Alumni Updates - Jaeda Yurkiw | Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School

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Alumni Updates - Jaeda Yurkiw

Alumni Updates - Jaeda Yurkiw

Tell us your Aberdeen Hall ‘story’.

I was born in Winnipeg and moved to Summerland, BC when I was seven. My parents heard great things about Aberdeen Hall and wanted my brother and me to attend a school with strong academics that would prepare us for university. So when I was 12, my parents moved us to Kelowna specifically so we could attend Aberdeen Hall. I honestly feel it was the best choice my parents ever made.

What was your favourite part about attending Aberdeen Hall?

I loved the small class sizes that allowed every student to have one-on-one time with the teachers; the teachers and staff are beyond supportive, always available to help and genuinely wanted to see me succeed.

I loved the nurturing, tight-knit community - it really felt as if we were one big family. The school also has a ton of amazing sports, music, and theatre programs. I was a member of the cross country running team, volleyball team, basketball team, swim team, and soccer team throughout my years at Aberdeen Hall. I played violin from Grade 7 to 9 and participated in theatre during Grade 7 and 8. I took visual arts and participated in student council. I loved that even though the school’s focus was academics, there were so many electives and activities I could participate in, which really enriched my Middle and High School experience. 

What are the characteristics of a typical Aberdeen Hall Graduate?

Everyone in my grad class was very hardworking and a high percentage of them achieved honour roll standing and strived for good grades. Every one of my classmates were accepted into post-secondary. Besides academics, there was a wide range of talents in my grad class. Some were very athletic and participated in several sports both in and out of school, some were very musically talented, and some excelled in theatre and the performing arts. What I loved the most about my class, was that everyone was supportive of one another. Because of the small class sizes, I knew everyone of my classmates individually. The typical Aberdeen Hall graduate is focused, happy, confident, driven, and a strong role model for their peers and for younger students.

What did you do this summer?

This summer I prepared to take part in the UBCO Women's Volleyball Team training camp and also played beach volleyball - it’s my passion and I hope to play professionally next summer.  I also worked part-time at Home Depot. My family enjoyed our summer at the cottage and had family from Ontario visiting. I prepared for university, and spent lots of time with my friends enjoying the beautiful Okanagan summer. 

Where are you attending post-secondary? What program are you currently in? What extracurriculars are you involved in?

I am attending UBC Okanagan and taking Sciences. Long term, my plan is to attend medical school and specialize in dermatology. I am really dedicated to my studies and later in the year I’d like to take part in Global Brigades,a program through UBCO where participants travel to third world countries to train men and women in first aid. I am playing beach and indoor volleyball and plan to complete my last few courses in lifeguarding so I can teach younger kids how to swim. I’m continuing my work with my foundation "Hearing Helpers" providing hearing aids and equipment to children who otherwise would go without due to financial hardship. We have provided 3 scholarships this year and have raised around $2,710.

What was your first day of university like? Your first couple of weeks?

I’m not going to lie - my first day of university was scary! The classes are huge and I'm not used to that. However, I quickly began to meet a ton of amazing people, and it was no longer frightening. Attending volleyball training camp before school started allowed me to meet a lot of new people and get settled into university life before the masses. Now, I'm loving it. Aberdeen Hall really taught me how to manage my time between athletics and academics and helped prepare me for university, which I feel made for a smooth transition. 

What advice would you give to someone in Middle or High School who was thinking about coming here but wasn’t sure?

I would say: GO!!! When my parents first told me that we had to pick up and move to Kelowna because they wanted me to attend Aberdeen Hall, I was scared. I had to leave my friends, my school, and my life for the past six years and move to a new place. Now that I've graduated, I laugh - if I had only known then how much I was going to love it! Aberdeen Hall is really an amazing place. It’s a beautiful, modern campus with highly-qualified and experienced teachers who tailor the learning experience to attend to every student’s needs. I have a high frequency hearing loss and everyone at Aberdeen Hall was extremely accommodating and supportive of me. They did everything they could to ensure I met my highest and fullest potential. The best thing you can do is go visit! Go for a campus tour or try school at Aberdeen Hall for a day! Trust me, you'll love it, just as I did.

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