A West Kelowna teen is being recognized at the first annual #Digital4Good event at Twitter HQ in San Francisco, CA.
Karah Hopgood was nominated by a community member for her popular Instagram account, Humans of Boucherie.
Humans of Boucherie documents the stories of students at Mount Boucherie Secondary School and is recognized for the sense of community and empathy that it has created across the campus.
"I've been doing sports for as long as I can remember. I started doing gymnastics when I was three and from there I started swimming, skiing and playing basketball. When I was seven I took dance for the first time but It wasn't until two years ago that I started to realize how much I really loved dance. Since then, it has become a really big part of my life and I've met a lot of my friends through dance. I usually dance five days a week and I also assist teaching some of the younger kids at my studio. Dance has taught me a lot and has helped shape me to who I am now. One of the biggest things dance has taught me is to put 100% into everything I do and I think that a lot of the skills I've learned through dance are really applicable to everyday. It's really rewarding being a dancer because you push yourself all season and when it's competition time and time for recitals, all the long hours and hard work finally pays off." -Sheylee A Grad: 2018
"My whole life, I have felt like I never really fit in. So I turned to online school. It was a very individualized learning experience and I could work at my own pace. I know that many teachers have a negative feeling towards this type of schooling because students don't complete their courses. With online school, you can spend a few days on a weekend or after school and make huge progress. I decided to come back to school to MBSS this year part time so that I would have a place to graduate from in grade 12 and I have enjoyed this experience so much. Since I have been in many different schools, l have found positive and negative things in both online and public school and even private school. I don't believe that there is one type of learning that is for everyone. Public school does not work for some people and it is the same with private and online school. I am lucky to have a place where my education is supported rather than discouraged." - Crystal Chaplin Grad: 2019
"My mind is messy. If I could illustrate how it works, it would probably look like a 6 year old scribbling on a page with a box of crayons. It figures though, I'm not good at drawing anyways. I do like to write though. Writing down the crazy things that my mind can manufacture helps unravel the tangled lines of crayon until something worth looking at is visible. Writing for me is really not about being correct. In my mind, it's never been a measurement to a certain standard, or something to be poked at with criticism. If you really knew me, you would know that my spelling is atrocious (and I literally can only spell atrocious due to spell suggest) and my grammer isn't perfect either. But creative writing is limitless. With only a pen, I can create all the outrageous and seemingly impossible ideas that stir in my consciousness. The once imaginary, becomes reality, and I, Darius Konstant am the one who created it that way. My mind on a page, is now held in someone elses hands. They get to to see, feel and experience an idea that generated in my head! Wild right? No matter what happens next in our timeline as a human civilization, we will always turn to the art of story telling; for we are always going to feel deprived in this world. It binds us all collectively, and destroys the barriers that are so easily built between different peoples. Literature reminds us that we are all one and the same when stripped to our core, a humbling theme that transcends the generations who will probably always be able to pick up a book, or even watch a movie. Although it's called fiction, all these characters have a heart that beats on in us, humanity. We root for them because they ARE us, and we are them. This alone is why I personally choose not to try too hard at spelling, or being 100% correct. Creative writing is not to be perfect. Creative writing fills beaches with snow and alps with bees, but that's the reason I love it. Nothing has ever made more sense in my entire life. Like I was saying before, my mind is all over the place, an absolute chaos. For most things it's difficult, but for creative writing, it's just the right fit." -Darius Konstant Grad: 2018
Hopgood highlights the unique and positive stories of fellow classmates, sharing their thoughts and ambitions. The last post on Humans of Boucherie tells the story of Jake Fehr, who went missing on July 15th, 2017, and was found deceased on August 12th.
In remembrance of Fehr, the post shares a message from him, saying, “whatever you do, do with your name.”
"Hey my name is Jake! Today I'll be talking about something we all have: a name and names in general. I'll be using my own name as an example many times. Now, what is the definition of Jake? I could have a definition of myself that says Jake is someone who's handsome and smart and perfect but society could have an entirely different description. That is because the definition of success differs. But I think it's my definition of success that matters most. Throughout history there have been a couple people who were pretty cool. Maybe you've heard of Einstein or Shakespeare . Shakespeare's name, as well as Einstein's name, could have meant something completely different to themselves compared to what we think their names meant. Both Shakespeare and Einstein had different opinions about themselves and about success, but they used their skills to meet or even surpass their own definition of success. There may have been people who said that they didn't succeed in some ways, but that doesn't matter. They succeeded their own ways and they were rewarded for it. They made their own names. Everyone is born with a name and it is up to us to define our own names and ourselves. My names Jake. And whatever you do, do with your name." - Jake Fehr Grad:2017
#Digital4Good is being spearheaded by #ICanHelp, a non-profit organization committed to empowering students to play an active role in improving the online environment.
The event is being held on September 18th, where Hopgood and 16 other students will celebrate the social good in social media.
"This opportunity has been incredible. Every day I had the privilege of meeting a student, staff member, sometimes even community member of Boucherie, and sitting down with them to really get to know them. To hear stories of their past, their hopes and dreams, the future, the advice they wish to pass on, to hear really who they are. Humans of Boucherie, and every interview that has been published on the page, has been the experience of a lifetime. A huge thank you, to everyone who was brave enough to share their story with our school, to everyone following the page, and overall every student and staff member of Mount Boucherie for making this experience possible. I am beyond grateful to have met and worked with the most amazing team members who made this page what it is, for their dedication, their innovation and overall, for making this happen, for it never would have without their support. They are a team full of leaders, and every single day they inspired me. I am incredibly grateful to have worked with each and every one of them. Together as a team, Humans of Boucherie was created. With every interview, each photograph taken, every night where the team was editing, recruiting, and all the videos published, memories were made that I will never forget. I have had the most amazing experience with Humans of Boucherie, one that will stay with me forever. Thank you for all your support in making Humans of Boucherie what it is today, I am blown away by the year we have had together. As sad as it is for me to leave this project, I am incredibly excited to hand Humans over to the 2017/2018 team. They are a truly inspiring team, who have been doing amazing things with Humans of Boucherie! So thank you, thank you for sharing, listening and supporting these eye-opening stories. It would never have been possible without you.” –Karah Hopgood Grad: 2017 (📸: @bwincks )
The gathering of students, educators, and industry professionals at the #Digital4Good event will aim to create solutions to some of the complicated issues and social problems in social tech use.
The event will take place at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco and will be live-streamed on Periscope to a global audience. More information about #ICanHelp can be found here.