Leadership comes in many forms, and the best leaders can offer quiet support and helpful advice.
April’s Rotary Student of the Month, Penticton Secondary School Grade 11 student Jena Grakul, is one such leader.
“Jena is among the best peer tutors we have ever had,” said Dustin Hyde, B.C. First Nations teacher and peer tutoring supervisor. “She requires no direction and takes pride in initiative and ownership of tasks and responsibilities. She is a wonderful young lady and an absolute joy to have in class.”
Grakul is an active member of the learning community, beyond her peer tutoring. A passionate student of the arts, she has expressed her creative side since she was very young, and today her friends often turn to her for help with their own projects. She also enjoys collaborating on ideas, and is always eager to lend her hand.
“What’s the point of sitting still when you can do things. You can’t be the best if you’re not trying the best,” Grakul said.
Music is also important in Grakul’s life. She has been a member of the school choir since Kindergarten and has won awards for her exceptional voice. She likes all genres of music, plays guitar and has recently branched out to the ukulele. She enjoys the laid back, soft music it allows her to create.
“She created various artist creations for the school’s program that are nothing short of amazing. The Louis Riel poster outside our room is a testament to her artistic ability. She often does artist work on her own time at home, which is totally above and beyond her role as peer tutor,” said Hyde.
Grakul’s co-operative spirit stretches onto the field as well. As a defenceman in field hockey, she does her best to protect the net, for which she recently earned a top defenceman award.
“Jena is an exceptional leader,” said Bo Boxall, Pen High vice-principal and leadership teacher. “Her empathetic and compassionate demeanour ensures that initiatives she is a part of help to promote the well-being of all that she works with.”
Grakul’s future is bright, and she looks forward to pursuing her studies in arts and animation.
As the youngest of three sisters, she has worked hard to set herself apart from her sisters. She pushed herself to become more independent and Grakul continues to work at finding herself, wherever and whatever that may be.
“I take my life at my own stride. There will be opportunities; I will take them. Being open to others, going with the flow and being kind to everyone,” Grakul said of her approach to life.
Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise initiative. The award aims to recognize outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise is partnering with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their proactive involvement in wide-ranging community service projects.