Amy Stafford

I was a STAMP Champion with TEP 2017 – I wanted to participate in this program to push myself out of my teaching comfort zone (both in subject and grade level) and because I am passionate about teaching students to be healthy! Since Antigua I graduated with a BEd, taught humanities and home economics for a year in Chilliwack, and have been working as the Education Specialist with BC Agriculture in the Classroom from September 2018-present (but I will be back in a classroom next fall as long as we can leave our houses again!)

Rochelle Smith

I was a champion in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The first year I went because it seemed like a great opportunity to test out if I could be a teacher. The second and third year, I went because I fell in love with the island and the students there. The best memory of Antigua is driving to the school each morning. It didn’t matter if it was day 1 or day 20-something, the students were so excited to be at school and learn. I learned so much from my experiences in Antigua that I carry with me every day. I am now a high school educator in Langley, specializing in physical and health education, and social studies.

Cassidy King

Knowing where to start when speaking about my experience in the Champs program is something that I still struggle with. That is because my experience in this program and in Antigua has been overflowed with memories, learning opportunities, and overall personal growth moments over these past 3 years.

Going onto the island for my second time I was placed at a different school then my first year. Although I wasn’t going to be seeing any of the students, I had built connections with in the previous year, I was thrilled to have been able to dive into making new relationships at the Antigua All Girls High School. However, when I returned back to the Anchorage a fellow Champ was eager to tell me that one of my favorite students (Shhh …. I know there is no favorites) that I had built such a strong connection with had changed schools and was asking about me the whole day. Her and I continued to exchange letters through my colleagues over the next three weeks, counting down the days until we would get to reunite at Unity Games. As we drove along that beautiful coast line towards Urlings Primary my heart was full of gratitude. I was not grateful for that beautiful ocean view (if you know, you know), but grateful for the opportunities to build connections and relationships with students through teaching. At the end of the day these feelings that I had in this very moment are what fire my passion and drive to instill positive experiences to each one of my future students. 

Thank you, Momma Jo, for igniting my passion and making these immense feelings I have when thinking about memories in your program even possible.

Carmella Silvestri

Carmella

I was a champion because I wanted to spread my love for health education with another part of the world! I went to Antigua in May 2009 and loved all the students I worked with at Adele! Little Nathan with his Canada stickers always made me smile!!!! All of the children at Adele did. The best memory is the joy they all had for learning through play!

I am now a pediatric emergency nurse !!!

Jaclyn McNicol

Jaclyn

Champions family, being able to reflect back on this experience always brings light to my day! I joined the champions program 2017 and 2018. In 2017, I was coming to the end of my degree at UFV and still did not know what I wanted to do. Jo was a big influence in my educational journey, so I thought why not support her program! Little did I know, it would change my life. Antigua is a beautiful island full of energy. In 2017, the night before school started, I have never felt so much stress in my life! I was nervous, there were butterflies and I wanted to get on a plane. I did not like to be out of my comfort zone. Well it was a whole month of out of my comfort zone. So many things I learnt about myself, and about a different culture.

That year I decided I was going to become a teacher. In 2018, I was able to return as Co-unity games coordinator (my favourite days- shout out @cole8young) and have a chance to teach at the Antigua all-girls school. That week solidified my passion for teaching at a secondary level. Today, I teach at North Peace Secondary school in Fort St. John B.C. and go to work every day to a dream job. I am passionate about Physical and Health education. I would not be the teacher I am today without the Champions of Health prompting schools’ program! Thank you, Jo, and all those in Antigua for allowing me to be a part of the experience!

Cole Young

Cole

My first year as a champion was in 2017 and I have joined along on this journey for 3 years in total! There are so many amazing highlights and memories from my time in Antigua. I learned things there that I will never forget. Jo isn’t lying when she says you can never truly be prepared with what to expect from the trip. Every year I have gone has given me such a different experience, but I have always felt an overwhelming love for the students, the people, and the program as a whole. One of my favourite memories was probably my first day back to school of my third year. I was teaching at Potter’s Primary for my second year in a row. The feeling you get when those students see you for the first time is indescribable. So much love and so much happiness, I remember thinking that you would think after three years it would get old but it never does. When students have been waiting all year to run up to you to tell you they’ve been practicing their respect, or their communication, you truly feel overwhelmed with love and pride. The best thing about this program is that you never truly leave, and the students come home with you. I will always cherish my time with the Champions and have learned to never rule out a return.

Courtney Claggett

Courtney Claggett

I was a champion in 2012 and 2013. My favourite memory was showing up at school and the kids greeting you. My most memorable moment was at 5 Islands and it POURED rain during our Unity Games Day…kids EVERYWHERE….I’ll never forget it’s that’s for sure

I went because I knew it would be a trip of a lifetime. It taught me so much about teaching and asking the most effective questions. Even though I am not a teacher in a school, I teach every day of my life. I teach people to move better and I LOVE it

I am now a Kinesiologist and Certified Pre and Postnatal Coach!

Hannah-Faye Sweeney (Junos)

Hannah-Faye

I was a STAMPER in 2013/2014. I went to Antigua because I had developed a passion for PE & health literacy through my education at UFV and working at the local community school.

My favourite memories were always teaching the youngest ones- the kindies and primary students! During line up on the way to lessons, we pretended to be everything from airplanes, birds and spies. Their confidence and joy will always stay with me.

I’m a middle school teacher now at Colleen & Gordie Howe middle. When things get a bit too quiet in line up, we still pretend to be airplanes, birds and spies 😉

Robyn Kempers

Robyn Kempers

Hi Team,

My name is Robyn Kempers and I was a 2017 champion.

During my journey at UFV I found a passion for teaching through courses with Dr. Jo as well as with my experience as a Speedskating Coach. So, naturally the decision to become a part of the Champions of Health program was an easy one. This program taught me a lot about myself and the type of teacher I wanted to be, but it also taught me that I had truly chose the correct career path. I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Education in June and have already accepted a position in the Chilliwack school district.

The photo that I have chosen to share is one that I remember in great detail. These students were obsessed with my hair and they did not know their own beauty. I reminded these girls everyday how special they are and how everyone is beautiful in their own way. Being an educator is more than getting through a lesson. It is the social, emotional and connections with students that is equally as important.

My experiences in Antigua will always have a special place in my heart! ❤️🇦🇬

Jenelle Atkinson

Jenelle Atkinson

I was fortunate to be a Champion in 2014 as an undergraduate Kinesiology student and, again, as a STAMP Champion during my Bachelor of Education. I applied to the Champions program because of Dr. Sheppard’s passion as she spoke about the program in my first KIN class at UFV. The passion she shared came to life as I became immersed in the program. Being surrounded by a group of people who were all passionate about teaching, learning, and health, further lit the fire of those passions within myself. When I returned to Antigua as a STAMPER, I got to teach at the same primary school I taught at during my first experience. I conducted a Pen Pal project between my practicum students in Chilliwack and my students in Antigua. The joy and excitement of the students as they read and responded to their Pen Pals is a memory I will cherish forever. I am now a Grade 1 teacher in Chilliwack and my experiences as a Champion continue to shape the teacher, and person, I am today. Champions on two…♥️