Local student named Global Citizen Scholar by Education First
Grade 10 George McDougall High School student Caitlin Prater-Haccke will be heading to London, U.K. in March to take part in the U.K.’s first We Day.
She is one of 10 students Canada-wide that have been selected as Education First (EF) Tours’ 2014 Global Citizens Scholars.
We Day is an educational event that encourages students to lead local and global change.
From We Day comes the yearlong We Act program, which offers resources to help schools and students act on the initiatives outlined during We Day.
“I was so happy,” Prater-Haccke said of when she heard she’d won. “I still can’t believe it.”
Prater-Haccke created a video submission for the contest, which she called “One in a Million.”
In the three-minute video Prater-Haccke hoola-hoops her way through various locale in the city and speaks of her commitment to anti-bullying, environmental causes and ending poverty.
“I believe that it only takes one concerned person to change the world and I intend to do just that,” she said in the video.
Prater-Haccke spearheaded a cell phone recycling campaign that resulted in 200 trees being planted, participated in a Tents for Haiti campaign and helped procure more than 250 tents and sleeping bags for those in need following the 2010 earthquake there.
She is currently in the beginning stages of another project she’s calling Making the Homeless Smile, where she is collecting donations from the community in order to make shoeboxes full of supplies for the homeless, which she will distribute in Calgary at Christmas.
She said she is hoping to get enough supplies together to make at least 1,000 shoeboxes.
The 15-year-old is also involved in her school’s Gay Straight Alliance and Peer Support group.
Prater-Haccke was a level-four flight corporal air cadet but said she left cadets to focus more on school because she has to maintain an 85 per cent average to keep a previous scholarship she won.
She said she watched a lot of the other submission videos for the contest and thought they were all so good that she was surprised to learn she won.
“It was an amazing feeling to accomplish something of this magnitude,” she said.
Prater-Haccke is still waiting to hear all the details of the trip but she does know she will get to meet her idol and Canada’s first woman in space, Roberta Bodar, when the group travels to Berlin, Germany for the EF Science and Innovation Summit.
“I’m so excited,” she said of the meeting. “I’m going to get her book from Chapters and get her to autograph it for me.”
Prater-Haccke said she wanted to be an astronaut when she was younger and gave a speech in cadets on Canada’s contribution to space exploration that had a heavy focus on Bondar.
These days, Prater-Haccke is leaning more towards becoming a lawyer. That is in addition to the romance novel she is currently in the process of writing.
Though she hasn’t met any of the 10 Global Citizen Scholars face-to-face, she has been contacted by several of them through social media like Facebook.
“It’s amazing to get to know these people,” she said. “We’re across Canada but it doesn’t seem to matter. We still find ways to connect.”
She adds the group is also hoping to do a Skype conference soon to get to know each other a little more before they embark on the 10-day trip together.
“I’m so excited,” she said of the trip. “I’m having a mini heart attack and waking up every morning realizing it wasn’t a dream, it’s actually coming true.”
To view Prater-Haccke’s winning video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDnChXSXo1o