Extraordinary Student of the Month is a monthly series within The Varsity’s Arts & Culture section that highlights the exceptional roles University of Toronto students play in making their community better.
Steven Worboys is a third-year undergraduate student from Australia majoring in Health Studies, with a dual minor in Drama and Book and Media Studies.
Worboys has photographed numerous events, including Woodsworth Frosh Week 2015, Woodsworth Orientation Week 2016, Rotman Commerce Marketing Association Conference, and the Woodsworth Gala. The most special aspect of his photography is that Worboys donates his pay to The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids).
Over the last 12 months, Worboys has donated around $1,000, while also helping to raise awareness about SickKids.
Worboys first picked up a camera “around the age of 15 or 16.” When asked why he donates the money he makes from photography, Worboys answered: “Photography is not a steady term of employment, unless you get a professional gig, so it’s a side thing I do. Maybe I’ll get three or four opportunities a year. I felt that I could make a difference with the money that came in through that.”
Worboys explained his choice of community events: “I saw what the community of Woodsworth was, I wanted to give back in a way and I looked at photography, and I can give to those who need it more.” He also added, “I like the community side of photography… you bring a camera and people crowd around it, and I like how photography brings people together, especially when you release it into the wild, and people will talk about it.”
When asked why he donates to SickKids, Worboys opened up a little with a touching personal story. “Back in fourth grade, I woke up with this lump on my arm and I had to get surgery to remove it. We had to go to… the [Royal Children’s Hospital], and I had a really positive experience there, all the doctors helped me out, they were really nice and friendly… The whole process just made me feel like way more comfortable, so I really wanted to give back to something similar, after going through my process.”
The advice that Worboys gives to others is: “It’s not just about money. If you have time to go volunteer, that’s just as valuable. Even just spreading the message, getting the message out there. Even just talking to someone for maybe a couple minutes, even if they don’t volunteer in their entire lives. Even just getting the message out there about these charities is equally important as time or money.”
If you know an extraordinary student on campus and wish to nominate them, email firstname.lastname@example.org; provide their name, email, and why they deserve to be featured.