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Becoming Leaders

From networking with professionals at the inaugural Career Conference to volunteering at a local shelter for at-risk youth, Senior School students had many hands-on learning experiences this year – in the workplace, on global trips, in volunteer roles and in nature – through the Ivy Compass Program.

Ivy Compass empowers girls to dive deeper into areas of interest and prepares them for life after graduation. For example, 70 girls in Grade 10–11 participated in the Work Experience Program this year, gaining real-world experience and connections in fields they are interested in.

A highlight of the year was the Career Conference, in which all Grade 11 and 12 girls participated. Over 30 professionals from the alumnae, parent and staff community spoke to the girls about their fields, which ranged from law and medicine to journalism and architecture. 

Hayley ’20, who helped organize aspects of the conference with a group of Grade 11 leaders, says it was a great opportunity to create relationships and explore different industries. “What I took away from it was that the workforce isn’t as intimidating as I had imagined. There are so many people out there who are willing to mentor and help you.”

Senior School girls also expanded their leadership skills on multi-day outdoor education trips and by volunteering at community organizations of their choice, including the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Covenant House, the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, the KidSafe Project Society and the Pacific Spirit Park Society.

As part of a Capstone graduation project to create a LinkedIn profile, the Grade 12 girls highlighted their Ivy Compass experiences to communicate their unique strengths. As the first group to have experienced the Ivy Compass program from Grade 8 through Grade 12, the 2019 class received Ivy Compass diplomas upon graduation, having gained a breadth of tangible examples that demonstrate how they had developed the skills sought by post-secondary institutions and future employers.

Susan Barzo, the Assistant Director, Ivy Compass Senior School, believes that exposing girls to the community outside of Crofton House helps to give them a deeper understanding of themselves as well as a sense of confidence. “Ivy Compass graduates have had to push outside their comfort zones and embrace challenges. They recognize that there are many different types of leadership, and they have the opportunity to find out how they will lead.”