This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let it Shine by Shalene Sherman

19 05 2017

Dear family, friends, alumni champions, and supporters,

Hello, my name is Shalene Sherman and I am a first year champion. I am graduating from the University of the Fraser Valley with a bachelor of Kinesiology degree this June after going part-time for 8 years. In those 8 years, I scholarshipped for Columbia Bible College as a point guard, and worked as a trainer at Xceed centre with Paul Nicolls where I trained elite hockey players from the Atom age group all the way to the Jr. A Chilliwack Chiefs hockey club. I also was hired by PacificSport Fraser Valley where I started an after school sports and arts initiative within the city of Chilliwack that included 4 inner city schools that worked on developing life skills, fundamental movement skills, and nutritional knowledge. This program went on to win the Premier’s award and was recognized at a conference by DASH B.C with which I was a part of the program development panel. I have also recently become a supervisor and convenor for all of Prospera Centre’s adult hockey programs, learn to skate programs, and summer camp programs. When I return home from this beautiful island I will be starting my career as a Kinesiologist at the Restorative Health centre in Chilliwack.

I first heard about this program in my first year at UFV, when Dr. Joanna Sheppard came to my class and gave a short presentation on the Champions for Health Promoting Schools. Right away I was captivated by this woman. Over the years, I took many of her classes and found inspiration through the way she modelled the various teaching methods that we are focusing on here today. She was as mentor to me right from day one and I feel like I have developed a professional relationship as well as friendship over my years with her. I cannot explain what kind of motivation she has given me to take this giant leap of faith and buckle up for the ride. I am learning quite quickly to live in the moment, be present, and embrace this experience whole-heartedly with open arms. I am teaching at Villa Primary School, along with my second year champion, Kristi Rexhepi. Kristi is an amazing person inside and out with a heart of gold for children. She has taken me under her wing and I honestly could not have asked for a better partner. I think Jo may have known what she was doing when she stuck us two together. Recently, Amy Stafford, a TEP from Canada, has joined our team and made us an unstoppable trio. Villa has been a place where I can say I have grown, both professionally, and personally, along this journey. I have completely fallen for the children here. They are both resilient, gracious, and even though a little blunt and physical at times, they mean the best. I have never created such strong relationships with children and teachers alike so quickly in such a short period of time.

Today was the Unity Games, day number three. For those of you back home that need a quick run down of what that means: think back to elementary school when you had your annual sports day. But in 35 degree heat, 6505 km from home, and with 15 sets of beautiful brown eyes all screaming at you beyond excitement calling out “Tee-cha, tee-cha, tee-cha!!!!” Our champions facilitated both Piggot’s Primary in the morning, and Potters Primary in the afternoon. I taught games that were centred around the life skills of Communication and Conflict Resolution. I had the privilege of working with 6 groups of grade 2’s and 3’s and then 6 groups of grade 4’s and 5’s. The hardest thing for me along this journey has been being away from home and the ones I love there, but I am also falling in love with Villa and the children here. I wish to say, mom, dad, and Travis: You are amazing and have been the biggest support system for me since I was a little girl. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy knowing how stubborn I can be and set in my ways but you always encouraged me to follow my dreams and that’s exactly what I feel I’m doing here. Patrick: Happy 8 months and 1 day handsome! I love you so much and can’t wait to tell you all about those children you wanted me to go inspire. For the rest of my time here on the island, I’m going to do just what the children on the island here have inspired me to do in the prayers they sing every morning: let my little light shine.


-Shalene Sherman, Villa Primary



One response

19 05 2017
Jenelle Atkinson

Way to go Shalene! I knew your passions for working with children and physical activity would a perfect match with the program! I have no doubt in my mind that your light is shining brightly there. I can’t wait to hear all about your experience when you return!

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