Read My Story

Seema Sidhu
Class of 2015

What is special about St. Maurice School? What stands out in your mind?

 

As I reflect on my eight years at St. Maurice, the first thing that comes to mind is the school’s emphasis on fostering a strong community. Perhaps cliché, but St. Maurice is a family. The administration and teachers work hard to advance a compassionate environment for students from all walks of life. The small class sizes at SMS allow faculty and students to develop formative relationships, while teachers consistently challenge students to do their best work. Mr. McCaffrey was more than my debate coach and history teacher, but a central guide in helping me excel as a high school debater and ultimately in choosing a legal career. My experiences with faculty members are echoed by countless alumni who agree that teachers and administration at SMS are deeply invested in the school and its mission statement, consistently going above and beyond expectations of them. Whether it was coaching my basketball team or helping me to plan Social Justice Committee events such as a , the faculty members at St. Maurice were central in guiding me to achieve personal and academic goals. I felt comfortable talking to my teachers about everything from academic concepts to discussing circumstances in my life outside of school. Their guidance was unwavering and particularly helpful throughout my teenage years. I largely credit the values at St. Maurice as the motivation behind my desire to become a socially informed citizen and realize my potential as a student. Among other commitments, I was a member of the high school student council, a member of the Social Justice Committee, on the basketball team, and captain of the debate team. My commitment to extracurriculars at SMS continued into my undergraduate and law school career. Further, although the academic workload at St. Maurice often felt heavy, it ultimately eased my transition to university. Further, I was lucky to gain meaningful relationships with friends who are still central to my life. Five years after graduating, I still consider St. Maurice home.

 

 

How did St. Maurice School prepare you for post-secondary and life success?

 

After graduating from St. Maurice in 2015, I was accepted to Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for my undergraduate degree. At Queen’s, I completed an honours degree in Philosophy, focusing on critical prison theory and philosophy of race. After graduating, I was accepted to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law to pursue a Juris Doctor and am currently in my first year of law school. The academic success I have had in university is a direct consequence of the lifelong values that St. Maurice instilled in me, pushing me to work hard and dedicate myself to any cause I am a part of. St. Maurice provided me with a solid foundation to pursue my academic dreams and realize my potential.

 

My extracurricular experiences as both an undergraduate and law student are a combination of human rights advocacy, leadership on campus, and an increased interest in law and policy. My dedication to these areas stem from the commitments I invested in as a student at St. Maurice. While being an actively involved student, I maintained an academic standing in the top 3% of my faculty throughout my undergraduate degree. Managing full-time academics and a variety of extracurriculars at SMS prepared me well for a rigorous legal education. St. Maurice was critical in helping me develop a strong work ethic and study skills that continue today. Perhaps even more importantly, the moral teachings that St. Maurice embodied, such as giving back to the community and being a person for others, kept me grounded while navigating young adulthood and being away from home for university.

 

What has St. Maurice School taught you about giving back?

 

Volunteer experiences with St. Maurice School such as the Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen with Ms. Costanzo and at Winnipeg Harvest have led me to understand others through a lens of humility and compassion, which continues in my work today. Against the strong foundation that St. Maurice provided me, I aspire to one day provide accessible legal services to racialized communities. Reducing barriers to adequate legal representation and cultivating laws to aid society’s most vulnerable is central to my career goals as an aspiring lawyer. At present, I volunteer at the FCJ Refugee Law Clinic in Toronto, where I conduct legal research and client interviews to file Basis of Claims and Humanitarian and Compassion Grounds applications for refugees seeking asylum. I have also been selected to complete a research project in cooperation with and the ,

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