We are so excited to have Chad Hagel join us at NCLN this summer as an intern at our Toronto office! In the fall, Chad will begin his fourth year of his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). He plans to pursue a Masters of Arts in Scottish History after completing his undergraduate studies in History and Classics. He is passionate about Ian Rankin, science fiction films, tea, and early medieval Scotland. When he isn’t learning about northern Britain, Chad is committed to ensure history is fondly remembered by taking an active role in ensuring that the pro-life position always has a voice.
Tell us your story and how you became pro-life.
My ‘pro-life journey’ began on Wednesday, June 1st, 1994 at 3:35 PM EST. That’s the day I was born – at just 26 weeks gestation.
The doctors didn’t think I would make it. Fortunately, I was able to pull through, though I didn’t emerge unscathed: in the span of three years, I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and severe hearing loss.
I was also left with an indeliable mark on my psyche: I gained a profound appreciation for life at all stages of life. Being born in such dramatic circumstances, using my disabilities not as a crutch but as a stepping stone to greatness, I found it hard to stomach arguments supporting abortion or euthanasia. A child is more than the conditions they have; they are so much more and can even surprise you.
These pro-life leanings pulsed quietly within me throughout my childhood and adolescence, and didn’t have a proper outlet until I reached university.
How did you get involved with your campus pro-life club?
When I began my second year at UTM, I had been appointed as an executive for the our campus’ Catholic club, and had eagerly signed on to assist with their table at Welcome Week. As it happened, a freshly-birthed pro-life group, UTM Students for Life (UTMSFL), had set up their table next to us. I signed up, but I didn’t do anything with them until January 2015, when the Holy Spirit told me to become involved with this club. As school faded into summer, I was possessed of a further conviction of the need to have a pro-life voice on campus, and subsequently asked to be an executive. I was accepted, and took on the role of Secretary just as we were censored by our student union. A year and a lawsuit later, I am now President, and am looking to expand the club in new directions.
Why did you decide to spend a summer working with NCLN?
The past year, with its lawsuit and near-weekly activism, has led me to an insurmountable conclusion: NCLN’s work in promoting the pro-life message is crucial in ensuring that my generation isn’t the last. We are on a threshold: we literally hold the power to decide whether our children live or die, and whether they will carry the human spirit of resilience and determination that we were raised to exemplify. The campus is where this battle plays out, and I believe NCLN needs all the help it can get in changing the hearts and minds of future businessmen, lawyers and historians.
Where are you most likely to be on the weekends?
During the weekends, you can usually find me with my head buried in a book, or least deep in used bookstores hunting for the next one to add to my collection. Otherwise, you can find me watching movies in theatres or at home, or heading out to far-out cities for my next travel adventure.
If you could meet any one person in history, who would that be?
I have a fairly specific place and time I would transport myself to: Edinburgh, 1880. Sitting in a dank, dark pub with Sir Walter Scott would be a historian’s dream for me. I discuss in earnest his novels and poems as well as his perspective on the culture and languages of his time.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
For me, it’s the Isle of Skye (Western Hebrides, Scotland) in the fall. Though it wouldn’t give me much of a chance to practice Scottish Gaelic or Irish, I would love to experience island life in this most legendary of isles, as well as take the chance to climb a hill or two. I would also love to see the Old Man of Storr in person, as I’ve heard so much about it!
Send Chad a welcome message! Info@ncln.ca