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2018 Arctic Expedition: Reflections from Ally Zhao

By Ally Zhao, Vaughan, ON, Canada

(c) Natta Summerky /SOI Foundation

It has been two weeks post-expedition and I am already starting to miss everything that has happened on the expedition, from the breathtaking scenery, to the awesome people I have met, and the very strong sense of family we had all developed in such a short period of time. This expedition has changed me in ways that I have never imagined, and has gotten me to really reconsider my future plans. In just two weeks, I have discovered new hobbies and passions for things that I would not have ever imagined myself doing, such as embroidery and journaling. I have also begun to realize the diversity of Canada through these two weeks, and how even though many of us Canadians where from different walks of life, we all were able to unite as a family and connect to each other. Throughout this trip, I was able to get to know mother nature very personally, and see what amazing things she provides for us every day. I began to realize the importance of reconciliation to the Inuit, Metis, and the 634 First Nations in Canada. Those are just a small portion of the variety of things I have learned in this expedition. Most importantly however, I feel as though I have discovered a portion of myself that I never knew about through this expedition. Now, as tenth grade is coming in a few weeks, and with my whole future in front of me, I will definitely use what I have learned during these two weeks on expedition to help guide me through my life, and try to make an impact on those around me. I also want to say thank you to Students on Ice, the Robert Schad Foundation, my friends and family, Karine Rashkovsky and her amazing team at Brain Power Enrichment Program, and to everybody else who has helped support me through this journey. I would never have been able to take such a big stride in my life without you.

(c) Martin Lipman /SOI Foundation

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