Testimonies From PG Mini Alumni

Emma Finlayson-Trick - Class of 2013

March 29, 2016

Point Grey Mini School
5350 East Boulevard
Vancouver, B.C.
V6M 3V2

I graduated from Point Grey Mini School three years ago and there is rarely a week that goes by where I don’t reference the absolutely incredible experience that the program provided. Throughout secondary school, I noticed the aspects of the Mini that made it unique compared to the regular school system; however, it was not until university that I realized just how exceptional my education was compared to other students across Canada. I guess I hadn’t had enough of the Mini experience, as I attended a one-year Integrated Science Program which like the Mini, provides an enriched and challenging curriculum.

There are many reasons as to why Point Grey Mini has left such a lasting impression on me, but for the purpose of this letter I have narrowed my reasons down to two. Firstly, the school is structured in such a way that there was never an opportunity to be bored. Entering the Mini in grade 9, I had experience being in the regular public school system. By no means was I an exceptionally brilliant student entering secondary school, but by the end of grade 8, I had straight A’s and distinctly remember being bored due to lack of stimulation from the course material. Luckily my grade 8 English teacher, who happened to also teach in the Mini school, recognized that I was looking for a challenge and suggested I apply to the Mini. The first difference I noticed in grade 9 was that I was surrounded by twenty-nine other students who were just as motivated. I cannot stress how inspiring it was to attend school with these students, as they not only forced me to work hard, but encouraged thought-provoking class discussion. Secondly, the teachers were fantastic. Every single teacher at Point Grey Mini School went above and beyond in the classroom preparing lessons that were engaging, projects that were hardly textbook, and tests that actually tested understanding of the material. I can see now that the enriched atmosphere provided by the Mini was a result of a cycle in which teachers provided exciting conversation that encouraged discussion amongst the students that ultimately allowed for exploration of other topics. Not only did the teachers designate extra time at school, they were also instrumental in providing support on the many field trips throughout the year.

I am now at Dalhousie University and next year I will be graduating with an Honors in Microbiology and Immunology, a Minor in History and a Certificate in Genetics. The Mini program not only provided me with a foundation that allowed for the pursuit of all academic interests at university, but also provided me the confidence that I could succeed even in challenging situations. It was interesting to see how I compared to students that had no enriched education but had taken AP courses.The Mini program prepared me to balance extensive course work with activities outside the classroom such as dancing with the RCMP pipe band, acting and volunteering with the Medical Response team.

Without question, I know I would not be where I am today without the Mini.

Sincerely,
Emma Finlayson-Trick
Emma Finlayson-Trick