An Easy Decision: The Shah Family on Joining and Giving

The Shah family became part of the Meadowridge School community in 2016, and since then, the parents have been committed to volunteerism and philanthropy. Their recent gift of the family's entire MEID was made so that generations of future students can benefit from the same amazing experiences that have shaped their own children, Ishan (Grade 12) and Maya (Grade 6).

Samir and Shilpa Shah took an unconventional approach when enrolling their son, Ishan, at Meadowridge School. They chose the school but let him decide, after a year, whether to stay. Ishan was in Grade 5 back then, and his choice could have gone either way. The commute to school would be longer, the academics harder, and it would mean meeting new teachers and making new friends. Unsure of what to expect, Samir and Shilpa were amazed to see their son settle in and thrive at his new school. Every morning, he would wake up bleary-eyed to catch the bus, always on time and never complaining. Every evening, he could come home visibly tired but happy. In early January, Ishan told his parents what they had already suspected—he was choosing to stay. Now, in less than a week, Ishan will walk the stage as a proud graduate of Meadowridge School.

But it wasn't only Ishan who thrived at his new school. Samir and Shilpa's daughter, Maya, joined the school shortly after her brother. She, too, took to the community straight away. The same happened to Samir and Shilpa themselves.

Since joining the Meadowridge community, both parents have dedicated themselves as volunteers despite demanding careers and busy lives. "We couldn't be at the school every day, so we found ways to help wherever and however we could."

Shilpa has become a familiar presence here on campus, lending a hand all year long, from serving lunch to Whonnock House members on Spirit Days to sharing her culture at Diwali Celebrations and helping on the Meadowridge Parent Guild as a Grade Liaison. Meanwhile, Samir began his involvement by joining the Meadowridge Board of Governors Finance Committee, eventually becoming a Board Member and now Vice Chair. Their commitment to the school remains steadfast. "Meadowridge offers incredible opportunities for students to thrive within an amazing community, and that holds true for parents, too," they smile.

Inspired by their family's experience, Samir and Shilpa made their own important decision earlier this year: donating their entire MEID to the Meadowridge School Audacity Campaign. This choice, like their son's, came naturally to them. At Meadowridge, they have watched Ishan and Maya learn, make lifelong friends, and take part in experiences like camping, gardening, service and sports, all while learning with and from dedicated teachers. From their children's experience and their own involvement, the family feels fortunate. Their generous donation will significantly contribute to the school's initiatives, ensuring that future generations of students can also benefit from the unique Meadowridge experience.

"My dad would always say, If you're fortunate enough in life, it is your responsibility to share it with service and contribution.”
- Shilpa Shah

With Ishan set to graduate, the family has spent more time than usual reflecting on their experience. Remembering when they joined all those years ago, Samir and Shilpa encourage parents to get involved however they can. "You'll get more out of it than you give," they promise.