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Ascension student recognized for leadership qualities

By Mark Squibb | June 10, 2021

A member of Ascension Collegiate’ s graduating class has been awarded the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Leadership Program 2021 Leadership scholarship.

“It really is an honor,” said Grade 12 student Brianna Russell. “It feels amazing to be able to be recognized by Miss Achievement for this award. I’m very grateful for the people who were able to donate the money for this scholarship, and I’m very happy for the other contestants as well because I’m sure they did absolutely fantastic.”

Over the years, Russell has been in involved in figure skating, dance, Skills Canada, and other activities, often holding leadership positions.

“I think in order to be a good leader, you have to be able to work on a team, both as a leader and a participant, and really make sure you understand the people on your team; that you understand the different ways they communicate, the different ways they listen,” she said. “I think that connection and that understanding is what really makes a good leader shine.”

Russell encouraged others who might want to step out and join a new club or try a new activity to give it a try, even if the thought is scary at first.

“I’ve definitely been in that position where I’ve been nervous to take a leadership role or nervous to walk into a room or join a club, but it’s that first step that’s the hardest,” said Russell. “But once you make it past that you’ll be able to do anything. You just have to be able to trust yourself and the people around you to get you to where you want to be.”

As she prepares for graduation, like many other Ascension students, she will be finishing up her time at several of the clubs and organizations she is involved in.

In that sense, it’s a sad time, but also an exciting one as Russell begins preparations to attend Ryerson University in the fall.

Recently, Russell has tried her hand at filmmaking and videography, and will study film at the Toronto university.

“I had always been interested in drama and theatre, I love to write plays and things like that,” said Russell. “And that morphed into a love for film. We made a few short films over the summer, and I realized that I loved doing it. I love all the possibilities that one can do with film, and it seemed so open and so incredible, and I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about it.”

Though as part of the scholarship application she had to write an essay on the benefits of online learning, Russell, like countless other graduates from Ascension Collegiate, and graduates from schools across the province, and even across the world, is crossing both fingers and toes that she will be able to attend classes in person this fall semester.

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