When Sandra Chong ’91 was a Grade 7 UTS student, her teacher Ornella Barrett gave an “earth-shattering” pep talk in gym class.
“It was about committing and working hard and doing your best even if it wasn’t your thing, and how much she believed in us. And then she said, ‘One day you’re going to lead this country’ and we were all looking at each other thinking, ‘Really?’ It was absolutely mind-blowing to us that our teachers truly believed that.”
When you have mentors and teachers who believe in you that strongly, Sandra says, it makes you believe the world is your oyster. At UTS, Sandra was a Crawford Prefect and won the 1991 Nesbitt Gold Medal, a prestigious award determined by staff and students’ votes. “UTS set me up really well academically as well. I found that after that, whatever I wanted to do, I could do.”
A periodontist living in Ottawa with her family, Sandra has given her support to our school for over 30 years. “I’m forever grateful for the mentorship, the teachers, the opportunities and the friends I made at UTS.” She gives monthly for “the pure simplicity of it” – because it’s automatic, there’s less to monitor. She also supported the Take Your Seat and the First Girls initiatives.
This year, the 30th anniversary of her graduation, Sandra is excited to see UTS return to the renewed school at 371 Bloor Street West with all the technological opportunities it brings, such as state-of-the-art equipment and the new Lang Innovation Lab.
People should give to what touches their hearts, Sandra says, and for her that’s UTS. “I would encourage people to support UTS because it’s essential, local, and Canadian. Giving to UTS is a national investment in our own future ‒ a dollar well spent to give opportunities to our young people and to support the school’s progressive vision.”
Join Sandra in supporting UTS! Visit Build Avi’s Classroom now to see all of the tools and equipment students still need to realize their unlimited potential.