Seven Summits: Travel Lands Compassion
“The journey changes you as it should. It leaves a mark on your memory, consciousness, heart, and body. You take something with you and hopefully leave something good behind.” Anthony Bourdain.
Lily Holmes, a senior student at Seven Summits Centre For Learning, takes her compassion paired with a flair for leadership to shine her light on causes for collaborative solutions.
Extensive childhood travel sculpted this altruistic, empathetic teenager. She has traveled to over a dozen countries with her family, interacting with many cultures and diverse lifestyles. This exposure opened her mind, expanded her global view, facilitated compassion and empathy, and enriched her ideals.
“Because of my travels, I learned about different cultures and met all kinds of interesting people. As a result, I gained a better understanding of the world and developed a strong sense of empathy. The well-being of other people is always my top priority. Therefore, my ambition is to work hard and positively contribute to the well-being of others.”
Holmes’ leadership skills actively help her build a sense of community. During the 2022 school year, Holmes was the student council president at Seven Summits Centre For Learning. Holmes spearheaded many social justice projects at Seven Summits. For example, as an organizer of the Dressember fundraiser, for the last three years, Holmes organized and orchestrated an awareness campaign to raise money to help fight human trafficking. Supporting her personal view, the collective vision for Dressember is a world in which all people are free. Holmes explains, “Last year, I began by presenting to the student council the injustice of human trafficking and the aim of the Dressember program.” Believing in the inherent dignity of all people, the month-long fundraiser raised awareness and funds using an innovative, fashion-forward focus.
Holmes also became an ambassador to promote a peer-based anxiety support program with Cam’s Kids. Again Holmes displayed a commitment to helping others in need by offering peer-based mental health support. “I like to get involved and create awareness about many issues. Locally I support smaller initiatives, and hopefully, in the future, living in a bigger place, I can help organize larger events to achieve greater results.”
Holmes’s action projects extend to include environmental concerns. Her experience in different parts of the world broadened her horizons to global ecological matters. She became an organizer for the Climate Action Forum with the Basin Youth Network. This offered a unique climate leadership opportunity for youth to connect with, learn about, and be inspired by the many options and pathways of climate action. Holmes acknowledges that “Listening to the stories from others helps to enrich the experience and glean a greater understanding of global struggles and climate problems.”
For Holmes, travel facilitated altruism, philanthropy, and empathy by being able to see the world through other people’s lenses and feel their daily experiences on a visceral level. As a bilingual student, Holmes is familiar with switching between languages and, therefore, perspectives. Bilingualism and travel, particularly early in life, have been shown to increase one’s ability to empathize. Becoming an active listener and sympathizing helps better deliver what people want and need.
Holmes has been accepted and plans to attend UBC in September to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She is confident that her path will lead to a career in caring, as will her extracurricular activities along the way. “My goal one day is to practice as a psychotherapist. Today, people have lived through a global pandemic, major human rights protests, climate change, political instability, and a war over the past two years. Events like this leave traumatic scars on everyone. A therapist can help most people. No matter where life takes me, my goal is to help people, even in smaller ways. I sympathize with and feel empathy towards all people. I express my concern by getting involved and working to spread the word to create justice, thereby making a difference.”
Contact information: For further media information, please contact Seven Summits Centre for Learning Administrator Tanis Shippy at email@example.com