St. Michael CA and student Briana Zhong earn Character Community Awards!

Live with Character – Change our World

The York Catholic District School Board is proud to announce that St. Michael Catholic Academy in Thornhill and Briana Zhong, Grade 10 student at St. Robert Catholic High School in Markham both received awards by the Character Community York Region for their service to the community.

St. Michael Catholic Academy named a School of Character

St. Michael CA in Thornhill was named a School of Character by the Character Community York Region this spring. The School of Character Award is presented to a school that systematically developed a sustained character development initiative that positively impacts the climate and culture of their school and community.

St. Michael CA provides a pathway to success and well-being that integrates their school motto, “Dream, Believe and Achieve” as a thread of hope through all aspects of school culture. Through daily teachings and modelling they encourage their students to show kindness to themselves, to one another and to the community.

Students engage in community outreach projects which include writing letters to members of the Canadian military, student led liturgies and contributions to local charities including the Markham Food Bank, Holiday Heroes, Covenant House, The Terry Fox Foundation, ShareLife and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Following the attributes of initiative, compassion and humility, staff and students live by their values and actions each day to help others in need.

YCDSB also congratulates St. Julia Billiart Catholic Elementary School in Markham which was a 2021 finalist for this recognition.

Briana Zhong, Grade 10 student at St. Robert CHS earns the Gianluca Cellucci Memorial Award

Photo courtesy of Briana Zhong

The Character Community York Region awarded Briana Zhong, a Grade 10 student at St. Robert CHS with the Gianluca Cellucci Memorial Award. This award is presented to an individual who commits selfless acts to help others in need.

In its recognition of Briana, Character Community York Region said, “Brianna’s initiative, perseverance, optimism, and her spirit of giving motivates her to continue to expand her selfless acts of kindness to support her community.”

Briana is a member of the Junior Markham Youth Council where she helps to organize numerous large-scale community outreach events, fundraisers and food drives. To support others during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Briana co-founded a student-led initiative, Gifts that Smile, providing 350 hygiene care packages to patients and front heroes at hospitals and retirement residences.

Brianna also won a $500 World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Go Wild Grant this spring. She used this award for an environmental project at St. Robert and to prepare nature packs for students so they could be empowered and have the resources needed to grow native plants and care for the eco systems in their community. Keep up the amazing work Brianna!