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Adjusting the sails

Building Role Models of Acceptance

Being a Health-Promoting School

Growing up in 2017, girls face new and unique pressures—beyond their drive to succeed academically, they possess a global awareness unlike any previous generation. As a result, their need for a supportive environment and an open forum to discuss issues is paramount.

At Havergal, perhaps no girl understands this as keenly as Evelyn Silverson-Tokatlidis. The Grade 12 student is the school’s first Health and Wellness Prefect, a role created in consultation with the student body and staff based on Havergal’s Strategic Plan. As a liaison between student groups and the school administration, Evelyn works to ensure support is accessible for any student who may need it. She is a highly approachable peer and is eager to lift up her fellow girls in any way she can.

“We were finding that there were issues that girls felt they couldn’t speak about. We want to create more safe spaces for them to have those conversations.”

EVELYN SILVERSON-TOKATLIDIS, HEALTH AND WELLNESS PREFECT

“Evelyn’s passion is authentic,” says Gillian Martin, Assistant Head of the Senior School. “Since she came to Havergal in Grade 7, she has been a role model of acceptance.”

While her position is still new in the student leadership, Evelyn hopes she can lay the foundations for future prefects. For her, a priority is giving girls more opportunities to have open conversations about what is on their minds.

“We were finding that there were issues girls felt they couldn’t speak about,” Silverson-Tokatlidis says. “We want to create more safe spaces for them to have those conversations.”

The school’s new Periscope speaker series, which is student-led and run, is an after-school forum for discussions about culture, race, body image and more. Another key initiative is the Havergal chapter of Jack.org, a national non-profit organization aiming to break the stigma around mental illness.

“The girls recognize that discussing mental health is a strength, not a weakness,” says Ms. Martin. “It is the number one talking point for students as they look ahead to university life and we are working to centralize it.”