Students in Grades 8 through 10 were literally on the edge of their seats this morning as they listened to a presentation by Camille Chai, a top wheelchair fencer who was born without an arm and part of her leg. The dynamic speaker captivated the audience with tales and videos about her wonderful, carefree childhood, the challenges she faced in High School, her myriad athletic pursuits (including tennis, swimming, skating and weightlifting, to name a few) and exciting travels. Students were riveted by Ms. Chai’s examples of how she overcame adversity and embraces others’ curiosity about her missing limbs.
“You’ll notice that my pants are pulled up and my prosthetic leg is showing,” she said. “I didn’t just pull up my pants because I was coming here today. I wear them like this all the time, because I view my prosthetic as a badge of honour and I want people to feel comfortable to approach me with questions.”
Ms. Chai encouraged the students to celebrate their uniqueness and achievements, no matter how small, “because every success matters.”
Kol Hakavod and thank you to High School French Department Head Danielle Joseph for bringing Ms. Chai in to address our students as part of le Mois de la Francophonie.
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-by Aviva Engel, Director of Communications