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Grade 12 GNS Student Wins Young Exceptional Star Award

Senior School
Sophie Pathak recognized for her leadership, service and contributions to the community

GNS’ own Sophie Pathak, a dedicated Grade 12 student, has been honoured with a prestigious District of Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) Award, recognizing her leadership, service and contributions to the community.

Sophie’s multifaceted interests, especially in science, have led her to excel in both her studies and extracurricular activities. A committed student in biology and chemistry, Sophie’s passion for science is matched by her involvement in the Round Square program, where she has contributed to various initiatives including bottle drives and the winter market. Her leadership skills were further shown as she represented GNS at Round Square conferences in Ottawa and Oxford, UK.

Beyond academics, Sophie is actively engaged in her local community. She works at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, teaching swimming and skating to children on weekends. Her dedication to skating extends beyond a personal passion as she is a volunteer teacher with her skating club.

“When I teach skating I have a lot of fun because I really enjoy it and it’s definitely fulfilling to give back to the community through my club,” she said. “I have a lot of fun teaching the kids too because I get to be in a position where I’m kind of a role model for them.”

Sophie’s nomination for the YES Award was championed by her homeform teacher, Mrs. Colibaba, who has supported Sophie through her high school experience and with her university applications. The selection process for the award culminated in a ceremony held in February, where Sophie was one of the 10 recipients.

“It was really great and I was honoured to be recognized like that,” said Sophie. She attributes her nomination to her proactive engagement in leadership roles and her commitment to service, particularly through her contributions at Oak Bay Rec and her volunteer work.

Looking to the future, Sophie plans to pursue a degree in biology at the University of Victoria, appreciating its proximity to home. “UVic has a really good co-op program that I want to get involved in, and I also want to potentially do an exchange to the UK or something.” When finished her undergrad, she hopes to go to medical school.

Her advice to fellow students aspiring to similar recognition is to maintain strong relationships with mentors and teachers, and to engage in a variety of opportunities to give back. Sophie’s story is an example for her peers, demonstrating the impact of leadership within the school and the wider community.