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!
Lana Wehbeh is a Grade 12 student taking leadership of many communities here at Richardson. She leads the school’s Newspaper Club, Girls Who Code Club, and GirlUp Women Empowerment Club, and is involved in Student Government and Eco Club! Beyond the school building, she serves on the Teen Advisory Council for the Ajax Library, as Board Secretary for DurhamOne, and is a Canada Learning Code Teen Ambassador. Motivated by a drive to stay involved and connected, Lana strives to excel in both academic and extracurricular activities.
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Lana, I am a Grade 12 student at J. Clarke Richardson as you already know and one thing about me is that I really really really love people. I am so motivated by getting to know people and getting involved with others especially in like the mentorship role. So I run the Newspaper Club and am the President of Girls Who Code Club. I was also the Co-founder and President of Girl Up this year and I’m also a Minister of Communications with our Student Government.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
In the next 3 years I’m going to be going to the University of Toronto for Computer Science, so I really hope that I’ll be getting a little bit more involved within my school community at the post-secondary level. I think it’s so much fun to be in a big school with a lot of different opportunities. I’d like to be working with probably a nonprofit to try and bridge that gap between technology and between mentorship and empower more girls into the field.
What advice do you have for students that want to make a change?
My advice is just go for it. It’s super scary to just walk into a room and just know nobody, [or] walk into a new club and know nobody. Online, in person, doesn’t matter. Even if it’s intimidating, you have to go for it. Find the person closet to you, say hi! Never be afraid to learn the name of the person next to you! I think that is definitely the first step and from there see where it takes you. If you like something find a way to connect it with what you’re already good at and find the people that would love to help you reach your overall goal.
What keeps you motivated to follow your passion?
It’s definitely people. I really love talking to people, I love connecting with them, I love listening. It’s a really satisfying feeling for me, and it’s a really rewarding experience to be with someone during their growth journey as you’re going through your leadership journey and things like that. That moment where someone can feel a little bit better because you were there or that someone gets to experience something new because of you is what really keeps me going and keeps me staying involved with the school community.
What quote do you live by?
I found this quote when I was a grade nine student during the “Getting Ready for High School” program when they asked us to pick a quote. I picked “Live life in warm yellows” because I googled yellow quotes and I loved it. One of my favourite colours is yellow and its been my phone screen saver since grade nine! To me, living in warm yellows is all about finding things to appreciate in your day-to-day. I really love the concept of finding a colour that embodies who you are and that you feel what represents that joy, that passion, and what drives you to keep going and living by.
What is a challenge that you have had to overcome?
Yeah so, it has definitely been learning how to balance everything that you’re involved in. It’s really fun to be super into the school community and do things outside the school as well. But it’s super difficult to time manage your education, all your clubs, and to make sure your always giving you 110% effort into everything and not neglecting something for something else. So for that it’s just been being conscientious of getting involved with something saying. “Hey, do I have the mental capacity to do this? Do I have the emotional capacity to do this? Can I do my best if I were to join all these incentives, clubs, these groups, this class?” Whatever it is making sure that you’re honest with yourself is something that I’ve had to work on in the years and is something that everybody should be mindful of when they’re going through their own journey and exploring different things and exploring themselves.
What do you think the meaning of life is?
My meaning of life is to have fun, try something new, find the people you really love to be with. The people that make you a better person, you know they say you’re the average of the five people who surround yourself with the most. I was surprised by how true that is, so find the people that you like. I think the meaning of life is to find things that bring you joy so you are able to pursue them and to ultimately be able to look back and be like, hey! Maybe I didn’t do the right or most perfect thing there. Maybe I could’ve done something better here but I did my best and my best is enough to make me happy.