Daring Series: A BSS student who climbed Kilimanjaro

TK

We all dream of dropping everything to pursue our passions.As part of our Daring Series, Post Citychatted to theTorontonianswho actually did. Find out why they think you should too #PostCityDaring

At just 17, Chiara Picão has climbed three of the world’s highest mountains to support equal access to education for girls around the world.

The Grade 11 Bishop Strachan School student came up with the idea for Literally Climbing Mountains for Girls’ Education after a sequence of fateful events when she was only 12 years old.

First, an inspiring experience at We Day, then the shooting of female education advocate Malala Yousafzai and finally a trip to Pico Island where the highest mountain in Portugal stands.

“At that point it clicked for me: I’ll never face that sort of mountain of injustice because that’s not something I face here in North America. I’m very privileged and I’m allowed to go to school,” she says. “Of course I could throw a fundraiser. I could raise awareness with pamphlets, but what better way for me, as someone who has a lot of privilege, to raise awareness than to put a mountain in front of myself and try to conquer it?”

Indeed, Picão conquered Pico Mountain that summer, and began collecting donations through WE in support of girls’ education around the world.

Since then, she’s climbed two more of the world’s highest peaks — Kilimanjaro and Elbrus.

“I’ve always been told to work toward doing what you love, and there’s nothing I can think of that I’m more passionate about than creating a better world and fighting for equality,” she says.