Cadence Taron knows how important it is for students to have a nice backpack filled with all the right supplies to start school.
Now 15, she remembers her first backpack when she was in kindergarten.
“You have everything in there always ready for when you need it,” she said. “Backpacks are still important in high school. I can put all my belongings in it and keep everything together.”
When she was seven, she started helping her mother, Monique Taron, who donated backpacks for students who needed them. Before long, Cadence was doing all the shopping for the backpacks while Mom supplied the costs. This year they donated two backpacks, one for a girl and one for a boy.
“I want to keep doing this. It’s good knowing this will go to someone who needs these things,” said Cadence, who plans to keep helping people as she goes to medical school to train as a surgeon.
She has told her friends about this as a way to help other students and suggests that most students could find some way to give back to the community if they ask family and friends to find something that they could do.
Monique is pleased that her daughter is following the tradition she started.
“We’re very proud of her,” she said.
Danna Nickel, executive assistant at the Family Resource Centre, said the centre staff members like to see young people in the community helping a variety of organizations.
“We live in a very me, my, ‘selfie,’ world so when parents support and encourage their children to give back, it fosters compassion in their lives,” she said. “A gesture of kindness does not have to be immense to be impactful. Cadence found something she feels passionate about and makes it a priority every year.
“A big shout out to other youth in our community who are giving back in their own ways — and an invitation to others to consider it.”
Scott Manjak, executive director of the Family Resource Centre, said Cadence is truly a remarkable leader.
“By her actions and giving to other youth, Cadence shows what building community is all about,” he said. “She is making a difference in not only the lives of other youth, but in her community as well.
“This is leadership in its purest form.”