Love of challenge | Daily News

Love of challenge

Leeds International School, Panadura
Head Girl of Leeds International School, Panadura, Ashanya Rathnayake. Pictures by Ruwan de Silva
Head Girl of Leeds International School, Panadura, Ashanya Rathnayake. Pictures by Ruwan de Silva

Head Girl of Leeds International School, Panadura, Ashanya Rathnayake is all about culture. Rathnayake has correctly understood that it is important to think of others. Perfect Prefects features Rathnayake who feels that this culture needs to be spread.

Rathnayake understands the power of a positive attitude. It includes small things. A simple demonstration of goodwill like saying ‘good morning’ with a smile can brighten up the day of an elder. A kind word is so important. This kind of attitude leads to greater things in life.

Attitudinal difference

“I think cultivating the right attitude is something that is important and vital to leadership and leading a successful life. It can make a huge difference in anyone’s life. Even having a pleasant smile and attitude every day can make a difference in someone’s life. It is important to respect teachers and any elderly person. It can help in their routine. Even a simple ‘good morning’ can help,” said Rathnayake

Rathnayake feels that it has to start with yourself. You need to love yourself. Then you can take care of someone else. You need to see yourself in them.

“We can only think of someone else if we think about ourselves. If we do not care about ourselves, we are not going to be able to think about anyone else. Because we do not know how they will feel unless we know how we feel. So I think self- love is important. This is how we know their perspective. I think we can create a harmonious society by caring for each other. You need to be concerned about the welfare of another person. Team members should always be there for one another. I have always had my teachers to correct me. They have always pointed out right and wrong to me. There has always been someone to look after someone in my school. We look after each other’s best interests,” explained Rathnayake.

Compassion for others is a quality that has been instilled in her mind by her school. She has participated in the school Interact club and its activities. They help poor people and engage in community service projects. Once they built a library for a small rural school in Wadduwa.

“I represent a generation that will soon have to provide leadership to the country someday. I will not hesitate to do my duty to my motherland. Right now at the school level, I am shouldering my responsibilities. So in the future, I would love to do something for my country and make a difference. I love my country and would do anything for it,” pointed out Rathnayake.

For her, it is the message of love and compassion that matters. It is the message of hope that matters.

Religious respect

“I actually respect all religions. I am a Catholic who believes and loves Lord Jesus. So I do believe in Providence. I believe in all religious leaders like Lord Buddha. So spiritually I believe in everyone. I would go to any place of worship. My faith helps me a lot in life. It is the reason I am the Head Prefect. Faith is something that has always sustained me,” explained Rathnayake.

Rathnayake added that a Head Prefect needs to be an all-rounder who can do sports and perform well in academics at the same time. A Head Prefect needs to make use of opportunities and take things in his/her stride – victory or defeat.

“Success to me is doing well in both academics and sports. I have performed well in both sports and academics, getting good O/Ls and A/Ls results. Success to me is balancing all of it together while taking part in various school activities. Success to me is being an all-rounder and doing everything as an all-rounder and performing my role as a head prefect to the best of my ability,” said Rathnayake.

She stated that stepping into Leeds itself changed her life. In her words, the school has brought out the best in her, her talents and what she has within her.

“I am what I am today because of my school. Stepping into my school was the best thing that happened to me. School for me is my second home, and my teachers have always been behind me. Sarath Jayatissa, Malithi Diyagama, Kinithi Jayatissa, Nadeeka Cooray, Chamari Perera, Nisha Sathsarani and Ruhiya Cassim have all been a tower of strength to me. My school has always been there for me always. My school has always been a pillar of strength for me. When it comes to inspiration I look up to Madam Malithi and Kinithi. They are a source of inspiration in the way they conduct themselves when participating in activities,” added Rathnayake.

Being on the top

Adding that when performing her responsibilities her teachers in charge have always been behind her, Rathnayake wants to thank her entire top board. She pointed out that in all events they have helped her and been behind her. They have been her rock and held it together for her. It is because of their support that she has been able to handle her duties well.

“One of my ambitions is to go abroad and learn. I am looking at a position in the administration. That is one reason I look up to Madam Malithi and Kinithi. I think they are very stately. As Head Prefect I look up to another Head Prefect who was my Head Girl four years ago. As Head Prefect she was a fine role model. She was a versatile personality. When it comes to Global leaders, I feel there is something to learn from everyone. That has really helped me grow,” pointed out Rathnayake.

She also commented that we are unique in our own ways and we are all different and we should not try and copy anyone else or imitate anyone else. Instead, you should be someone who can set an example for those much younger than you.

“I love reading adventure books because I am a person who is adventurous. I would love to know where to go and where to travel to. Whatever that is related to the adventure I would love to do it. I like travelling and going around and exploring places. I like doing fun type stuff. I also take an interest in dancing and sports like long jump! I also look at exams as a challenge which is good,” said Rathnayake.

She is able to confidently face pressure because of her support system. Her two teachers in charge of prefects are always there for her. Whatever problems that come up, she can always go to them. Her top board have been admirable taking equal responsibility. In that sense, she has never been alone. They have always been a team, backing each other up. 


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