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Students celebrating United Nations Day
Author Sasha Au Yong holds her book Something's Different About Grandpa

Sasha Au Yong '21 has just published her first book, Something’s Different About Grandpa.  

Sasha wrote and illustrated this children’s storybook for her winning Global Leadership Program Capstone Action Project in support of Parkinson Canada. The book is suitable for all ages and is a great way for adults to teach young children about Parkinson's disease.  

Sasha’s book is the culmination of a long process: she began work on this action project as part of the school’s Global Leadership Program at the beginning of Grade 11 with an in-depth research paper on Parkinson’s disease. 

In Grade 12, Sasha and her classmates were tasked with taking action on their chosen issue. After considering the best way to spread awareness about Parkinson’s disease, Sasha decided to write and illustrate her own book. In the spring, Pickering College hosted a virtual pitch competition, the culminating activity for the school’s Grade 12 students. 

Sasha and three other finalists pitched their ideas to three panelists: Pickering College’s Head of School and two external experts, to help to determine the overall winner. Sasha was awarded first place and a $1000 grant from Pickering College to pursue her project, which she used to publish her first run of books. 

“The creativity, passion, determination, and perseverance of each of these finalists shone through in their video presentations along with their live answers to the questions,” said Melissa Mikel, Director of Education at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies. “I hope they are all celebrating in their achievement. I also hope every PC educator is celebrating – you are creating innovative learning opportunities that are creating positive change in our world!”

Fellow panelist, Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada, added, “What incredible students you have developed. I left the presentations today inspired! The work you are undertaking with the Capstone Project provides key foundational skills for your students to live a life of impact.  Thank you very much for the invitation and the opportunity to witness future leaders of impact in action.”

Sasha’s book is available for delivery in Canada and internationally. Please consider buying a copy to support the cause. The price is $12 plus shipping and all proceeds go to Parkinson Canada, a registered charitable organization.

Order a copy of Something's Different About Grandpa