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 10 exceptional students that are profiled here as part of our series: Trending Ten. Get ready to be inspired!
Jay Chopra is one of the most outstanding students at J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate. He is a grade 11 student passionate about leading his school community through to success. He has worked hard to become a leader both in and outside of school and hopes to continue that in the future.
– The Editor
Tell us about yourself and what you do and why you chose to have such an influential role in the school community?
My name is Jayant Chopra, I’m finishing grade 11.
I guess the real reason why I decided to get involved in my school was because of what it helped me accomplish, so, just kind of giving back. Understanding how many of my friends, for example, want to get involved, whether that be in clubs, teams or sports, etc. I believe that it was not only my duty to do so in order to help them achieve those goals, but also kind of lighten the burden of the possibility of finding such a team.
Where do you see yourself in three years?
Well, that’s a tough question.
Hopefully, I’ll be in a university preferably. Pursuing an undergraduate degree in the medical field. But other than that in those three years, I’m just trying to get my best GPA possible.
What advice do you have for students that want to make a change?
So, for other students, the best thing I can say is just to develop your overall skills. For example, whether that be leadership, communication or teamwork. I feel like those three skills are the fundamentals which allow an individual to pursue their dreams.
Especially in an environment like school for example. You could carry those skills into the workplace, you could carry them into volunteering. I feel they would get a greater understanding. For example, getting out of their comfort zone, and doing speeches, you know. Trying out new things.
I feel like those are activities in which they can develop themselves in a better way.
You are in Youth in Policing and also in Student Government — so what keeps you motivated to follow these passions?
Umm, honestly, there’s the title, right. I think that puts some credibility behind it. But also, it showcases what you’ve worked for. So, for example, as a supervisor for Youth in Policing, you had to not only develop your sense of communication and teamwork, as I mentioned before but also showcase what you could bring to the table.
I kind of like putting myself out there showcasing to others that “Hey, I’m not just a student who’s trying to go to school and back home.” I feel like that’s kind of the norm these days.
So, jumping out of my comfort zone and showcasing that “Hey I’m here and I want to do something and want to create change.”
Congratulations on being Prime Minister for the 2022-2023 school year.
What do you hope to achieve?
I hope to achieve many different things. But the main thing is spreading creativity. That’s kind of been my main drive.
We are a school of arts. And even in the library, there’s art all around us. So, just kind of spreading that aspect of what makes people unique. I believe that is very important. Whether it be through new competitions or new teams, so to speak, or skills showcased. Between art clubs to art schools, you know. Just having collaboration. I think that’s what I want to focus on.
Especially just ensuring the overall environment of Richardson’s student body is at its all-time peak.
What quote do you live by?
That’s a really good question.
There is a quote that I live by and it’s by a famous streamer which I used to watch a lot. It goes like this “the result is irrelevant if the effort was shown.” I think that’s a really good quote.
I follow that throughout many different things. For example, whatever I would be trying to pursue, whether that be a competition or I’ll just be trying to get a good grade on a test, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t get a good grade or if I don’t succeed.
Understanding that I put in the effort and that I know I put in the effort, I think that’s way more important.
What is a challenge that you have had to overcome?
Umm, I don’t really know if I can call these challenges, but something which I knew I had to overcome was my fear of communication with others.
I feel like, coming into Grade 9, (and I think I can speak for the majority of us) walking through the doors of J Clarke, I was overwhelmed. Seeing all the older grades. Especially because they’re all super tall, that was creepy.
*Laughs* But, I feel that was a challenge. Just understanding how to talk to all grades, no matter their age. I feel like that was the biggest thing.
After I got over that barrier, I feel like, no matter who I talk to, whether it be a grade 9 or grade 12 or someone in university, no matter what generation I feel like I can communicate my thoughts and also listen effectively.
What is one achievement you’re most proud of?
Honestly, I’d say the biggest achievement is hosting a nationwide research competition in partnership with Relay For Life. It’s going to be running next year, in which students all across Canada will be able to research cancer on a cellular level and showcase their findings in a 3-minute video.
Getting a sponsor with Desjardins – it’s a Banking Company.
Yeah, I guess just putting myself out there, especially for Relay For Life. Because cancer has impacted my life quite a bit. So, just kind of continuing that path of fighting it.
Showcasing what schools and communities can do together if we’re united, kind of sheds light on that.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Yeah, for sure.
If you are considering pursuing something, but you don’t think you have enough time, trust me when I say this, you have enough time. The only thing you don’t have enough time for is procrastination. The more you procrastinate, the less time you have. So instead of procrastinating, trust me, you will find the time. It’s not like it will find time for you, you will find time for it and it will fit into your schedule.
That’s the best thing I could give.
Silly question: What do you think is the meaning of life?
*Laughs* That’s a dark question. But it is kind of silly.
The meaning of life…“Being comfortable”.
I think that’s the meaning of life. If you’re comfortable in your own space and don’t care what other people think of you, you can talk the way you want to talk. “Freedom,” I think that’s the meaning of life.