NJC's Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Max Thompson was recognized at our 2023 Community Awards as Neuchátel Junior College’s inaugural Distinguished Service Award Recipient.  This award recognizes a member of the NJC community who has contributed outstanding volunteer service to NJC over the course of several years. 

Max has held almost all volunteer roles at NJC for which he could be eligible: Class Representative, Member of the Canadian Advisory Committee, Chair of the Canadian Advisory Committee, Director of the NJC Fund, Co-Chair of NJC’s 60th Anniversary Gala and Fundraising Campaign, 2023 Grad Class Gift Campaign Chair. 

His nominator noted that Max always makes time for NJC, whether it be attending an event, picking up the phone to make a connection, or helping the school to re-engage with community members.  He never asks for anything in return, he is just happy to help. 

Max is a strong advocate for NJC and has dedicated thousands of hours to our continued success as a school. 

We had a chance to sit down and chat with Max about his experience and volunteerism: 

Max, you are a member of the Class of 1988 – if you could sum up your experience, what would it be? 

MT - I loved the independence, being responsible for my academic achievements and establishing my postsecondary goals. We were a small class, quite tight. My roommate and I had a ton of fun eating and trying new restaurants in and around Neuchâtel.  We traveled well and our class trips were epic! 

What was your first volunteer opportunity with NJC? 

MT - I was a Class Rep after graduation.  It was a great feeling to coordinate our class and keep them connected.  From there I had the opportunity to volunteer for the 40th anniversary in 1996, which opened the door to take a role on the Canadian Advisory Committee. 

Why do you continue to volunteer your time?

MT - I love the school. I am a great believer in what NJC offers to every student who attends, including my daughter. It is the greatest year for academics and travel opportunities.  I want to share that with everyone I can.  

I understand that some families have reservations about sending their children.  Being an active member of our community allows me the chance to talk to parents and share with them the incredible investment they can make for their children. 

I want to take every opportunity to ensure that NJC flourishes long after I am gone.  

What does it mean to you to be the inaugural recipient of the NJC Distinguished Service Award? 

MT - Being the recipient of the inaugural Distinguished Service Award is humbling.  I am honoured to be recognized for my efforts. It affirmed that I have helped to make a difference in our community. 

Over the years I have had the privilege of meeting incredible alumni, students, and parents.  I have befriended many of them, and that in itself is a reward.  NJC has provided me with so much, giving back is the least I can do.  

There are many great volunteers in our community.  I am proud to be part of this incredible family and volunteer group.  

What would you say to alumni or community members wanting to volunteer their time with NJC?

MT - If you love the school as much as I do; whatever you can do to help establish it as the non de facto pre-eminent university prep school is quite rewarding.  I’m determined to see it happen in my lifetime. 
Neuchâtel Junior College offers the unique opportunity to study Canadian curriculum abroad. While living in Switzerland in a French community, students enjoy an international education through travel and experiential learning in Europe. Gap year and Grade 12  high school students gain international experience and develop independence and life skills that prepare them for university and the global workplace.

A Canadian high school in Switzerland | Grade 12 & Gap