Connor Campbell proudly calls himself a Lasallian. As a tenth grade student at De La Salle College “Oaklands,” ( Connor lovingly refers to the school as DEL.) He claims that not only is DEL a unique educational experience, but one that has opened countless doors to date, with only more to come in the future. He firmly believes that it is not just what the school does for him, but also what he puts into the experience that counts. Devoting himself to his studies is a top priority for Connor (second from right, black jacket, with his North-West Territories team). He claims that he may lose an hour or two each night compared to students at other schools, but maintaining his status on the honor roll is important to him. That is what, he believes, defines him as a Lasallian.
While he credits a student’s efforts for determining success, Connor also recognizes the value of accepting help along the way. DEL has done that for Connor through his participation in extra-curricular activities such as the Debating Society, the school newspaper, Oakleaves, and the golf team, among others. It is the involvement in debating though, in particular, that has paved a road of opportunities that he otherwise would certainly never have seen, according to Connor. He saw his first resolution, wrote his first address, and delivered it in grade five. Never then did he think it would lead him to an adventure in the North-West Territories, representing the province of Ontario, in a national level tournament.
This year, in Canada’s Far North, the Canadian Student Debating Federation (CSDF) held one of its main events, the National Seminar. Designed to be both a debate oriented event and a cultural experience, it proved also to be an opportunity to experience firsthand, the traditions of the DENE people. Connor claims that one-third of the trip was devoted to his speaking with others, while also providing him time to sit and listen. The event, according to Connor, brought people from all walks of life, leaving the delegates with more than they had ever expected. The Honorable Paul Delorey, Speaker of the House for the North-West Territories, spoke on three separate occasions to those in attendance. Francois Paulette, a prominent native rights activist and environmentalist spoke on native culture and environmental stability. Chief Roy Fabian of the K’atl’eodeeche First Nation spoke on native self-determination, and their struggle to maintain their fleeting way of life. These people and many more affirmed for Connor how fortunate he is to be in his present situation. He takes pride in exploring the many opportunities presented to him, all of which he believes strengthens him as a person and guides him as an individual.
Connor believes that De La Salle College “Oaklands” has given him opportunity after opportunity. It has been his personal mission to make use of each one. To quote Connor, “As I continue to learn and grow in my studies and in my life, I will continue to do what I am doing now, which is to apply myself to all that I do, and look to the future. As Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.’”