SOAR Student Hits it Out of the Park and Prepares for Post-Secondary Journey

Students preparing to graduate from a unique program at Pauline Johnson Collegiate and Vocational School are ready to spread their wings and SOAR. 

The SOAR program – an acronym for strength, opportunity, achievement, and results – focuses on the training needs and academic achievement of student athletes. One such student athlete is Cameron Gurney, who recently accepted a scholarship to attend Arizona State University where he’ll play baseball for the NCAA Division I Sun Devils.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to play Division I baseball, and committing to Arizona State is a dream come true,” says the Grade 12 students, who’s balanced a busy training schedule and managed to achieve honour-roll marks each year of secondary school. “The amount of help and support that I have received over the past four years at P.J. is huge, and I can’t thank them enough.”

The SOAR program is highly specialized and includes personal fitness, health and nutrition, certifications, and mentorship, while providing students with the skills and attitude to enhance performance as they balance the athletic, academic, social/emotional, and family demands that elite-level athletes encounter.

“Cam is an extremely talented multisport athlete who has played on the school baseball, volleyball, track and field, cross country and tennis teams,” says SOAR teacher Mike Michaelides. “He came to P.J. as a quiet, small, and polite student, and has grown into a strong, athletic leader.”

Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan is committed to student achievement, setting high expectations, and monitoring, measuring, and reflecting on outcomes. It also prioritizes well-being, providing enabling environments and access to support. The SOAR program typifies both, ensuring students can participate fully in their educations while promoting the health of mind, body, emotion, and spirit.

“I trained Cam in SOAR in Grade 9, and also taught him Grade 12 English this year,” says SOAR teacher John Macdonald. “He shares similar characteristics in both venues – he is kind to others, pays attention to detail, listens attentively, and works hard, making him an outstanding student and athlete.”

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