Describing Nash Mendes as simply a student involved in the Carleton community wouldn’t do him justice. Mendes, entering his fourth year at Carleton, has a lot more to be proud of than just grades. Drew Dudley, founder of Nuance Leadership and a motivational speaker said, and I paraphrase, “I want grades to be the least impressive thing about you when you leave university.” That’s exactly what Mendes has been doing throughout his three years of philanthropic and volunteer work with Carleton and the community.
Mendes’ passion for philanthropy emerged in his first year when he was introduced to volunteer events by his new fraternity, Acacia. Ever since then he has been involved in numerous philanthropy events such as Relay for Life, Terry Fox Run 2011, CIBC Run for the Cure, Fall Orientation, Shinerama and is currently the student coordinator of Terry’s CAUSE on Campus, happening this Sunday, September 16th.
Terry’s CAUSE is a 10k run to continue the legacy of Terry Fox, a student himself at university when he was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 18. This did not stop him from running 3,339 miles across Canada to raise money for cancer research. For Mendes, cancer is a personal issue as it stole his grandfather’s life. His close friend Sean, who he sees as the older brother he never had, also has been diagnosed.
“It’s just really intense,” Mendes began. “Cancer is like a bad weed; if you miss pulling out a spot, it keeps spreading and spreading, and it’s exhausting.” It takes a lot of strength and perseverance to fight back, but it’s possible—his friend Caleigh is a cancer survivor.
“Terry’s CAUSE is a key way to bring attention to this prevalent issue, while getting students to join together and do something about it and not just talk about it,” Mendes continued.
“Terry not only inspired Canada, but the entire world. He ran across Canada with 100% of the donations going straight to cancer research and not many people could say they’ve done something like that.”
So why not join the student community to fight against cancer this Sunday? What’s more important than making a difference?
“I am here for Sean, Caleigh and my grandpa, and I’m going to do anything I can to see a solution in our lifetime or inspire future generations to do so. Cancer affects everyone—directly or not. Bring light to this issue and come out for the cause or just to say hello, I like to meet new people.”
I couldn’t help but to feel immense respect for my friend Mendes who had never shared this side of himself with me. It was an eye-opening interview, and a great pleasure to hear his stories about giving back to the community. He is a true leader, with the least impressive thing about him being his correct answers on a scantron sheet.
To register and learn more about Terry’s Cause on Campus, visit: http://www6.carleton.ca/seo/terry/