CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin Jenna McColman stops by the lab at Cedar Secondary School. The grad is already studying in the sciences at a university level as she eyes further studies in medicine.

BEST & BRIGHTEST: Graduate guiding others, too, as she finds her own path

Cedar Secondary grad student Jenna McColman already a mentor

Jenna McColman is overseeing the next generation of leaders as she juggles high school work and university courses.

“She’s a solid citizen,” said Cedar Secondary vice-principal Kerri Steel. “She’s one of those kids who’ve contributed all over the place in the community and her work with guiding is exemplary.”

McColman, 17, who aspires to go into medicine, has spent the last year involved in her school work and is taking dual-credit courses at Vancouver Island University in biology and psychology to get a feel for what post-secondary is all about.

When she’s not making the grade, the teen is volunteering with the Girl Guides of Canada, including holding weekly meetings for seven- and eight-year-old girls in Brownies.

She’s also won the Canada Cord and the bronze and silver Chief Commissioners Award, which saw her complete a variety of challenges around selling cookies and doing service projects. She’s not done yet – she has her eye on securing the gold.

“I really like helping people,” said McColman. “I’ve been in girl guides for so long I’ve just kind of learned that it’s fun to do and it feels good to help others and I really like to work with kids.”

McColman spent some of her school years at John Barsby Secondary, where she participated in school council and helped design the wellness centre logo before heading to Cedar. She joined the Eco Club and helped the high school win Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ Energy Cup High this year. It’s a competition geared at getting kids involved in energy conservation through measures like turning down the temperature in the school and doing water audits.

McColman is now looking at a career in medicine with plans of going into research or discovering different ways to help people.

“I really like biology, especially biology to do with the body, so medicine is a large part of that,” she said. “I just find it fascinating and I’d really like to help people maybe even by researching cures.”

As for selling cookies, with 13 years of experience, this ranger knows what it takes.

“If you have a few Brownies with you, everybody sees them and thinks they’re so cute and they just can’t resist buying.”

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