Eighteen-year-old Belmont graduate Jaxson Creacey is one of 20 recipients from across the country that have won the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership valued at up to $70

Belmont grad is leading by example

Inspirational teen has big dreams for his, others’ futures

Jaxson Creasey’s road to becoming a sports agent has been paved with $70,000.

The Belmont graduate became one of 20 students selected from a pool of more than 2,500 applicants from across Canada to win the TD Scholarship for Community Leadership. Awarded to Canadians with a commitment to driving social change, the Metchosin resident was the only Vancouver Island resident, and one of four B.C. residents to secure the prestigious award.

“I was actually at home (when we found out). I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it,” Creacey said. “When she asked me if I wanted to accept (the scholarship) I was ecstatic, I still can’t believe it.”

Born with spinal muscular atrophy, a neuro-muscular disorder that restricts him to an electronic wheelchair with limited mobility in his body, Creacey volunteered as one of the founding members of the Give It Back campaign at Dunsmuir middle school. The initiative helped raise funds for health-related charities that helped support him and his family as he grew up with the genetic disorder.

“I have been very privileged to receive a lot of assistance over the years and for that I am super grateful,” he said. “I felt it was my moral duty or responsibility to give back to groups and organizations for what they have done for me and that has been a huge part of my life.”

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, The Rick Hansen Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Canada and Easter Seal Canada, have been among the many recipients of the more than $30,000 he has been able to help raise through bake sales, barbecues and many other fundraising initiatives he has spearheaded alongside his leadership group.

Creacey, who needs an attendant to help him adjust his hand to keep it on the remote control of his wheelchair, take notes for him in class and help him through the day, said the scholarship will help give him independence as he heads to university this September.

The recipient of a Children’s Wish Foundation wish as an eight year old, flew to Florida for the National Hockey League draft, where he hoped to rub shoulders with the Vancouver Canucks brain trust including team president Trevor Linden, general manager Jim Benning and coach Willie Desjardins. After holding onto the wish for a decade, the avid sports fan who helps coach sports and is a fanatic statistician, finally decided he wanted be there to see his Vancouver Canucks draft their 2015 picks and watch Connor McDavid get taken first overall.

“Sports (has been) my passion since I was little. I was fascinated by the statistics and business and contract negotiations – hopefully (I can) pursue that,” he said. “This would have been my draft year had I played hockey.”

Creasey’s award gives him up to $10,000 a year in tuition for an accredited university of college in Canada, a $7,500-a-year in living expenses, summer employment within TD Bank Group for up to four years, and mentorship and networking opportunities. He was presented with the scholarship at a ceremony in an all-expenses paid trip to Toronto May 29 where the scholarships executive director Jane Thompson said she met Jaxson for the first time.

“The standard we apply is ‘what have you done with what you’ve got?’ And what is just so cool about Jaxson (is) anyone who I talk to who knows him says the same thing,” Thompson said. “He is relentlessly positive has a huge amount of energy, he gets a lot done making things better for other people. And what is also really great about Jackson … he doesn’t do things in a way so he is the centre of attention.”

Creacey will attend the University of Victoria’s business program this fall, followed by four years of law school, after which he hopes to represents athletes as a player agent.

The TD scholarship program is in its 20th year and has awarded more than $20 million to 400 Canadian students for their post-secondary education since its inception. “I have every confidence that Jaxson is going to do amazing things in the world. He is very ambitious,” Thompson said. “It’s really old hat to say someone is an inspiration, but I will say he will make Canada a better place to live.”

For more information visit td.com/scholarship.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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