Grace Grant is multi-talented, high-octane and a born leader.
Grant, who is a Grade 12 student at Penticton Secondary School, believes in following your passion with single-minded determination. And this philosophy is yielding impressive dividends, including being chosen as the Rotary Student of the Month for October.
Born and raised in Penticton, Grant’s love for music and dance is baked in her DNA. Her parents, Dr. Don and Lori Grant, head the music and drama programs, respectively, at Princess Margaret Secondary. Grace has been surrounded by the arts forever.
Grace enjoys all types of dance, from tap, jazz, ballet and pointe to modern, hip-hop and lyrical. As a member of the Okanagan Dance Studios, she has performed in earlier In My Life dance shows and is currently rehearsing for the latest production to be presented at the Cleland Theater on Nov. 22.
She views her lessons as “therapeutic and a good form of exercise and always leaves in an upbeat mood regardless of her day at school.”
“Honestly, Grace is a dream student: respectful, reliable, patient and incredibly hard-working,” said Shannon Cote, an Okanagan Dance Studios instructor. “She is an excellent team player and her positive attitude and infectious laugh make everyone want to be around her. She is someone we rely on to be both a leader and a mentor to her fellow dancers. “
Grace is also a talented musician and songwriter. She plays the piano, guitar, flute, saxophone and bass and is a member of the concert/jazz band at Pen High.
Her passion for music and dance has led her to perform in several productions, including two recent musicals, Hairspray (2016) and Little Mermaid (2017), directed by her mom, at Maggie.
She also sang the national anthem at last year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts Women’s Curling Competition at the South Okanagan Events Centre and took part in the To This Day assembly performance at Pen High in 2016, featuring social anti-bullying poetry by Penticton’s internationally-acclaimed Shane Koyczan.
As testimony to her natural leadership ability and infectious energy, Grace is serving as Pen High student co-ordinator for this year’s Remembrance Day Ceremony to be held at Gyro Park on Nov. 8. The event, which marks the 100th anniversary of Second World War armistice, will involve both Pen High and Maggie schools. Grace is quick to note that planning for the ceremony, a first for School District 67, is a joint effort with Grace Robinson at Maggie. Ms. Grant has co-written a Remembrance Day song to be performed as part of the program.
Grace views the ceremony as “an opportunity to reflect on our country’s sacrifices in the terrible struggle to preserve the freedom we so often take for granted today.”
Pen High vice principal Sandra Richardson commented that “Grace is a dynamic, creative person who uses her vast array of talents to lift others, share messages and better her community. Her work on the Remembrance Day Ceremony this year will have a powerful impact on the staff and students at Pen High. “
Grace also takes part in community service work, such as last fall’s 10,000 Tonight city-wide food drive for the Salvation Army food bank. The event, a Pen High and Maggie co-initiative, collected nearly 17,000 non-perishable goods.
As a child, Grace was an avid competitive skier in the Apex Carvers, the Nancy Greene-based Program at the Apex Ski Club. Although other priorities now preclude competitive skiing, she feels a strong commitment to give back to the program that once meant so much to her and enjoys coaching on the weekends.
“Grace is an excellent role model for our young skiers,” said head coach Jorgen Anderson. “She always comes to work with a cheerful smile and her commit and dedication are evident by the positive relationships she has formed with the young athletes. Our club is lucky to have her working in our program. “
Despite her hectic extracurricular activities, Grace still manages to excel scholastically, achieving a GPA of 90 per cent in Grade 11 as a French Immersion student. She completed a three-month exchange to France last year to enhance her French language skills. Fresh off this mind-expanding experience overseas, Grace will be travelling to Tokyo and Hiroshima later this month as part of a sister-city exchange.
It should come as no surprise that upon graduation, Grace plans to pursue the Dance Education (dual degree) Program at York University, possibly first studying at the Randolph College for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
Regardless of where her leads may take her, Grace Grant exhibits in spades many of the personal traits needed to pursue a full and rewarding career, while enriching the lives of those she meets along the way.
Student of the Month is a Rotary Club of Penticton Sunrise project. The award aims to recognize outstanding students for unique achievement in scholastics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, leadership and service to others. The Club is pleased to partner with Penticton Secondary School and Princess Margaret Secondary School, aided by a generous financial contribution from Gateway Casinos as part of their involvement in community service projects.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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