BARRINGTON, N.S. – Described as someone who has, and continues, to make a difference in his school and community, Barrington Municipal High School student Brett Smith was recently awarded a Lieutenant Governor’s Respectful Citizenship Award.
“He is kind and considerate of others, compassionate and has a desire to make a difference in the world,” reads the nomination letter BMHS school counsellor Melanie d’Entremont wrote on the school’s behalf.
At school, the Grade 12 student (who is the son of Candy and Trevor Smith) is a student ambassador for the Nova Scotia International Student Program. He offers friendship, guidance and support to students who have travelled to Barrington high from all over the world.
“He is the go-to person for these students and it is apparent they are quickly comforted by his presence and the support that he provides,” wrote d’Entremont. Smith is also a member of the school’s math league and has participated in many school sports, including the varsity hockey team for which he served as co-captain.
“Brett is an authentic young man who takes a genuine interest in the wellbeing of those around him,” the nomination letter reads. “He has a natural ability for noticing when others are in need and goes the extra mile to offer his support.”
In the community, the teenager plays a strong leadership role at the Agape Café Youth Centre – a Christian youth centre that welcomes all youth to gather for social activities, musical events and meals. Over the past few years he has participated in several mission trips throughout Canada and the United States and has also been to Haiti. Most recently he travelled to New York to participate in volunteer work to assist the homeless in soup kitchens and shelters.
Barrington high school principal Cathy Breen speaks very highly of Smith, noting at the time of his nomination he had an academic average of 96.3 per cent.
“Brett is a very hard working, pleasant and responsible young man who is dedicated and committed to academic excellence, as well as being active in many school and community organizations,” she wrote in a letter. He has excelled in academics, she notes, having achieved the Principal’s Award for maintaining an average above 90 per cent for the past six years, and says he has continuously given back to his school community through his involvement with teams and committees. She also gives accolades to his work with the Agape youth group.
“Brett is valued by both staff and students and is certainly a positive role model for the youth in our community,” says Breen.
Melissa Swim, the director of the Agape Café Youth Centre, has been Smith’s youth leader for six years.
“No matter if it was doing volunteer work at the seniors’ home, at the youth centre or visiting the seniors in the neighbourhood, Brett has always shown respect and love for people,” says Swim.
“Brett is a guy that seniors love, that the kids want to hang out with and that his peers look up to,” she says. “Brett loves to help others and he wants to make a difference in everyone that he comes in contact with.”
For his part, Smith says it is definitely an honour to have received this award.
“It’s very reassuring to be recognized by the Lieutenant Governor, as it gives me a boost to continue what I’m doing,” he says.
In the fall Smith will be attending Kingswood University in Sussex, New Brunswick, where he’ll be taking a Bachelor of Arts in ministry.