Hi, my name is Andrew Burton. Throughout my entire life leadership has demonstrated to me valuable lessons that have sculpted who I am today and what my outlook on the future is. During my younger childhood years, I was shy, not outgoing, and very kept to myself, which greatly contrasts to who I am presently. I'm so outgoing, hardworking, and extremely sociable. I give credit for this to my involvement with leadership, and extra circulars. I possess not just an interest but a love for theatre, it provided me with life attributes that I could not gain anywhere else. Skills such as public speaking, teamwork, and most of all overcoming my shyness. A team like no other my theatre group and I are like a crazy dysfunctional family, and I wouldn't trade them for the world. With them I have attended 4 High School Regional Theatre Festivals, 2 High School Provincial Theatre Festivals, and a High School Atlantic Theatre Festival. During these festivals I attend various workshops on acting, staging, etc which earned me with knowledge of the theatre and leadership. Participating in dinner theatres for our community allowed me to interact with my community and really get to socialize with its people. Theatre provided me room to grow as a person.
My other volunteer experiences include the Tutoring For Tuition program which allowed me to work with people and help lead them and teach them. Knowing that you really helped a person was reward enough for this. Along with this, I am involved with my schools leadership committee, we plan and organize events for the school, such as candy grams at Christmas, winter formals, and other fun events for the students. It has taught me how to be responsible, become organized, and most of all how to be a leader. Volunteering for the Relay For Life is an inspirational experience, seeing some of the struggles that people go through and helping them is an amazing experience. When you can personally relate to a cause from dealing with it through your own family, it makes the whole volunteer experience much more important and meaningful. Knowing that you can help make a difference or even help make someone's day a little brighter, is the adrenaline that keeps you going throughout each and everyday.
School has offered me with amazing opportunities. Two in particular that really stood out during the experience were a French immersion trip to St.Pierre with my French class, and a chemistry internship at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. From two different portals of the world, French and chemistry are my favourite school subjects. The French immersion trip allowed me to greatly develop my French speaking and writing skills, which I value immensely as French is one of two official languages of Canada. It also, provided as a great experience as I love to travel and learn about new cultures. Now, dealing with chemistry, which most people find boring, while I love it. Learning about the basis of life and matter seems cool to me. Which is why I'm also known as the "nerd" of my class. Not stereotypically. The internship at McMaster allowed me to learn and live university life but also to know how challenging and intense university labs are. The entire week was focused on a geochemical laboratory, but it also provided me with meeting amazing doctors and students from Canada.
Why and how I became involved in volunteering are both linked towards the influence of my mother. Cheesy but true. She from a young taught me never to back down from a challenge, that you always help someone who asks for your help, and never discriminate or judge someone. She is and always will be the single most involved person on this planet. She inspired me to have determination, and to be the best I can possibly can. She is who I credit with making me become interested in volunteering and leadership. She made me aware of how important volunteering is, if it wasn't for volunteers and what they do this world would be lost. Every event that occurs is because of the people who sacrificed their time and efforts towards it. A volunteer does not look to be acknowledged, nor recognized for what they do, they do it because they simply want to and are inspired to by others.
Plans for the future. I don't believe it having a set plan, no one can predict what is going to happen nor how it will. I do however know where I would like to place myself in the future. I would love to possess a career in acting and theatre, which is mostly a dream, in reality I would love to become a pharmacist. This job would help me use my social skills, leadership skills, and meet my love for chemistry. I just love working with people, and meeting new people, it opens my eyes to this world and how we are all so different even though we share similar characteristics of a human. There is so much to explore and so much I'm not even aware of. I just want to thankful for what I have. Never letting anything change and alter me from who I am.
The HORIZON program allowed me to attend LDW and wow what a time. I met amazing people who whether they know it or not influenced me. I met people with similar interests, and people who I hope to keep in contact with in the future. In all, it was an unforgettable experience and I hope to see them all again at LEAP. So, there you have it, that's me, take it or leave it.