Students at Ursuline College in Chatham are taking it upon themselves to roll up their sleeves and be more active in the community. Nov 6, 2019. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

UCC students lead by example

Students at Ursuline College in Chatham are taking it upon themselves to roll up their sleeves and be more active in the community.

A group of student leaders spoke at a Catholic leaders’ meeting in Chatham on Wednesday morning about being good citizens and transforming the world for tomorrow.

The speech comes just days after former U.S. President Barack Obama urged young people to stop being judgmental and calling out others on social media because that won’t change society for the better. Obama spoke at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago on October 29 saying the act of public shaming on social media is “not activism” and doesn’t bring about change.

The students are practicing what Obama is preaching by feeding the hungry, cleaning up the environment, showing kindness to seniors, and mentoring younger students.

UCC student Ethan Gilhula said Catholic schools teach respect and accountability and added that talk is cheap without backing it up.

“Doing something means actually doing it, not just saying it. So, there’s some value in talking about it but I think there’s far more in doing it,” said Gilhula.

Adele Culverwell, another student, said she loves to help and mentor Grade 7 and 8 students.

“I love seeing them grow up. In Muskoka we have the Grade 7s and sometimes we’ll be lucky enough to get them coming in as Grade 9s to our school and we get to see how they changed and how we helped them get there,” Culverwell said.

Student Izzy Bailie agreed with Obama and said moaning and groaning don’t usually get things accomplished.

“All this stuff is terrible that it’s happening but nobody is really doing anything about it. They’re just saying, yes this is awful and we should do something about it but they never put in the effort or the initiative to go out and do something,” said Bailie.

The entire group of student leaders led by Thomas Dula, Chaplaincy Leader at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, said they feel good when they help others and feel a sense of responsibility to guide younger students.