Even though she grew up only minutes away from its campus, Jessie Legaree never expected to attend Trinity Western University.
But when her mother persuaded her to attend a TWU View Day, she began to reconsider.
“I loved the atmosphere, and I loved the students,” she said, recalling that the inviting community environment far exceeded her expectations.
Not long after View Day, Legaree was selected to be one of the first students to attend Access Ottawa, a TWU program that sent high school students on a weeklong trip to its Laurentian Leadership Centre (LLC) in the nation’s capital.
“After I completed that program, I knew that I wanted to attend TWU, and I couldn’t wait for another opportunity to study at the LLC,” she said.
In the autumn of 2009, she returned for an undergraduate semester in the Laurentian Leadership Program and interned in the Policy Division of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Now, after six years of study, Legaree has earned not one but two degrees at TWU: a BA in Political Science and an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities (MAIH).
She had planned to go directly to law school after completing her bachelor’s degree, but the influence of two professors, Robynne Healey and Grant Havers, drew her to participate in the MAIH program.
“I thought it would be a really good opportunity to just understand issues better and to study them through a biblical lens,” she said, noting that the program has broadened her perspective while allowing her to pursue more specific interests.
In addition to her studies, Legaree has devoted a significant amount of time to political efforts.
Not only has she participated in political clubs on campus, but she has also volunteered for local MPs since high school and even served as the assistant to the Conservative Party’s B.C. regional manager during the last federal election.
And this work has not gone unnoticed: Legaree was included Maclean’s feature “Canadians under 25,” which highlighted some of Canada’s already influential young men and women.
This month, she began her law degree at the University of Toronto, excited to learn more about constitutional law and to seize new opportunities.
“I have absolutely no doubt that a Faculty of Law at TWU would equip students with the tools necessary to be highly competent, successful lawyers, and ambassadors of a higher justice,” she said.