At Marc Garneau, the process of becoming valedictorian is very rigorous and thorough. This year, the student body selected Hosna Sahak to represent the Graduating Class of 2017. She will be delivering a speech at the Graduation Ceremony at Ryerson Theatre on 29 June 2017.

After an extensive selection process, Hosna Sahak was selected as the 2017 Valedictorian. Photo: Anthony Chang

The selection process for Valedictorian consisted of three rounds. The first round involved the submission of a nomination form. The form required ten student signatures, two teacher references, and three reasons why the nominated person represents the graduating class. The next round was a filtration process, in which a committee of teachers and administration selected the five most deserving candidates. Finally, the candidates participated in an election round, in which the graduating class voted online for their Valedictorian. This year, elections took place from 1 June to 7 June, and the results were announced on 8 June 2017.

Hosna is a hardworking individual who spends much of her time working or volunteering. She also loves to read, paint, play soccer, and bake treats for her friends. She is very involved in her community, and has always strived to make a positive difference through extensive volunteerism and involvement. At school, she has pursued many opportunities and clubs since Grade 9. She started by founding the MGCI Announcement Team and participating in the Spirit Committee. Later, she also founded MGCI Doctors Without Borders, helped lead the MGCI Cancer Society, and participated in the Social Justice and Equity Committee. In her community, Hosna is a volunteer at the Flemingdon Food Bank, a volunteer tutor in the Tutor Me Please Program, and a member of her library’s Youth Advisory Council.

She feels that her high school experience has been “remarkable and monumental.” It served as a second home to her and was the pinnacle of her character development. The main way she changed was through her increased leadership potential and ambitions. She remembers her transformation from a shy, reserved girl in middle school, into a more social and involved individual in high school: “Marc Garneau has not only helped me with coping with my studies, but it has helped me become a better person in terms of integrity and building community.”

After graduation, Hosna hopes to continue her education at the University of Toronto in their Life Sciences program. She aspires to become a general surgeon who helps those in underprivileged areas and war zones. She also hopes to found her own organization to heal suffering around the world, and create sustainable health care systems for developing countries.

For people who hope to become the Valedictorian of their year, Hosna encourages them to serve as role models to their peers, and contribute to the Marc Garneau community. “This will help you become more acknowledged, trusted, and respected as an individual and as a friend,” she says. Hosna also strongly believes that students’ high school experiences will be improved if they pursue leadership initiatives, discover their interests, and make true friends. She refers back to her experience as a Grade 9 student, saying she started high school as a reserved and studious individual. However, she was able to make her experience extraordinary by contributing and getting involved.

Hosna says she is “very honoured and proud to be representing the Graduating Class of 2017.” She is thankful to those who believed in her and her potential, and takes her task as Valedictorian very seriously. She hopes to deliver an inspirational speech which will recall the memories of the graduating class and emphasize the significance of their experiences. She wants to tell her class that “this is not the ending, but the beginning of a whole other journey.”