the end of the path without taking the first step on your own. If students wish to contact me with any questions, they can reach me in any of the following online contact methods: email skype chewbacca.defense twitter @FatArmoredDwarf

Lynette Van Keken In 2012 I graduated from the International HotelSchool in The Hague, The Netherlands. It is a school that provides a theoretical and practical education for the hospitality industry on an international scale. This university in Holland is a member of The Leading Hotelschool of the World and is currently in the top three hospitality management schools in the

world, with Cornell and Lausanne being the other two. This is a great bachelors program for students who love working with people and have experience or interest in hotels or other hospitality organizations such as event companies, clubs, restaurants and conference centres. The education itself is largely practical allowing you to work in your first year in all different outlets of a hotel (such as front office, housekeeping, kitchen, service and bar). On the other hand you have all the courses expected from a business degree that are applied to the hospitality industry. Internships are another large part of the education. Upon completion in your first year you get the opportunity to do an internship anywhere in the world in the operational department of hospitality organization for four to six months. continued ...


Alumni News


... continued Another internship is also required in the second half of your 4th year on the management level anywhere in the world. During my education, I learnt a lot about the industry and what sector I specifically wanted to work in. During my first internship I lived in San Sebastian, Spain and worked in the Hotel Maria Cristina as a cook. For my management internship I lived in Bali, Indonesia for six months and worked as a Catering, Sales and Wedding Management Trainee at the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. This internship allowed me to gain experience in the sector of hospitality I wanted to continue in. Having had one year of experience upon graduation also gave me an advantage whilst job hunting. This is an education and path I would highly recommend for social people who love planning parties or working with people to create amazing experiences. I am more than happy to answer any questions about this education and my experiences in my four years.

Taris Peace I’m still at school at the University of Saskatchewan, doing my English major with a Spanish minor, which I will complete next year. I’m now co-captain of the U of S Cheerleading Team, and this past year our team came second at Nationals for the first time. I’m working as a coach at Prairie Fire Cheerleading, and our allstar cheerleading team, Blaze, got a bid to go to cheerleading worlds in Orlando next year. We will be the first team from our club to go to worlds, and it’s a huge accomplishment. This summer I’m working at a prenatal clinic and raft guiding on the weekends, and I plan to go to Norway next summer and guide there. After I graduate I’m planning on going to South America and teaching English.

Jen Brawn I’m a first-year graduate student at the University of Oxford pursuing a DPhil in Clinical Neurosciences. I study the way the brain processes pain and how steroidal hormones impact these neurological functions. I’m funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship, which funds students from Commonwealth countries to study in the United Kingdom.

Rob Levy I completed my BSc. Honours in Economics at the University of Victoria, and spent the year following at Carleton where I obtained a Master’s in Economics with a concentration in Finance. As economics and finance have become somewhat of a passion, it made my experience in post-secondary education particularly enjoyable. After graduating from Carleton, I started my career at Border Gold. It was a business I have been involved with throughout my time at university, and it was very satisfying to come in hands on after graduation. The best part of being back in Vancouver full time after six years out of this city is being a short drive from Whistler and Mt. Baker. I’m really looking forward to being a contributing member of the Alumni Association. I believe that as our alumni base continues to grow it is important that we have a medium for staying connected, and it’s up to us as the alumni to ensure we do. My closest friends in my life seven years after graduating high school are still the ones with whom I went to Southridge, and that’s why I think it’s important to strengthen our bond with the school.

Michael Alderdice Gurdev Bhurji I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British Columbia in June of 2010 and I am currently finishing my 3rd year of medical school at the University of Limerick in Ireland; I will be graduating in June of 2014. I played field hockey for the first two years of medical school but unfortunately, medical rotations keep us exceptionally busy and minimize our time for extra-curricular activities. My ultimate goal is Interventional Cardiology.


I attended UBC at the Sauder School of Business where I earned my BCom with a focus in accounting. I graduated from UBC in 2010 and took the summer off before starting at an accounting firm. I began working at Wolrige Mahon LLP in September 2010 in the audit department and have been here since. I wrote the UFE last summer and passed in the winter of 2012 - another six month’s work experience and I’ll qualify for my CA. Beginning in January this year I transferred into the corporate finance department of the firm and began classes for the Chartered Business Valuator designation.

2007 Jess Clark

I completed my Queen’s mechanical engineering degree last year and have since moved to Calgary. After graduating, I travelled to Liberia to volunteer with a water rehabilitation program with Universal Outreach Foundation. I am looking forward to starting medical school at University of Calgary this fall.

Anouk Jonker I can’t believe it’s been six years since I graduated from Southridge! I graduated from California College of the Arts in 2011, with a major in painting. Since graduating, I’ve been keeping very busy with my studio practice; I’ve exhibited internationally, including in the United States, Ireland, France, and the Netherlands. In 2012, I decided to spend a couple of years abroad in Europe. While in Paris, I was accepted at a summer studio residency at 59 Rivoli and stayed in France until November. With a group of artists that I met at that residency, we took part in the Miami River Art Fair in December, presenting ourselves as an international art collective: Voix Étranges. I am currently living and working in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

Natalie Kahl Since graduating from Southridge I have completed my degree in Elementary Education and moved to Dubai. During my degree I found many opportunities to teach and travel. I completed a practicum in Munich, Germany at an International Baccalaureate school as well as working as a summer intern teacher in Surabaya, Indonesia. The move to Dubai has been the most exciting though! I am teaching at the Universal American School and my 23 Grade 3 students come from all over the world. Living in Dubai has given me amazing travel opportunities! Just this year I have travelled to Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Armenia, and Malaysia. And I have a trip booked to Lebanon in two weeks! Lebanon will be my 45th country so I am well on my way to reaching my goal of 50 countries before turning 25! Living in Dubai has been a good challenge for me but I am excited to be heading home for summer! My contract is for two years (with options to extend) so I will be back in the ‘sandpit’ (as we often call it) in August. I am switching to Grade 2 next year which will bring a new set of challenges that I am ready for!

We Are All One Benton Attfield I graduated from UBC in Biology in 2011, after which I was accepted into Pharmacy at UBC and I am now entering my third year of this program. I’ve been playing many intramural sports, including soccer, football, and ball hockey, while also mountain biking and continuing to play piano and guitar outside of school. I was my Class Representative this past year, and will continue to serve in student government in the coming semester. I’m currently working at Costco Pharmacy in Port Coquitlam. After graduation, I hope to remain in the Lower Mainland and practice pharmacy in the community.

Andrea Benitez Lazzarotto I graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in the Philosophy of Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies. I am currently applying to Master’s programs in the area of Forensic Psychology. I hope to, one day, help develop proactive policies to deter young adults from re-offending.

Lane Baumeister I just finished a year of teaching in Seoul where I worked with students who have lived abroad and returned to Korea. I was able to travel around Korea and visit Tokyo. I’m currently studying Mandarin as part of a language exchange program with Shu Zen College of Medicine and Management in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I’m hoping to come back to Canada in the summer but I’m moving to Shanghai in August to do an internship with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Patrick Hay I’m currently living in Vancouver and in the process of graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. At the moment, I’m volunteering as a program worker with the Canucks Autism Network as well as a crisis intervention responder with IMAlive, and I’m aiming to enrol in Adler School of Professional Psychology for the Master of Counselling Psychology program. First, though, I’m taking a year off to travel across New Zealand and scuba dive off Australia’s Gold Coast.

Alumni News Kramer Solinsky I began studying international commerce at Carleton University but left after three semesters to pursue a passion for the video game industry by studying in Vancouver Film School’s Game Design program. I work on mobile simulation games as a Quality Assurance Analyst at a studio in Vancouver called Hothead Games.

Mitch Donald I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University in 2012. I was a member of the Concrete Canoe Team, where we design, build, and race canoes made entirely of concrete. I also worked at the Bio-Mechatronics and Robotics Laboratory, where I developed an “exoskeleton-like” apparatus that acts as a wheelchair alternative by providing walking assistance. I wrote a thesis and published a paper on related topics. I also worked and volunteered with Revved-Up Kingston, an organization that helps quadriplegics be physically active. After graduation, I did an awesome (and improvised) seven-week backpacking trip around Europe, ending at the Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium. I then moved to Calgary, with some friends from university, where I’m now settled in. I contemplated med school, but decided to pursue an opportunity with Shell Canada as a “Completions and Well Interventions Engineer,” where I’m currently working.

Hugh Podmore In May 2012 I was re-hired by the Canadian Space Agency as a student researcher and at the end of August we decided that I would extend my work into the school year as a part time researcher and use the research at CSA to complete my honours research thesis for my McGill physics degree. My research was focused on modeling circumstellar debris disks orbiting white dwarf stars: currently we think that these disks (which are analogous to the rings of Saturn) form when an asteroid is disintegrated by the intense gravity of a white dwarf star. The resulting small grains of asteroid slowly orbit inwards, spreading out into a large disk, nearly as wide as the radius of our sun. As the disk orbits, the star heats up the grains to around 750°C, which we can detect using an infrared, or heat sensitive telescope; these observations can also reveal what the original asteroid was made of, how big it



was, how big the disk is, what its angle of inclination is, even the size of the grains!

Without getting too detailed, I developed and modelled a new hypothesis for the grain distribution and temperature distribution of these disks in order to describe some observations which don’t match the current model. After a few false starts and some very long nights at the library, I was able to show that my new model fits the observations much more closely than the previous standard, which means that these disks may exhibit the grain distribution predicted by my hypothesis. In May I presented my findings at the annual meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society, and I am working on turning this research into a paper to be published in a scientific journal, both of which I am very excited about. In addition to my work at the CSA I have continued my ongoing research into just how many extra curriculars I can juggle along with my schoolwork: I continued to build the men’s development program for McGill Ultimate and I’m happy to say that our program has grown to the point that our B team is now better than the A teams of most Quebec universities, as well as a handful of A teams from Ontario. I also continued to play for McGill Quidditch and helped lead the team to a successful title defence at nationals; it strikes me that the fact that there is such a thing as competitive Quidditch will tell you all that you need to know about my university experience. I’m taking this summer off to do some personal development and to compete in nationals for one of Quebec’s top men’s ultimate teams; in the fall I’ll be returning to school at York University to do a Master’s in earth and space sciences. I still want to be an astronaut.

We Are All One Kevin Reid What began as an internship with a young, flourishing menswear company has evolved into a full position as the head product designer at Norse Projects. I work on a team of four designers creating four collections a year along with collaborative products with Vans, New Balance, Tricker’s, Adidas and various other brands and retailers across the world. The brand is sold in over 350 high-end retailers around the world with a large presence in the streetwear scenes of London, Melbourne, Tokyo and New York. Over the last year I have brought over 150 products to market. My development process includes travelling worldwide to fairs and factories to find manufacturers with big potential. In the past year, I have travelled to Italy, Spain, England, China, Germany and Portugal from my new home in Copenhagen, Denmark. So far, products include functional bags, leather goods, hats, winter wear and socks. In the next year my focus will turn to more technical products including footwear, optical, homewares and beyond. My success with the company resulted from perseverance and dedication to creating intelligent products, looking at all factors including functional, environmental and aesthetic qualities. I encourage people to get their hands dir ty and create, whether it is for professional or personal purposes. The process will provide insight and confidence in your own work, allowing you to fully understand and involve yourself in your dream field.

Alexander Suleiman As of April 2013 I have completed my undergraduate degree at SFU, a BSc in Health Sciences with a focus in Immunology and a certificate in German Studies. I spent my first three school years living on the Burnaby campus, and worked as a Community Advisor (a.k.a. floor dad) for the last two years. Some of my major commitments in the last four years include volunteering abroad in Nepal and Indonesia, and locally at Guildford Seniors Village as a recreational/musical therapy volunteer, at Royal Columbian Hospital as a triage emergency volunteer, and at SFU as both a mentor for two years and the assistant director of the Faculty of Health Sciences Peer Mentorship Program for the final year. Every year at SFU I have been active in soccer, captaining multiple intramurals teams as well as playing goalkeeper regularly for competitive indoor/outdoor non-school leagues. Music was my other major hobby throughout university; I picked up singing to accompany my guitar playing in my 2nd year, and since then I have taken lessons and performed regularly at Relay for Life events to raise money for cancer research. Now that I’ve finished my undergrad, I will continue to volunteer while focusing on my soccer and music, and I will be submitting my applications to medical schools all across Canada. My goal is to become a doctor (hopefully before I’m 30). Currently I’m thinking that I would be interested in paediatrics. Finally, to the best of my knowledge, I have no kids of my own!

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Alumni News

2008 Sean Lee I am still in school, now in my second last year. I graduated from University of St. Andrews two years ago with a BSc with Medicine, then I came to Manchester University to finish off my MD. I am going to become a doctor in two years, which is pretty exciting. When I become a doctor, I think I will either try and go back to Vancouver or stay here in the UK. While I was in St. Andrews, I played for the Men’s First Tennis team, but I have not been able to do so here in Manchester due to my busy schedule.

Emma Blinkhorn I recently graduated from University of Victoria with a BA. I am pursuing further post-secondary education with a Master’s of Arts in the fall.

Daniel Otamendi I have recently finished year one of the two-year Business Administration Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business (Ivey). Having previously completed an International Relations degree, I am complementing my education with the practical and transferable skills taught in Business School. Through Ivey, I joined the LEADER Project, a student organization that was launched by a couple of Ivey MBA students following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The goal of the project was to help spur entrepreneurship in a region that had been under Communist rule for some 75 years. The program has since evolved and expanded to sites in Russia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Ghana, India, Moldova, and Haiti. As a member of the project, I am volunteering this May in Tolyatti, Russia – teaching business courses to entrepreneurs. The goal is to help LEADER entrepreneurs (with an average age of 30) develop a business plan covering the financial, marketing, and operational dimensions of their business idea. My teaching team in Russia includes three other Ivey students – another business undergrad and two recently graduated MBAs. I will also be participating in the program next summer and I hope to teach in Haiti in order to help a community closer to home and to continue practicing my French.


For the remainder of the summer, I will be working in Toronto as Assistant Brand Manager for Johnson & Johnson Canada. After stints with nonprofits, government, and an IT consulting startup, I am excited to enter the corporate world. Although I remain unsure of my long-term plan, I hope my summer experience will help me narrow down my options. On a final note, I have been visiting Southridge often; with my sister, Andrea, currently in Grade 8 and my other sister, Linda, joining the ranks in September, I like to support the STORM at sports games when I visit Vancouver. A big shout out to the class of ‘08, hope all is well!

Aquil Virani After finishing as the runner up of the National Brandstorm competition hosted by L’Oréal Canada in 2011, I was offered a summer internship at L’Oréal and worked there for 25 hours per week during my final year before taking on a full-time position upon graduation. I finished with a BA in Philosophy and Marketing. I currently work as a marketing creative and graphic designer of a brand in the professional haircare industry, using language and design skills to complete the majority of communications material. This includes the majority of print ads, web graphics, social media content, store merchandising for 100+ distributor stores, and our sales magazine that prints over 25,000 monthly copies across Canada. In February 2013, the company flew the entire team to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic along with 100+ sales representatives for our bi-annual National Sales Meeting. I was fortunate enough to enjoy some sun in between presentations, workshops and hair shows. I have also kept up freelancing work in both fine art and design, recently revamping my professional website (www. that I encourage you to visit. After two successful solo shows at McGill, I take on private commissions and public projects in the visual arts domain. After recently discovering a passion for improv, I’m in a great place. I am very optimistic that I’m getting closer to a healthy balance in my personal and professional life. If you have a second, please reach out and shoot me a message. : )

Hun Shim I have just finished my second year in Case School of Dental Medicine. It was a very rigorous year with many hardships, but it was also very rewarding. Recently, I made a presentation on our school’s Professionals Day for the research I conducted last summer (which was about a particular bacteria in the oral cavity and its ability to elicit differential immune responses of healthy and HIV infected oral epithelial (lining) cells). To my greatest surprise, I won first place and received the honour of being a school representative to present at the annual American Dental Association convention in October. I am proud to say that in moments like this I look back to the quality of education I received at Southridge. As for my future plans, I do not have a solid idea about where I want to be, but I will be in Ohio for the next two years until I graduate, and hopefully have my own dental practice in the States in the years following. Unfortunately, with much of my time dedicated to school, my hobbies have taken the sidelines. However, I do try to play my cello often to keep up with my passion for music. Otherwise, I enjoy my time working out and playing tennis with my peers.

Katie Pallen I am still continuing my studies at UVic with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. My career goal is to get into counselling. I am a volunteer at Island Sexual Health Society, which I love and hopefully I will be able to apply the knowledge I have learnt there into my career. In summer 2012 I went on a six week trip to Iceland through The Snorri Program. I went with nineteen other people aged 19-32 from across Canada and America, and during our time there we learnt about our Icelandic heritage and travelled the island. It was an amazing trip and definitely life changing because I got to stay with relatives whom I had never met before and live like a true Icelander.


We Are All One

Yoori Yang I just graduated from University of Pennsylvania. I am now back in Korea to stay with my family and am in a search for a job in PR or marketing at the moment. I am also planning on travelling various places in Asia over the summer and maybe fall.

Kate Mittermaier After graduating from Southridge, I attended the University of Western Ontario to pursue an honours degree in Physiology and Pharmacology. As a Western student, I volunteered as a first responder to on-campus emergencies, and also travelled to Panama to work in a rural medical clinic. In my spare time, I was a member of the London Dolphins swim team. I am graduating from Western in June of this year, and plan on travelling with my roommate to South East Asia for the month of August. In the fall I will be attending UBC Medical School to follow my passion for health care.

Halee Dams After graduating from Southridge I moved to southern California to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Chapman University. I completed my bachelor’s in three years, spending the summer of 2012 studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, to finish up my last few credits. After I finished my bachelor’s I moved back to White Rock and have been working as a leisure support worker in the Recreation and Leisure program at Semiahmoo House Society. I took a break in February to spend eight weeks in Australia and Indonesia, travelling with my Grade 11 Australian exchange, Pippa. This fall, I will be moving to New York City to begin my Master’s at NYU. I will be studying social work, with a goal of specializing in end of life care and after graduation working as a hospice social worker. In my free time I like to cuddle with my rescue dog Stella.

Alumni News Laura Cranfield


This year has been amazing! I studied English at Queen’s University and was given some big opportunities within the theatre department. I was named Artistic Director of a theatre company (5th Company Lane) and was able to direct their fall show, Wait Until Dark. I also had the opportunity to work with a Queen’s theatre, Vogt Studio, as the marketing producer for the 2012-2013 season. This year also marked my graduation year, as I decided to graduate a year early in order to pursue a career in marketing, so I took some extra courses in the summer time.

Chris Ho I attended UBC Okanagan for two years where I studied psychology. I also played varsity 15’s and 7’s rugby with the university and with Kelowna’s club team. My third year of university I transferred to UBC Vancouver but I missed out on the rugby season due to injury.

Teresita Aristizabal I have recently completed my third year of studies at the Sauder School of Business, UBC, specializing in accounting and I am eager to start my summer internship at the Vancouver office of Deloitte this summer. In September, I will be going on exchange to France, to study at l’École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris.

Katrina Ward I have now completed my third year of a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Health Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, and am amazed how quickly this year flew by. It was quite the whirlwind of academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. I once again played as a member of the women’s varsity soccer team, and earned my chance to step in as first-string goalie this season. Though it was supposed to be a building year, the team stepped up and finished first in the league, moving on to the OUA Final Four. We beat the rival team from Queen’s in penalty kicks and lost in overtime to Ottawa to place 2nd in Ontario. Playing at the university level is such an amazing experience, and all in all we had another successful season.


Outside of the classroom I continued to build my friendship with a young adult with Williams’ Syndrome that I met through a program called Best Buddies. It pairs a student buddy with a buddy with a developmental disability from the community. The part that encourages me the most is the focus on friendship and the supportive environment. It has been very rewarding and I have enjoyed being a part of his social circle. His mother and aunt are both very inspiring women and I am honoured to be a part of their lives. This summer I plan on working and pursuing several of my interests. I also plan on preparing for the MCAT, which will be a demanding but welcome challenge. I would like to study allopathic medicine while also delving into some complementary therapies. Next year will wrap-up my undergraduate degree, and I’m sure it will go by even faster than the previous ones. I am excited to see what the future holds, and look forward to the new people I will meet and the amazing memories that will stick with me forever. “The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm Forbes

Valerie Ward After leaving Southridge, I never thought that I would find another place that would be built so strongly on community. This year, I was given the opportunity to travel to Thailand with Global Youth Volunteer Network. While there, we worked with an organization called Where There Is Not A Doctor in the hill tribes, alongside an amazing man, Dr. Dave. Upon arrival in the first village, we were greeted by three women waiting to shake our hands and welcome us. We were quickly put to work gathering sand, alongside a group of eight boys, to build toilets as part of a sanitation project initiated by Dr. Dave. Due to a language barrier, we were not able to speak to them, but were able to interact by smiles, high fives and games. One of the boys, Achai, would enthusiastically ask in limited English, “are you ready?” before passing each bucket. As the days passed, we were welcomed into strangers’ homes for meals, grew closer with the boys, and worked alongside the villagers to construct three toilets. The boys eagerly taught me some words, including mother, father, dog, chicken, home. Sadly, on our sixth day, Dr. Dave informed us that Achai’s father had passed away suddenly. This shocked all of us, considering that only the day before, he had been well enough to take Achai and his two cousins to apply for Thai citizenship. For the next two days, community members stayed with the

We Are All One

family night and day and celebrations of life were held. On the third day, we were told that we had been invited to the funeral despite having only been there for a week; we had been fully welcomed as members of their community. We felt incredibly honoured to have been welcomed into such a strong and loving community and it was incredibly sad to leave. As the priest said to us during the service, “You are part of our community now. When you are happy we are happy, when you are sad we are sad.” To me, this experience was even more valuable, as it was not built on language, but instead on gestures. This community taught me that actions truly do speak louder than words; despite our inability to communicate verbally, we were still able to develop strong relationships, through high fives, games, a desire to learn from them, and a willingness to embrace their lifestyle. A smile is the same in every language.


Alex Lees-Buckley I graduated from Southridge three years ago with the amazing class of 2010. Since then, I’ve been working on my Bachelor of Management degree with a major in Leadership and Organizations. This degree has taken me all the way to the other side of the country at Dalhousie in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After my 18-year-old dreams were crushed by the dreadful phone call from Queen’s exactly one week before frosh, I was forced to stay home and choose another university for January. I may not have been at the time, but am now very thankful for this because my experience on the east coast has been unforgettable and irreplaceable. A big highlight of my undergraduate years so far has been my trip down to Georgia with Habitat for Humanity. It was the most fulfilling experience and I am so grateful to have had the chance to participate. During the week I was down south, we built a home for a single father who had MS and needed a wheelchair accessible home – it was truly humbling. I am excited to embark on the last year of my university adventures and making the best of it knowing I will be graduating in October 2014, after which I hope to do some travelling before going back to school to pursue either an MBA or a law degree. The best advice I can give to the future graduating classes of Southridge is to take all of life’s obstacles in your stride, and as a chance for something better to come along. In the words of my favourite country singer, “thank God for all I missed, because it led me here to this.”

Alice Podmore McGill University is one of the three universities in Canada, and the only English speaking one, that offers a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy.

The program is very small, only 50 students are admitted each year, and last fall I was one of the lucky few accepted. I really enjoy the program because it is more specialized than a general science degree and its teaching methods include a lot of real life learning through site visits at hospitals and private clinics and the use of McGill’s Medical Simulation Centre. Taking my education out of the classroom, next year I will be volunteering with the varsity track and field team as a student physiotherapist where I will be able to work closely with the athletes and follow their rehabilitation process. Between classes I volunteer with the McGill Student Parents Network, providing child minding services to student parents to allow them to complete their school work. I am also a member and manager for the varsity field hockey team at McGill. Being part of a team has been the best part of my experience at university and although I am up before the sun more mornings than not, I would not trade it for the world.


Alumni News Eryka Fain-Sonya After graduating from Southridge, I decided to continue my studies at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. I am currently in the Commerce program, concentrating in Real Estate Investment and Sustainability. After my first year of university, I began working with Vector Marketing in July selling Cutco (yes, it’s the knife thing). During those six weeks before school star ted up again, I won a scholarship and the “Campus Cup” with the company, which allowed all the top selling UBC students in Vector to donate $1,000 to our specific programs. I was then invited to further my position within the company, and decided to complete management training while taking a full course load at Sauder and carrying out my responsibilities as Vice President Promotions for the CUS’s 2nd Year Committee. After completing training, the following summer I opened my very own office and business based in Abbotsford. I had to secure a lease, hire and train receptionists, as well as interview, sign, train and manage a team of representatives. After five months, I had a team of approximately 40 representatives that I managed and at the end of the summer, I finished as the top 5th Branch Office in Canada, responsible for over $100,000 of Cutco sales. It was a difficult but phenomenal experience that I have been able to take into other interviews and draw upon. This past semester, in my third year, I focused on bulking up my course load so that in my last year of university, I would be able to get more involved with the Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS). I am proud to say that I was hired this summer as Vice President Events Coordinator for Sauder CUS’s Frosh, Vice President Marketing for the Real Estate Club, and new Chair of Sauder’s 2014 Grad Council, which is definitely keeping me busy for this summer. In terms of my future plans, I am currently learning Italian and working towards my application to take part in Sauder’s combined Master’s abroad program in Rome, Italy. But we’ll see where I end up!

Lauren Huxtable After spending two years in San Francisco at Academy of Art University and one of those years being on the varsity women’s soccer team, I have now transferred to Humber College in Toronto. Humber is known for its advertising, which is what I


am majoring in. I have joined the Humber co-ed indoor soccer team and am playing on that for my final year. Also I have the opportunity to work one on one with the two creative directors at DDB Vancouver for the summer. This is one of the best opportunities I could have gotten. DDB is the largest advertising agency in North America, so working one on one with them is a dream come true!

Lauren Chang I just finished my 3rd year at Queen’s University studying in the Life Sciences Program. It was also my 3rd year on the Queen’s Varsity Cheerleading Team. We had a great season placing 2nd at PCA Nationals and 1st at the Big East Blast Competition. I have also been working with an organization called SuperChefs Cookery for Kids in Surrey where we teach children and youth about food skills, living a healthy lifestyle and physical activity. We participate in events such as Eat Vancouver and Fusion Festival doing cooking demos, as well as teaching cooking and basketball in the Transitions Program with the Surrey School District. This summer I am also working as the Summer Camp Co-Cordinator at Southridge.

Jennifer Sung This September I will be going into the last year of my science undergraduate degree at McGill. At present, I’m excited to be spending my summer in Montreal enjoying its summer festivities and working as a student researcher at Micropharma. A large chunk of my past three years at McGill has been dedicated to working with End Poverty Now and leading its McGill chapter. It is a non-governmental organization and a small Canadian charity which raises funds to support self-sustaining grass-roots projects, both locally and internationally. For my final year I look forward to conducting my own research project and continuing my involvement as president of End Poverty Now’s McGill chapter. As for my plans after graduation? You’ll just have to wait and find out!


Paul Wechselberger I have had an exciting two years at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops studying business. TRU is a great school and has a very strong “Southridge” feel because of the small class sizes and strong community. I have been exploring the Kamloops/Okanagan area from skiing at Sun Peaks to enjoying the beaches in Penticton. Kamloops is a fantastic city and there is no end to the outdoor activities you can do in the deserts, lakes, grasslands, forests, hills, and mountains and rivers surrounding the city. I work for the City of Kamloops as a lifeguard and instructor; this summer I will be starting a new position as a deck leader managing one of the outdoor pools. I also started a small math tutoring business; between the lifeguarding and the tutoring I stay very busy.

Josh Reyes I’m halfway through my Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. I plan to concentrate in Finance during my final two years. I’ve been working as a business analyst at Marine One Sales and Service. I’ve enjoyed making a difference by volunteering with organizations such as Sustainable SFU and the BC Liberals, which has led me to consider a certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Kristine Ramsbottom I am entering my 3rd year in the Queen’s Commerce Program, and am looking towards a future in finance, with a focus on the investment banking or wealth management divisions. At Queen’s my spare time is divided between the AMS Board of Directors as a student director, and as the Co-Chair of Queen’s Women in Leadership, which involves a full year of planning and organizing our three day business conference held each November. Being on the board of directors for a company has been a great way to learn about the basics of finance and financial statement analysis - for those looking at going into business I definitely recommend getting involved with one! This past January I had the privilege of receiving the F.W. Minkler Upper Year Scholarship at Queen’s for academic excellence and community involvement. I encourage all Southridgians heading off to university to keep scholarships on your radar even after you graduate - with such an involved and dedicated student body you should definitely pursue these opportunities! Also, be sure to finish your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. I had my gold ceremony in Ottawa this past September and had a great time meeting other students from across the country and meeting Prince Edward!


We Are All One

I have had a fantastic time out east and am getting excited for the new adventures that the next few years will bring. In January 2014 (after two long winters in eastern Canada) I will be heading down under to Brisbane, Australia with the Queen’s student exchange program to study abroad. I will also continue working towards an international finance career, which I hope will eventually end up in London. This summer I am interning at BMO and am working towards my Canadian Securities (CSC) designation, while enjoying the mild west coast weather and beautiful mountains in BC.

Krittika D’Silva I’m finishing up my second year at the University of Washington in Seattle! It has been an exciting two years and I’ve been fortunate to have many interesting experiences. I’ve done a lot of work with Dr. Joan Sanders’ Prosthetic Science and Technology Laboratory where I conduct my own independent research. A highlight of my year was presenting my findings at the 39th Academy Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium for the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists (AAOP) in Orlando, Florida. I have received a Mary Gates Research Scholarship for my work and within the next few months a scientific publication, on which I am first author, is expected to be officially published in the journal “Prosthetics and Orthotics International”! I plan to double major in Bioengineering and Computer Engineering and although I am not quite sure about what I hope to do with my future, I would like to obtain a higher degree and pursue a career in biomedical research.

Olivia Podmore I have just finished up my second year at McGill University, which has included a semester of study abroad at the University of Sciences Po in Paris. The location provided for a truly rich learning environment – after studying the architectural technique of Notre Dame in the classroom we would spend the next session visiting the church itself! Outside of the classroom I had an amazing time exploring Paris and its culture. From sampling the various selections of French pastries to avoiding the never-ending strikes and demonstrations, there was always something interesting to do! However, the best part of my exchange experience was the connection created between both French students and the other exchange students. My Parisian friends showed me the hidden delights of the city and indulged my bumbling attempts at French while my international peers shared my awe over the most tacky touristic attractions and promised me a couch should I ever want to visit their particular corner of the world. Studying abroad provided me with memories and friends for a lifetime, and I cannot more highly recommend the experience. Je ne regrette rien!


Alumni News Carina Lauzon I have been studying and playing soccer at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Our school follows the block plan which means that we take one class at a time, every day for three and a half weeks. It’s definitely a change from Southridge but I really like having the opportunity to focus on one class. Our soccer team also did really well this year. We made it to the Division 1 NCAA championships for the first time in six years and we were the smallest school to make the tournament. Playing at altitude definitely takes some adjusting to, but after about a week or two of training you get used to it. My sister Julia has decided to come to CC next year which is exciting!

Katie Bishop I had an awesome first year at Wilfrid Laurier! I am studying Hon. Health Sciences and am playing on our varsity soccer team. We made it to Nationals (coming second in Ontario) which incidentally were held at UVic, so Shannon [Fraser], Katrina [Ward] and I got to come home in November. Our team also headed down to Orlando, Florida, during reading break for a training camp and Disneyland, which was really fun. I was lucky enough to receive Laurier’s Rich Newbrough Female Rookie of the Year award and I can’t wait to get back for pre-season! Also, as a first-year I got to experience residence life, which was interesting at times but always a blast. I really love my school and the spirit that Laurier has! Go Hawks!!



Albert Chung

I am currently a freshman on a full scholarship at Vassar College, which is a private liberal arts college situated near New York City. As a declared biology major, with a possibility of creating my own major known as biophysics, I have continued to advance my studies in the biological and physical sciences. In doing so, I am currently preparing to write the MCATS at the end of my freshman year in preparation for applying to medical school. In addition, after receiving top marks in physics and chemistry, I recently secured a research position at the Radiation and Oncology Laboratory at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre, which is located in the heart of New York City, under the worldrenowned scientist and physician Dr. Christopher Lange. In doing so, I plan on revolutionizing the modern definition of stem cells through extensive experiments involving nanotechnology with supplementary knowledge of immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistr y. With the support of my research team, I intend to eliminate the ineffective treatment of chemotherapy in the medical community in favour of other alternatives that pose largely reduced risks when physicians attempt to extirpate cancer cells. In writing about my journey as a first-year college student, I would like to attribute my success to my experiences at Southridge. Without the instrumental mentoring that I received at Southridge, I would not have been able to find the success that I have now. And so, thank you, Southridge, for everything that you have done for me, and for everything there is to come.

We Are All One Mayaz Alam As a member of the most recent group of grads, my story is far more incomplete than everyone else. I am going into second year at McGill University as a double major in Political Science and Economics and, like many other people my age, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. Simply put, I haven’t found my academic or professional passion yet. And you know what? It’s absolutely okay that I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. I’m content with enjoying college and all that it offers by continuing to pursue the extracurricular passions that I fostered at Southridge. This past year I was a contributor for the McGill Tribune, the VP of my residence hall and a member of McGill’s InterResidence Council. This summer I worked at the Surrey-White Rock District Electoral Office for Elections BC as office support for the provincial election. In addition to this I will be a Co-Coordinator of the Southridge Summer Camps. In the upcoming year I will also assume the responsibility of being a Section Editor for the McGill Tribune. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some inkling of what I want to do in the future this coming year but if I don’t, it’s alright: I’ll keep on doing the things I love and making even more amazing memories.

Jamie Oleskiew


(Class of 2012) After leaving Southridge at the end of Grade 10 I attended the IMG golf academy in Bradenton, Florida. I am currently in my freshman year at the University of Colorado (Buffaloes) in Boulder, having earned a full ride scholarship.

Shannon Fraser I have just finished my first year at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Honours Business Administration Program. I was a member of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team here at Laurier and this year we travelled to Victoria, BC to compete at Nationals where we came 7th in Canada. We were also the 2nd placed team in all of Ontario. Currently I am working at Canadian Tire Corp. Head Offices in downtown Toronto as a Reporting and Data Analyst. I am also living in downtown Toronto for the duration of my work term. I haven’t fully decided my goal after university, but I still have time to make those decisions.

Alumni News Alumni connect with Southridge Grads In May, alumni from 1999 to 2009, who had completed their undergraduate degree and other professional training, were invited to conduct a fifteen minute interview with each graduating student during which time the Grads presented their university plans, career research and ideas and shared their reflections on their experiences at Southridge. They also presented their resume and discussed the skills they have built through opportunities provided by the school in academics, co-curricular, extracurricular and service activities. Aside from the information shared, the Grads gained valuable experience in formal interview skills which are especially important if they plan to enter a co-operative education program at university. Also in May, alumni representatives from the classes of 2010, 2011 and 2012 returned to Southridge to speak with the class of 2013 in an informal luncheon setting. Alumni representing a variety of programs and universities including UBC, Western, McGill, Calgary and Queen’s as well as US colleges - Colorado and Columbia were present to share tips and advice about the transition to university life, getting settled in residence and choosing first year courses. Yvette Livingston Director of University Counselling

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2013 06 spirit magazine 30 alumni news