The Duke of Edinburgh Award

BY MASSIMO STEFANOVIC

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Looking for something to do in your spare time or over the summer vacation? The Duke of Edinburgh award (aka the Duke of Ed award) youth program may be perfect for you. The Duke of Ed youth challenge takes place in 142 countries around the world and is recognized as a national leadership building program. People between the age of 14 to 24 are eligible to qualify for participation. Today, out of 10 million youth who have undertaken the award, 750 000 of them proudly stand as Canadians. This award has different requirements than the typical award. Participants are given the chance to choose how they want to complete it based on their personal strengths and goals. The award is unlike any other prize. It’s a program that is comprised of developing yourself, both personally and socially, to discover your inner capabilities. When the requirements for the award are complete, the award bestowed upon you by important figures of authority. Duke of Ed representatives have stated that “in Canada, Silver Awards are presented provincially by either the Lieutenant Governor or the Commissioner. Gold Awards by; the National Chairperson, His Excellency, The Governor General of Canada or a member of the Royal Family, generally His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.”.

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Through the program you have the choice of completing it independently, through an organization, or even with your friends. It only requires 3 hours of commitment a week. Participants get to choose how those 3 hours are spent as long as they are able to set a goal for it and fill in a required section. It requires the participant to spend 1 hour of a skill (playing instrument, playing chess, or reading etc…), 1 hour of service (volunteer work to make a positive difference), and 1 hour of physical activity (sports or gym etc…). At the end based on level the participant is required to participate in their own organized expedition (camping trip) with 4 to 8 other people within the time of their award. The bronze program lasts 26 weeks, silver 52 weeks (26 weeks if you have completed bronze), and gold is 78 weeks (52 weeks if you have completed silver). They each have a $31 registration fee, but that is the only associated cost. When achieving this award, often it is presented by a person who holds authority. The higher the award level the more authority the person who is presenting the award holds. The Duke of Ed award presents an opportunity to challenge the minds of the youth, and to aid them in committing themselves to self-improvement. Life will be filled with challenges, but this is just the beginning.

It is the time to take leadership whole new level. The Duke of Ed Award will help to achieve that level, but it is up to you to complete it. So, the question is…will you be a leader? Will you help to inspire your peers and community to become to become leaders themselves. The torch passes on to today’s youth to create a better yesterday…today!

For more information, feel free to drop by our information stand on May 11th during period 3 and 4 at the entrance to the cafeteria. Or feel free to contact Ms.Gleeson (gleesona@hdsb.ca) or Massimo Stefanovic (1stefanovmas@hdsb.ca). Or, visit https://www.dukeofed.org/.

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