St. Barbara at the First Annual Strong Girls Strong Women Symposium

 The lovely ladies of St. Barbara travelled to Centennial College for a day of learning new things, exploring their career path and more importantly, meeting other strong girls like themselves.

To kick off the day, we had wonderful motivational speakers. They did a great job of pumping us up!

The day was divided into stations. Each station taught us different career options such as studying in the medical sciences.


Mission: To pick up the metal laid on the counter by pedaling the bicycle, and using the joystick to move the arm.

Skill: This station requires determination, confidence and…having the skill of using a joystick and pushing buttons?

Status: Success, this challenge was no match for us!


Self-defense: the station that taught us to bring out our inner ninjas. This station taught us how protect ourselves from any surprise attacks and to escape from your attacker. Here’s a tip, beware the lady with a board.


Smile! The St. Barbara girls gathered up outside and took some pictures before stepping inside the building. Sadly, we were not able to ride the helicopter but it was still pretty great to be close to it, even though riding it would be better…


Well, aren’t the girls very photogenic? The girls take one last photo before ending their outdoor photo shoot.  


This photo can be interpreted in two different ways: another self-defense lesson, or how to give a good shoulder massage…?


First idea was right (too bad…). This lesson involves how to deal with a situation where someone grabs you by the shoulders. What do you do? Take your index and middle fingers and apply pressure to the middle of your attacker’s neck. It feels terribly uncomfortable and may or may not leave your attacker sputtering. Watch out! These ladies know their stuff…

To end the day, all the girls gathered at the center of the stage. We celebrated by yelling out lyrics to the song and just dancing. We may look ridiculous but you know what?

“Girls just wanna have fun…”

This was a day full of inspiring and empowering events. We feel honoured to have had this opportunity and even more so at the fact that this is the very first Strong Girls Strong Women symposium of many. Girl power what what!

St. Barbara at E-CSLIT Online

Follow this link to learn all about E-CSLIT Online:

St. Barbara LOVES E-CSLIT Online meetings. It’s such a fun way to both bond with each other and learn about important world issues.

So what happens at a typical E-CSLIT Online meeting at St. Barbara? If one were to sum up our meetings in one word, it would be “shenanigans”.

Those who can attend the meetings stay after school and gather in the library to log on as soon as possible. Some students bring snacks, but a tradition for us is to have a large quantity of samosas (that we finish within the first ten minutes of the meeting). Not all of us are permitted to stay late after school, so the ones who cannot make it log on through their own computers at home.

Since we’re all together we get to share the experience of playing fun games for a prize, learning about creative movements towards changing the world, and even learning about the small things that make life worthwhile. It’s incredibly difficult to capture the exhilirating feeling of being part of such a great event with the people you love (or are learning to love).

Of course, we don’t just feel connected to the people we’re sharing the room with. The whole E-CSLIT community is connected through a series of computer screens at these meetings; we sometimes get over 100 attendees! Just thinking about how we are all getting together to make a change truly is a priceless experience.

So join in! The final E-CSLIT Online meeting this year is Thursday, April 18, 2012. Experience the fun, excitement, and inspiration that comes with attending E-CSLIT Online by logging on at 3:45 PM that day (log on at 3:00 PM for the pre-show!). Remember to check back on the Catholic Student Leadership website prior to the meeting for all the details!

We can’t wait to see you there! ST. BARBARA WHAT WHAT!

St. Barbara at I-LITE 2013

On the first of February this year, the student leaders at St. Barbara went to the I-LITE held at Blessed Mother Teresa. Of course, St. Barbara leaders can’t go anywhere without their insane energy and team spirit! (Which is extremely tiring to keep up without the huge supply of juice boxes the students at BMT so kindly provided for us!)


Schools had super creative and fun presentation boards set up for their own leadership activities.


Even for so early in the morning, catholic student leaders were greatly enthusiastic during the opening assembly.


A few student leaders from St. Barbara were chosen to open up I-LITE 2013 with a beautiful prayer service. What what!


During an empowering lesson on going on a journey towards our best selves by Joel Hilchey, Disa created this beautiful piece of artwork that depicts everything Joel covered. We thought it looked so amazing that we took it to our school to display in our hallways! (No, really, that’s where it is now.)


After a day full of inspiring and exciting workshops and crazy performances during lunch, we closed I-LITE 2013 with another wonderful prayer service. I-LITE was absolutely, positively, an unforgettable and enjoyable experience. We feel so priveleged to have had the opportunity to attend such a wonderful event, and us grade eight student leaders at St. Barbara envy the younger members who get to do it all again! Thank you to all who had to do with the event, especially the high school leaders who did such a great job hosting!

“I-LITE: A Chance to Shine”

St. Barbara’s We Create Change Campaign

We cannot live without water, which is why we have such easy access to it. Yet many people, many children do not have this privilege. Thousands die each day from this issue. So Free The Children came up with a goal. The goal was to provide 100,000 people with clean water for life. To do this, they challenged leaders all over the world to run a penny drive, not only for change, but to send the Candian penny out with a bang! Leaders were to fill bags with $25 worth of pennies, each bag giving one person clean water for not one year, not two years, but for life! No challenge is too big or too small for the leaders of St. Barbara!

We scrounged every last penny from our pockets, underneath the couch, between the car seats, and under cats, which, of course, is where the most pennies were found.

We filled this huge jar up to the very tippity top with pennies.


Let’s take a closer look at this jar, shall we? Each drop on the jar has a water stat.


443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related illness.


In just one day, it is estimated that more than 152 million hours of women and girls time is consumed for the most basic of human needs- collection water for domestic use.


Of the 60 million people added to the worlds’ towns and cities every year, most move to unformal settlements (i.e. slums) with no sanitation facilities.


On average, every US dollar invested in water and sanitations provides economic return of eight US dollars.


Every 21 seconds, a child dies from diarrhea.


Filling up our bags…how much did the St. Barbara leaders raise?!


The team managed to fill a grand total of 6 bags! That’s $150 to save the lives of six people! Way to go, St. Barbara, what what!


Ahh, isn’t synergy great? Look at all of these bags we all filled together! Catholic student leaders, be proud. You really did create change.

St. Barbara’s First WE Team Meeting

Every second Monday of the week, the lovely Ms. Gonsalvez calls all the intermediate (and some junior!) leaders of the school for a WE Team meeting. At these meetings the members dicuss anything and everything that can be done to make a change. Of course, team building exercises are thrown into the mix. Every meeting gains an amazing turnout of enthusiastic leaders ready to change the world.


The agenda for the St. Barbara WE Team of the 19th of December 2012 and the qualities of a leader.


First thing on the agenda: play a game of Mumble Jumble! Leaders are given various puzzle pieces. They decide as a group which puzzle they want to put together. If another group has a piece of their puzzle, they complete a task (without talking!) before they can get it. If two groups choose the same puzzle, they must work it out and find a solution. The first group to complete a puzzle wins. How far will you go to win? Here Caitlyn and Merrin are making Jesse act like a monkey before they give up their piece. Smart thinking, ladies!


This group makes Nicole do a few jumping jacks…


And here Jude even prays for his piece!


The next task on the agenda is game of ‘I’ve Done That!’. Tell us something unusual you’ve done, but if someone in the circle says “I’ve done that”, think of something else. If nobody has done that, then you get to sit down. During this game, students learn facts about each other, whether it’s completely insane or interesting, it allows each student to know each other as friends rather than classmates. Building a family, what what!

Following that game was an in-depth discussion about the importance of clean water and how we can bring clean water to those who don’t have it. The team came to the conclusion of participating in the “We Create Change” clean water campaign run by the Free the Children organization. Look out for our follow-up post on how that went!


To finish up the meeting, the St Barbara We Team plays a lovely game of Nose Jousting. In this game everyone starts out with one loop of tape stuck on the tip of their nose. Players are to try to remove the tape from each others’ noses, only using their own noses! Through playing this game, leaders build even stronger relationships with each other. After all, a true leader builds bridges, not walls! There you have Kathryn, the winner of this heated battle. Long live the Queen!

These regular meetings act as stepping stones towards positive change as well as a way to create a new family. All members of the team actively show their leadership skills together in SYNERGY! Find out more about St. Barbara’s leadership initiatives in future posts. Always be the best version of yourself and God bless!