St. Peters' Rachel Wulterkens Recognized at WE Day
Rachel Wulterkens, a Grade 9 student from St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie has been volunteering her time to help others since the third grade. Whether it is fundraising for childhood cancer, welcoming refugees or advocating for AIDS, Rachel is dedicated to creating positive change. It was no surprise when it was announced that she would be receiving the Governor General’s Sovereign Volunteer Medal Award at the annual WE Day celebration.
On October 19, 2016, 20,000 students and staff from across Ontario made their way to WE Day in Toronto to celebrate the power of positive change. Inspirational performers and speakers gathered together to ignite the spark in all of us to help change the world. Rachel was one of these inspirational individuals, who was recognized on stage for her amazing volunteer efforts.
She, along with her other social justice team members, have been advocating for childhood cancer ever since attending WE Day in 2013 and learning about the Tyler Robinson Foundation. They have been actively involved with the foundation, running events and raising money to support families who have children battling cancer. Rachel has also impacted individuals directly by sponsoring families at Christmas, providing meals and baked goods to local families and has even volunteered to babysit siblings when needed.
Rachel also has a passion for welcoming and supporting refugees to Canada and has donated her time to make their transition as easy as possible. After selling her hand-crafted tote bags, she raised over $3,000 to sponsor a Syrian family, and even committed a weekend to meeting 1000 former refugee Canadian newcomers to provide them with food, clothing, toys, toiletries and household items.
Rachel’s kindness and support for others is a true inspiration to all those who know her and we are so proud to have her as a member of our Simcoe Muskoka Catholic family.
We would like to thank Kelly Morrison, social justice leader at St. John Paul II Catholic School in Barrie, who brought Rachel’s amazing work to light, and who nominated her for the award. Also to Rachel’s social justice teammates who have been dedicating their time to helping others alongside her for years. You are all amazing representations of our Catholic values and perfectly demonstrate how small actions can make big differences.