#LLSTORY - Lacey Koughan
Our story this week focuses on our youngest contributor yet, Lacey Koughan. Age is just a number though, as you'll soon find out. She's accomplished so much at a young age already and she's only just beginning.
"My Name is Lacey Koughan, I am 17 years old, and I call Charlottetown, PEI home.
The fact that Im able to say that I call Charlottetown home, makes me so so happy.
Growing up on Prince Edward Island is a unique experience for sure. The community, the culture, and the people are what have shaped my island experience into the one I will share with you today.
I want to start by acknowledging the arts community. At the age of 7, I landed a role as a Child of Avonlea at the Confederation Centre. Following in my sister’s footsteps, I have been a part of the Confederation Centre and the Charlottetown Festival for the past 10 years. After completing 2 summers as a Child of Avonlea, I then went on to becoming a member of the first ever- Young Young Company- a group of 4 young performers who got to train and perform with the Young Company for a summer, as well as in 2015, becoming a member of the official Young Company, at the age of 16. The people I have met, and the experiences Ive been given thanks to the support of the Confederation Centre have been unbelievable, and I continue to stay in touch with various people at the centre- performers and administrators both.
The arts have always been a part of my life- primarily through dance. Ive danced since the age of 2, and continue to this day. I opened my own dance school 24dancepei this past spring, and have grown into a successful business. I teach dancers ages 3+, both recreationally and competitively, bringing in off Island professionals to further the understanding of a career in the dance world for my students.
I believe that the arts and culture in PEI are like no other. I think we should say a thank you to Lucy Maud for helping us out on this one- Anne of Green gables has our island COVERED with tourists!
Aside from operating 24DANCE, I also run a program called 24strong. This program is aimed at empowering young women through the beauty of collaboration.
Growing up as a young girl in today’s society is not easy. With the media telling you WHAT to be, rather than WHO to be, girls are constantly questioning themselves, their beliefs, and their dreams.
I believe that through mentorship and guidance from strong female leaders, we can encourage young women to work together to tear apart some of the major issues we face as young women in today’s society, and work together to create a better world for everyone.
You may wonder how I am able to accomplish all of these things while still being in High school. I am in grade 12 at Colonel Gray. I have been fortunate enough to take part in Co-Op work placements for 2 semesters, as well as Independent Study Courses for 2 semesters. These courses have allowed me the time to work in the community and abroad, furthering my knowledge on various subjects of interest. I've taken Co-op at Kinetic Fitness, which led me to the opportunity to start 24DANCEPEI, Zion Junior Kindergarten (which fosters my love for working with children), The StartupZone, as well as a current program I am enrolled in through Culture PEI- the HIVE.
I have had a very unique high school experience, and you couldn’t make me trade it for anything. The experiences I've had outside of the classroom, travelling through Europe, and working with people in the community are what have shaped me into the person I am today.
I believe the education system needs A LOT of work - not just on the Island, but in Canada as a whole. Of course I am going to continue to share my ideas with leaders and administrators, however, I've managed to find ways to navigate my way through the current system to uncover incredible opportunities, that are actually written in the curriculum!
So yes, there are lots of things we can change about the system - but how about we encourage students to take a look at what kind of opportunities they already have been presented with!
As you can see, PEI has offered many exciting and life changing opportunities for me, and I know many other Islander’s can say the same.
Take a look around at all of the creators and innovators that are on PEI - especially amongst my generation… We have lots of potential.
Now don’t come chasing me if I end up going off to Toronto or Montreal for a little while- Im just going for more experience, to see knew things and meet more people. I plan on taking everything I learn back to PEI, and sharing my experiences through island projects!
PEI is awesome people- don’t forget it."
Lacey Koughan // Student, Entrepreneur
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📸 - Jared Doyle