When Kelsey Danielson decides to involve herself in something, she gives it her all.
“It really bothers me when people are half committed to things,” said the Cedar Secondary School graduate. “If you’re going to be a part of something, be a part of it.”
Danielson has been a part of a lot of things during her high school years.
As student council president her final year, Danielson describes herself as the person who tied all of the loose ends together.
“My goal for myself was to be a really well-rounded leader,” she said. “I just tried to be really fair, so that everyone felt valid and that their opinions mattered.”
The student council project she’s most proud of was the canned food drive last winter where students ended up collecting more than 2,000 parcels of food.
When all of the cans were piled together in a huge pyramid, Danielson loved the look on other students’ faces when they realized their own small participation added up to a huge difference when the whole school worked together.
Last year, Danielson was stage manager for her school’s production of Rent despite no previous theatre experience.
“You only live one time and you have to take the opportunities that are given,” she said. “So I just try to get involved with whatever I can.”
On the academic side, Danielson focused on the sciences because she wants to work in the health-care industry, either as a doctor or a paramedic.
She volunteers at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and also put in two night shifts as a ride-along with a Ladysmith paramedic unit.
Both nights were quiet with only one call per night, but Danielson loved watching the paramedics take a patient’s vital signs and deal with the emotional aspects of physical injuries.
She also found time to participate in a domestic violence workshop, head up the Grad Wear Committee and earn the grades that got her into the Science One program at the University of B.C. that only accepts about 70 students per year.
Cassie Judson, who took Danielson on the paramedic ride-alongs, has been friends with the family since she was a toddler.
Judson describes Danielson as a calm, responsible person who is mature beyond her years.
“She is the full package kind of person,” she said. “She is not only book smart, but life skills smart. I think she can move mountains if she wants to.”