Meet our grads!
Saniya Islambekova '17 - Kazakhstan
University of Victoria, Political Science
“Don’t be afraid to be yourself, everyone else is taken.” That is exactly what Saniya, a boarding student from Kazakhstan, did during her two years at Pickering College. She made the most of her time at the school becoming a valuable member of the community as vice-chair of the Green Team, as a Head Proctor in Boarding, and as a member of Youth Action Organization and the Theatre Club. Through her participation in the clubs and teams, Saniya most enjoyed making friends from all over the world and says she even met her best friend at PC! Saniya graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma, with Distinction. She is attending the University of Victoria to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.
Sterling Mancuso '17 - Canada
University of Toronto (Trinity College),
To say Sterling is a ‘good’ public speaker would be an understatement. As co-captain of the debate team for Grade 11-12, he earned a spot with team Canada at the 2017 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championship in Sydney, Australia finishing 12th in the debating category. Sterling was also involved in the dramatic arts, playing the role of Vladimir in Waiting for Godot and Macbeth in Macbeth. Describing himself as academically focused, Sterling enjoyed keeping up-to-date with current affairs, speaking with interesting people and volunteering at the Quaker archives (located at PC) as it was an excellent opportunity to give back to the school in his own way. Sterling graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma, with Distinction.
Samantha Murphy '17 - Canada
University of Memphis, Science, Health Studies
From a young age, Samantha was very passionate about soccer. She developed her athletic skills at her various teams with Pickering College as well as local soccer clubs. She credits Pickering College with preparing her academically for university and helping her to become organized and efficient. She says this will benefit her immensely at university as the Memphis soccer team has the highest GPA score in all of the NCAA Division I schools. Samantha has big goals for her future, “I want to play in the Olympics for the Canadian national team, the senior team, FIFA World Cup ... I kind of want to do it all – big dreams!” After that, she plans to become an athletic therapist. Samantha graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma.
Alyssa Nunn '17 - Canada
Queen’s University, Education (Concurrent)
Alyssa played for Pickering College’s basketball, volleyball and softball teams all while helping to coach the Junior School teams and mentoring younger students in math. Through her coaching experience, Alyssa witnessed the improvements of the students she helped and realized that teaching was her passion. Alyssa believes that there are so many ways to get involved in the school community and feels the teachers and staff at Pickering College played a major role in her success. Alyssa earned the C.R. Blackstock Award at graduation, an award that is only presented when there is a deserving candidate and recognizes an individual whose contribution to athletics exemplifies the motto “the joy of effort.” Alyssa graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma.
Sydney Stevenson '17 - Canada
McGill University, International Development Studies & Political Science
Describing herself as having a “cautious personality,” Sydney has proved otherwise with the various ways she got involved with the school. The highlight of Sydney’s time at Pickering College was her trip to Kenya, which was a life-changing experience and led her to start the “We Team” at Pickering College. Sydney was very involved in sports, as a part of many competitive teams including senior girls soccer, senior boys hockey, ultimate Frisbee, swimming and softball. Sydney is most appreciative of the Global Leadership Program at PC as it was the most enlightening part of her learning experience and gave her a chance to connect her education to the real world, locally and globally. Sydney graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma, with Distinction.
Minh Truong '17 - Vietnam
Ryerson University, Journalism
When Minh, a boarding student from Vietnam, arrived at Pickering College, he immersed himself the school’s community, taking on the role of stage manager in the school’s production of Macbeth and creating and earning the award for Best Film for his project “Fly Away.” Minh’s short story “Gently, Into That Good Night” was shortlisted and published in the 2017 InCITE Anthology of Student Writing, earning a third-place finish in the Grade 11/12 category. Minh placed third out of all the Grade 12 students for his Capstone Pitch presentation in the Global Leadership Program, and he was the recipient of the school’s awards for Best Filmmaker and the Joshua Weinzweig Memorial Literary Award. Minh’s future career goal is to write English novels in multiple genres. Minh graduated with the Global Leadership Diploma, with Distinction.
Carlos Avila ‘16 - Mexico
University of Guelph, Psychology
Like many Mexican boarding students, Carlos was only to spend Grade 9 at Pickering College and then return to high school in Mexico. But along the way he discovered a love of acting that ultimately convinced him to stay. In his Grade 12 year, when cast as lead role Albert Peterson in the full-scale musical production of Bye Bye Birdie, Carlos was already a veteran performer at Pickering College. In the four years he spent on the stage through the drama co-curricular, Carlos, an Ontario Scholar, honed his public speaking skills. A self-taught guitarist, Carlos studied vocal music for three years and also played saxophone in the jazz band.
Margaret Montgomery ‘16 - Canada
Wilfrid Laurier University, Business Administration, Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
Margaret says at Pickering College she enjoyed expanding her perspective through new experiences. “It allowed me to grow and develop as a person.” Counting world issues among her favourite subjects, Margaret says what she learned helped her to better understand “some of the deeper truths and patterns unfolding in the world around us.” One of the biggest highlights of her time at Pickering College was an eye-opening school trip to the Arctic last winter. As someone who loves to try new things, Margaret, an Ontario Scholar, enjoyed being co-captain of the debate team, playing soccer and competing on the Pickering College team at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.
Karen Ji ‘16 - Canada
Royal Veterinary College, London, Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
While at Pickering College, Karen says she learned about the importance of hard work and dedication. “It was vital to my success, both in academics and outside of school.” Describing herself as vaguely artistic, driven and competitive, it was dance that played a huge role in her personal development and helped Karen to overcome childhood shyness. She is passionate about animals which is the main reason she aspires to be a veterinarian. Though she admits her favourite subjects of chemistry and art may seem at odds, the Ontario Scholar says they both capture her curiosity and attention. “Learning how the world functions from a molecular point of view is very intriguing to me.”
Petros Anagnostakos ‘16 - Canada
University of Toronto, Bachelor of Music in Performance, Jazz
Petros is passionate about all genres of music and is ‘in his zone’ with his drum sticks in his hands. While at Pickering College, a new course for music composition was developed and offered to provide him with an additional challenge. Petros, an Ontario Scholar, was a vital member of both the band and the jazz band, performing at concerts, events and school fundraisers. He was selected to take part with the Jazz FM Youth Big Band and with the National Youth Jazz Combo (one of only four students in Canada). In his free time, Petros plays at Humber College with the Saturday Music Community Program and writes his own music.
Josephine Kanu ‘16 - Sierra Leone
University of British Columbia, Bachelor of Science
Josephine, a boarding student from Sierra Leone, discovered how much she cares about the environment while at Pickering College. Under her leadership, the Green Team launched a number of initiatives that ultimately resulted in the school receiving Gold certification from Ontario Eco Schools. For Josie, an Ontario Scholar, a school trip to Inuvik to learn about Canada’s northern people was a highlight. “Pickering College makes it clear that education is not only about sitting in the class. These experiential trips enrich our knowledge. It is important for us as citizens of the world to know what is going on and to be curious enough to learn about other cultures.”
Mandy Coleman ‘16 - Canada
University of Waterloo, Environmental Engineering Co-op
It was during her time at Pickering College that Mandy realized she could be a leader. She played a very active role in school life, ultimately becoming Student Committee Chair. Mandy enjoyed participating in the school’s co-curricular program as a member of the soccer and ultimate Frisbee teams, playing saxophone in jazz band and tackling social justice issues with the Youth Action Organization club. For Mandy, an Ontario Scholar, the biggest highlight of her time at PC was a school service trip to Ghana. “It changed my perspective on the world and shifted my interests towards being a more globally-aware individual.”