When Raphael Munoz came for a tour of RJC this September, just two days before registration, he wasn’t sure the school was where he wanted to be.
He and his family were looking for a new school where he could start grade 11; his mom had found RJC online but they knew nothing else about it. Raphael wasn’t that interested in the idea of private school, thinking it would be too preppy and formal. “I’m going to be honest, I don’t think I really wanted to go here at all,” he says.
But he went along for the tour, and decided it seemed like the best of the options they had toured both in Saskatoon and in other smaller towns.
“It wasn’t really so much the tour,” he says, “but like the way the tour made me feel. I felt more welcomed and it felt like a tightly knit group of family members here.”
That initial feeling he got on the tour has been proven true in his first months at the school. From the fun and games of orientation, to the community of friends he’s found in the dorms and classes, the experience has far surpassed his original expectations of what a private school might be like. “My view and standpoint have changed like exponentially,” he says. Even with the new COVID-19 protocols, the community of RJC has found lots of ways to connect and build relationships.
Getting to know both teachers and students is a big part of what has made the experience so positive for Raphael. “The people, and the teachers, the staff. They’re so kind, helpful,” he says. And having a school culture where you get to know your teachers more closely and can call them by their first names has been a refreshing surprise.
Living in the dorms, Raphael has made lots of memories already just a few months in. From the time Hugo, one of the deans, read the group a bedtime story, to an evening singing Bohemian Rhapsody together in the dorms there have been lots of unexpected, but fun moments. “I was mind-boggled, I was like, ‘oh this is happening now? Okay!’…It was absolutely ridiculously fun,” he says.
Raphael has also found RJC a place he can feel comfortable and try some activities that he hasn’t before.
He’s never played on a school sports team, but decided to join volleyball this year to try something new. At RJC “you can try new stuff out that you never thought that you would ever do,” he says. “And you’re just like, wow I should have done this sooner.”
While he’s only two months into the school year, he’s already looking forward to the rest of this year and next. And if someone wasn’t sure about coming to RJC, he would recommend they keep an open mind. “I would tell them to take a look around, meet some folks, see how you feel about the place…. Give this place a chance and it will surprise you like it did for me.”