Meet Sydney: CGA’s Junior Prefect 2024

21/03/20246 minute read
 Meet Sydney: CGA’s Junior Prefect 2024

We are always inspired by the determination and commitment of our student leaders and this week is no different. We had the opportunity to chat with Sydney, CGA's Junior School Prefect for 2024. As she steps into this significant leadership role, Sydney shared her excitement for the future, her personal goals, and gave us insight into her student experience at CGA over the last three years.

Stepping Into Leadership

"Hi, I'm Sydney. I'm from Auckland, New Zealand, I'm 16 years old and I joined CGA in 2021. I'm currently doing my A Levels this year, so I'm studying A2 English, History, Economics and Math. And I'm the Junior School Prefect for 2024.”

Her leadership journey began almost by surprise when one of her teachers approached her to tell her she would make a great fit as a leader for the junior community. When asked about her aspirations for taking on the role within the leadership team, Sydney’s motivation was clear, “I really wanted to join because lots of my friends were on the leadership committee and I saw all the cool things they were doing, and it just looked like a really fun community.”

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The Student Experience

Sydney sheds light on the “real student experience” for students learning online. CGA has created an ecosystem we’re proud of - where students can achieve academically while building real connections in a virtual environment.

"I've met lots of amazing students, teachers, especially teachers who have inspired me so much. I've discovered so many opportunities through the school, from clubs I could join to organizations I could be part of. It's been an incredible experience."

Sydney's experience is a strong counter to the common misconception that online learning can be isolating. "In my classes, I've met some really cool people. Thanks to platforms like Slack, we talk every day, we call each other, and we always check up on each other," she explains. This daily interaction has fostered friendships that feel just as real and meaningful as those formed in traditional school settings.

"People might be surprised at how close you can get to someone virtually. We might just be talking online, but it's like you're pen pals. It's not physical as such, but when you meet up, it's just the same as if you were real-life friends."

A Vision for Mentorship at CGA

As CGA's new Junior School Prefect, Sydney is stepping up to make a real difference. One of her key initiatives is the introduction of a student mentoring program, a concept she believes could transform the experience for junior students at CGA.

The idea sprang from her own observations and experiences at CGA, where the wealth of opportunities available can sometimes feel overwhelming for younger students. "Because there is so much you can do, what I would want to work on is making it so that the junior students don't get overwhelmed by the breadth of all these opportunities." Through mentorship, Sydney sees a chance to bridge the gap between older and younger students, creating a more cohesive and supportive environment.

This initiative would provide junior students with role models who can offer advice, share experiences, and help them make informed decisions about clubs, subjects, and extracurricular activities. For the mentors, it's an opportunity to develop leadership skills, empathy, and a deeper sense of belonging within the CGA community.

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Goals for 2024

On a personal note, Sydney is focusing on personal growth, especially in public speaking and leadership, “I guess this year I'm keen on getting more confident in terms of public speaking and putting myself out there... I'm really excited to just put myself out of my comfort zone.”

From her initial enrollment to stepping up as Junior School Prefect, Sydney has shown her commitment to making a positive impact within the CGA community. Her plans for the future, combined with her drive for personal development, are set to make 2024 an inspiring and transformative year for the junior school.