How many young people do you know who have a key to their school?
Secondary 5 student Viviane Harbec is one of a precious few. The administration of Antoine-Brossard High School (Brossard, Quebec) had no reservations about trusting her with this responsibility so she could go about her duties as a highly dedicated breakfast program volunteer.
At Antoine-Brossard, every morning kicks off on a cheerful note, with music and a long line of tables prepped and ready to receive breakfast-goers from the student body of about 1,800 teens. Frédéric Jacques, the school’s spiritual care and community involvement counsellor, Principal Éric Chevalier and Viviane herself are there to greet them.
Viviane has been involved in the school’s breakfast program since it began in September 2020. She was just starting Secondary 3 and the project piqued her interest. At that point, the nascent program was limited to a grab-and-go model. But Viviane’s drive and determination helped turn it into a unique and convenient buffet-style operation. The prep work requires Viviane to come in earlier than anyone else, hence the need for the key. After the food has been put out and the tables set, she sticks around at the breakfast station, along with her fellow student volunteers, to ensure everything runs smoothly until the first bell rings and she heads off to class.
It makes Viviane’s heart sing to see the smile breakfast brings to the faces of those who avail themselves of the program. That’s her primary motivation. At 16, she understands the importance of reaching out to those who might be going through a tough time or need an extra helping hand. Given her caring and compassionate nature, it’s not surprising to learn that she plans to enrol in a nursing program at a nearby CEGEP next year, making good on a dream she’s had since Grade 6.
Since she won’t be around come September, Viviane has started to train other students who will succeed her in this role. And she will be finishing up her high school career and her time with the Club on a celebratory note: she received a letter in April informing her that she had been awarded a Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal in recognition of her outstanding community and social engagement. Her parents are understandably very proud of her commitment to making a difference in the lives of the people around her.
On behalf of everyone here at Breakfast Club of Canada, we thank you, Viviane, for everything you’ve done, day in and day out, for your school breakfast program. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours. You definitely have a very bright future ahead of you!