Vanier College Health Sciences graduate, Jacqueline Simoneau was the 2020 Vanier College Valedictorian. Given that Vanier College is not holding a live ceremony due to COVID- 19, Simoneau got to address her fellow classmates as part of a special video that was prepared to celebrate the Class of 2020. Simoneau impressed the selection committee with her positive attitude, humbleness and deep commitment to both her studies and her athletic career as an Olympic synchronized swimmer. “It’s a huge honour,” Jacqueline Simoneau said. “To be very honest, I wasn’t expecting a nomination in the first place. I was just very pleased to graduate from Vanier and take all my experiences from there to the next stage of my life.” While studying at Vanier, she represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and qualified again for the Tokyo Olympics now set for next summer. Her athletic career has included winning four gold medals at the Pan American Games in 2015 and 2019 and numerous other international Championships. It took her six years to earn her DEC from Vanier because of training and competing. . “From a very early age, my life has been all about pursuing objectives while maintaining balance,” Simoneau said. “They” say it takes a village to raise a child, and I can attest to the fact that Vanier College has raised me to become an adult. It took me six years to earn my DEC from Vanier because of my sport activity, but Vanier College allowed me the time, space and environment to learn and grow into the person that I have become, and for that I am extremely grateful.” While training, competing and studying took up a lot of her time; Simoneau was also able to give back to the community by working with charities the Fondation des Étoiles, the Make a Wish Foundation, and Fast and Female. A recent recipient of a bursary from Coaching Financier Trek through the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence, Simoneau is also an RBC Olympian. Now preparing for Tokyo 2021, Simoneau noted, “I’ve been re-evaluating what I’d like to be able to focus on gearing up to the Olympics. What I can control at home and that’s my flexibility and strength. These are two things required in my sport.” To work at making the podium in Tokyo Simoneau has put a pause on her school plans for this year, then she plans to apply to study medicine at McGill University.

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