St. Stephen teenager gives back to community while learning new skills

(Submitted photo) Hunter Lee, Grade 12 student in the essential skills program at St. Stephen High School, works on the chainsaw he has rebuilt and is raffling off with proceeds being donated to Neighbourhood Works.

ST. STEPHEN – Hunter Lee is helping a local charity while learning skills that are providing the foundation for his future career.

Hunter is a Grade 12 student in the essential skills program at St. Stephen High School. The program is a more personalized education pathway that allows students to explore areas of personal interest while still developing the necessary skills to receive their diploma. The program includes workplace placement components.

In Hunter’s case, that passion is to be an automotive technician. Part of the program is a capstone project that requires students to come up with a real-world problem that needs to be solved and solving it. Hunter chose to repair an old chainsaw and sell raffle tickets on the refurbished saw, with plans to donate proceeds to Neighbourhood Works.

“It’s a project to do with the trade or interest you have after school to help the community, to give back and solve a problem that’s going on right now to the best of your ability,” explained Hunter.

He chose Neighbourhood Works because his mother and aunt have worked with the organization in their jobs and he understands the role Neighbourhood Works plays in the community.

His mother contacted Neighbourhood Works and explained the project.

“They were totally on board and were really supportive. They’ve been great through this entire thing,” he said.

Hunter believes it’s important to try to contribute to the community and that students helping out in their community is critical.

“Anyone in need, it’s very important to step up. Whoever you are, wherever you come from, I think it’s very important to be kind, always.”

He has been doing his workplace apprenticeship at Downey Ford and has an opportunity post-graduation to work at the GM dealer in town. Hunter will do a combination of practical and classroom learning, which will lead him to his Red Seal certification.

His goal for the fundraising project is $300 and he’s currently at about $250. The target date for the raffle draw is June 5. While $300 is the goal, he won’t stop selling tickets when the total is reached.

“We’re not going to put a limit on it. Ideally, however much we can raise would be better,” Hunter said. “It’s going to be a big, meaningful thing for us to be able to give back to them because they’ve helped us throughout our lives.”

Anyone wanting to buy tickets for the raffle can contact Hunter’s mother, Emily Muir, via email at

Robert Fisher

Fisher is a writer/author, photographer and filmmaker. Itinerant observer of life. His dog, Lincoln, is a travel companion and has been coast-to-coast with him four times.