Ellie H.

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A big take away from my third-year exchange trip to New Zealand was that people are people. There are good people all over the world in all these different places, and we all thrive on that human connection.

You can do all sorts of crazy things with people you barely know, and there is nothing quite like exchanging ideas with people that have lived a life full of completely different experiences than yours.

What is your favourite memory from your undergrad?

 I went to Mount Allison for my undergrad – it’s a small school in a small town on the East Coast. Cars would stop and let you cross at the main intersection when they had a green light. I was on the varsity soccer team at Mount A and some of my favorite memories came from that. Our team was made up of an incredible group of girls; we were family by the end of first year. Playing a team sport teaches you so much about yourself and how to communicate with others. There are so many important skills that you learn on the field that transfer over to the rest of life: organization, time management, and self-discipline.

Because of my personal experience with sport, I became involved with Right To Play. It’s an organization that uses play to empower and educate kids all over the world, specifically in developing countries. I was on executive for three years and I worked for them one summer here in Toronto. I would love to go abroad with them and see the work they do in the field. Play as an awesome educational tool, even if it’s just in your backyard, for developing teamwork and leadership, and instilling passion.

What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received?

 I’m very family-oriented. I love my family and am proud to be a daughter and sister to four siblings. I think this is obvious to lots of people who know me because I talk about my family all the time.

A friend once said to me, “I love how you make me feel like I know your family members personally, even though I’ve only met some of them”, and that really resonated with me. My parents, sisters and brother have helped define who I am today, and I want the important people in my life to get the change to know each one of them. Of all the labels I’ve been given in my life, ‘big sister’, is the one I’m most proud of.

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