A Heart for Servant Leadership:
Filbert’s Story


Filbert's first day at John Knox Christian School in Grade 8

Filbert has always been open about being part of the ADHD community and being on the autism spectrum. When he came to John Knox Christian School in grade eight, Filbert was uncertain of the Educational Support Services (ESS) program, offered to him when he joined JKCS.

“I did not have a good experience at my old school,” he explains. “But I felt really welcomed and supported in the ESS program, like I could get help when I needed it, instead of feeling like an inconvenience.”

Students who participate in the John Knox ESS program engage in an individual plan based on their needs. Mrs. Trish Joyce, Coordinator of the ESS program and her team come alongside students with exceptionalities to facilitate a successful and enriched learning experience.


Filbert with friends at UBC

Filbert is currently studying in the Faculty of Science at UBC. He plans to major in neuroscience and has his eye on the pre-med track. “School and academics for me wasn’t as difficult as my own personal wellbeing. The ESS program helped me navigate that,” he says.

“I got a lot of mental health support. I’d have one-on-one chats with the ESS teachers. We’d go for walks when I was stressed. I learned to accept myself and opened my heart to people who may have the same diagnosis.”  


Filbert speaking at the first annual Student Council "Ramen Night", which was a smash hit with students

When our new secondary campus opened in 2019, Filbert used his God-given gifts to build a sense of belonging. “He could pinpoint the student that needed the high five, or just someone to come alongside and say hi and acknowledge that they were here,” says Mrs. Joyce. “Filbert had a way of knowing how to make peers from all grades feel valued and part of the community.”

Filbert ran for Student Council and in Grade 12 became president–in no small part because he knew every student’s name. “God gave me a heart for servant leadership,” he explains. “I chose to show my love through involvement in student council. I love being able to talk to anybody about anything. Over the years, I noticed those conversations and collaborations played a key role in making something the best it could be.” 


Creation care is the focus of the Acacia Club, a student club founded by Filbert

As Filbert looks to the future, he reflects on how he will respond to God’s calling on his life. “Becoming a doctor will allow me to help others. It’s nice to be able to do something in my power to make sure that somebody else is feeling comfortable in their shoes. I want to continue advocating for neurodiverse individuals.”

This Christmas, would you consider making a gift in support of Christian education? Your generosity allows students like Filbert to access the ESS program and receive the individualized support they need.

If you are able, a gift of $700 ensures a student like Filbert thrives this school year. 

Together, we can support students encountering academic, developmental or mental health challenges as they grow into the people God created them to be. Please give generously below!

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“John Knox is a very supportive environment. I was accepted by my teachers and my peers for being exactly the person I am.” 

- Filbert, JKCS alumnus