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Students lead partnership with City of Kitchener through LoveMyHood matching grant


Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School (KCI) leadership students unveiled a Progress Pride Flag inspired sidewalk, in partnership with the City of Kitchener and local community groups in late August. Spearheaded by Co-Prime Minister Regan McCorkindale, KCI’s leadership students worked with the City of Kitchener to apply for a LoveMyHood Matching Grant to highlight the school and city’s support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


On August 28, student leaders and representatives from each organization came together to celebrate the unveiling of the welcoming and inclusive symbol in a place of prominence right outside the school.


It was an extra-special day for McCorkindale, a recent graduate of KCI heading to Dalhousie University to study Marine Biology. She reflected on how the completion of this project represents the fulfilment of a key part of her platform. 


“I was elected by my peers at the school to be Co-Prime, and one of my promises that I had made was that I wanted to install a rainbow sidewalk at KCI,” said McCorkindale. “I thought it would be a really good way of showcasing how everyone belongs at KCI.”


Abbey Gingerich is a student activities advisor and teacher at KCI, and was beside McCorkindale throughout this project. She explained what it was like to be beside her as it was unveiled, especially as McCorkindale prepares to embark on the next step of her learning journey. 


“We know how much thought and care went into the planning of the project,” said Gingerich. “It’s really special that she was able to come back before she goes on to her next adventure.”


Laura McBride is a neighbourhood liaison with the City of Kitchener’s Love My Hood team and was excited to see this project through. McBride, whose role was to support community members with finding funding and navigating the municipal processes, noted that it was the first project she’s worked on with this level of student leadership.


“I believe strongly in youth voices, and I really wanted to see this project realized,” said McBride.


As McCorkindale reflected on all that she’d learned through this experience, she saw countless ways that her well-honed leadership skills would be helpful, especially as she made the transition to continuing learning at the post-secondary level. 


“Leadership is not just something that you do as a course in high school,” she said. “It’s something that’s a lifelong process.”

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