J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate is full to the brim with extraordinary students with many different passions. The staff at Eye on the Storm has decided that these students deserve to be recognized for their hard work and talent. Explore the lives of these exceptional students who are profiled here as part of our new series: The Trending Ten. Get ready to be inspired!
Daniel Persaud is an extraordinary grade 12 student who exhibits leadership traits. From running Digital Music club to tutoring students, Daniel is always ready to help others when they need it the most. He also demonstrates his amazing guitar skills in J.Clarke’s Jazz Band and does it all while getting exceptional grades.
Where do you see yourself in three years?
“Well, in three years, I’m hoping I’ll still be in university, not getting kicked out or anything like that. The program I’m going into is an engineering program. It’s a combination of physics and engineering. So I’m hoping I can be in that program and get a few scholarships along the way. So yeah I see myself still studying post-secondary school”
Do you know which university?
“Queen’s University…My wallet is crying.”
What advice do you have for students that want to make a change?
“Honestly, I think you should only strive to make a change if it’s something you actually believe in or actually like. For me, I wasn’t in that many clubs in Grade 9, 10 or 11 not only because of COVID-19, but also because there weren’t many clubs that I found very interesting or that I enjoyed. It was only in Grade 12 when I thought about running the Digital Music Club, which is something I felt really passionate about and I figured quite a few people would as well. So I’d say you don’t need to go out and actively try to make a change if you’re kinda iffy about it. Do something you really enjoy and give your 110%.”
What keeps you motivated?
“My source of motivation has shifted over the years as I discovered my interests. For a while, I practically lived to play the guitar; it was all I ever wanted to do. Then over time, I discovered other hobbies such as woodworking, and I realized that I really enjoyed subjects like mathematics, chemistry, and physics. I can’t really say for certain, but I’d imagine that I found interest in these subjects because they all have subtle overlapping aspects, and once I discovered things like how physics can be applied to the guitar, I ended up wanting to learn more about physics! Now, rather than having a direct source of motivation, I’m more so motivated by simply learning new things, because I’ve seen how learning one thing can connect to many other things I’m already familiar with.”
What quote do you live by?
“I heard this quote from a YouTube video by the animator Domics a while back, and while I don’t remember the exact wording, it was something like “Time is our most valuable currency and there are no refunds.” I have always been conscious with how I use my time, especially once I felt the difference between having no time at all, and having an abundance of it. If given the luxury of having excess time to spend, I either spend it doing something I enjoy, learning something new, or both. As I mentioned before, I build guitars as a hobby, and I am entirely self taught. I made the decision one day, funnily enough on a whim, to learn how guitars are built, and eventually after two years, I managed to build my own. I’ll never get those two years back, but for me, the skills I learned during that time were certainly worth the investment, and I try to spend my time under the same principle as that today.”
What is a challenge you had to overcome?
“I think one of the biggest challenges that I had to overcome was getting back into the habit of school after COVID-19. I found school during the lockdown to be very, very interesting, cause so many people had different [class] schedules…and coming back it’s like there’s this expectation where everyone has to have the same [work] habits. Even if the teacher is understanding, the curriculum is built in a way where it kinda expects everyone to have the same [work] habits. I found that was a big struggle for me because I was pretty unlucky with my courses in Grade 11, and I found I was pretty far behind compared to my peers [in Grade 12]. It was pretty tough to try and catch up and rebuild all these habits.”
As someone involved in music, how has it impacted your life?
“Playing music is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was really really young. My mom put in all these other things like soccer, squash, swimming, skating, and eventually put me in guitar. For me, [music] was always like a relaxing thing. Some people say it was an outlet for them to express themselves, but it was never like that for me. I just played for fun and enjoyment. It was something aside from school, social life and all that, something I could do on my own. It also taught me a lot of skills. Since I play guitar, I got into woodworking, and building guitars. From there, I gained a lot of math skills. I think just introducing guitar into my life has taught me so many skills, and it’s given me an healthy outlet to set aside from the stresses of life”
If you could commit a crime and get away with it, what would you do?
“I would rob a Dairy Queen. You know how expensive a blizzard is these days? I would get all the blizzards, all the ice cream, the ice cream cakes. The food there is pretty good too. Yeah that’s the crime I would commit if I could get away with it.”
“Oreo Blizzard… it’s the staple flavour.”