Ailing Saanich girl receives honorary degree

University of Victoria’s Faculty of Education bestows teaching degree on 12-year-old coping with cancer

The University of Victoria bestows Saanich’s Emma Smith with an honorary teaching degree on Friday. The 12-year-old has been suffering from aggressive cancer in her brain since 2012 which moved to her spine in 2014.

At just 12 years old, Emma Smith will be considered young by her potential employers.

Her resume is somewhat limited to “a day’s experience teaching a Grade 1 and 2 class.” But it’s not how you get the degree that matters. Rather, it’s the fact that you have one.

And after four years of living with brain and spinal cancer, Smith was honoured with a teaching degree by the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Education.

On May 6, she crossed off a bucket list item as a “student-teacher” leading a class at Cloverdale Traditional school.

On Friday, UVic’s education dean Ralf St. Clair listed off the many responsibilities Smith showed during the ceremony.

“You showed the many qualities of a teacher, including taking attendance,” St. Clair said.

“It’s an honour to give this to you and it shows that UVic extends beyond Ring Road and into the community, and accepts people of all ages,” said UVic chancellor Shelagh Rogers.

Teaching is Smith’s career of choice, and the idea of an honorary degree was floated to UVic by Victoria’s Help Fill A Dream about two weeks ago. Last summer, the Help Fill a Dream organization sent Smith’s family to Waikiki, Hawaii, complete with a helicopter trip over the volcanoes.

Smith will now move forward with more items on her bucket list, following the recent news that her cancer has spread once again. She has not shown the necessary health signs for chemotherapy and radiation. On May 1 her parents Darrell and Diane posted on the Emma Grace Smith Facebook page that there is “no long-term future” for Emma. In the mean time the family is continuing to work through Smith’s bucket lists as doctors are unable to estimate how long Emma has left.

The May 29 event An Evening For Emma Grace at Oak Bay’s new Dave Dunnet Community Theatre will feature numerous dance performances and a well-stocked silent auction.

For more information visit gogetfunding.com/helpemma/.

 

Just Posted

Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

Saanich councillor fears weed could crowd out food as greenhouses convert

Head of provincial association representing greenhouse vegetable farmers not worried about issue

PHOTOS: India Mela celebrates culture, dance and food

The annual downtown event brought culture and fun together

Residential construction activity slows across Greater Victoria

Vancouver Island Construction Association warns of ‘mixed outlook’

VICTORIA FRINGE FEST: There’s always something new to discover on stage

33rd annual live theatre festival has numerous styles and topics to choose from

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Hearings begin as Vancouver Island mom fights for allegedly abducted daughter

Tasha Brown now in Jersey in the British Isles, fundraiser being held in Nanaimo

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Most Read