Kelowna residents Wyatt Slattery and Awantika Mittal recieved scholarships from the Central Okanagan Foundation at its 40th anniversary celebration, Thursday at The Harvest Golf Club. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Central Okanagan Foundation celebrates 40 years

The foundation gave out scholarships in Kelowna for the first time in honour of the anniversary

Five lucky recipients from the Central Okanagan were given the opportunity to move forward with their schooling.

As part of the Central Okanagan Foundation’s 40th anniversary, community members from Peachland, Kelowna West Kelowna and Lake Country received scholarships of approximately $1,500 each.

Cheryl Miller, director of grants and community initiatives, said the foundation’s annual spring event is focused on donors, but this year the foundation is launching a scholarship program, called the Volunteer Spirit Scholarship Award for those who showcased volunteerism in their community.

“We look at their volunteer contribution not just in our community but beyond, it can be international. So it’s their commitment to the community,” she said.

UBCO student Awantika Mittal, 22, recently completed her second year in the Bachelor of Science program and has a trove of volunteer experience.

She used to teach technology to seniors and acts as a peer mentor at the university. Mittal is also a part of the Canadian Cancer Society.

“It makes you busy and teaches you a lot of things,” she said, adding she will be using the scholarship towards her tuition.

Her family immigrated to Kelowna two years ago from India.

“We are very proud of our daughter, and we thank the Canadian community,” said her mother Neeru Mittal.

Peachland resident Justice Neyedli is a Grade 12 student at Mount Boucherie Secondary and plans to use his scholarship to pursue a career in film.

“I want to become a director,” he said. “I really enjoyed playing video games and watching TV and the more I learned about it, I enjoyed watching the extra scenes in movies,” he said, adding he took a film production course in the high school.

In September, he will attend InFocus Film School in Vancouver.

The award recipients include: Mittal, Anne-Sophie Beaudoin, Neyedli, Serena Sionowski and Wyatt Slattery.

The recipients were awarded their scholarships at the anniversary event Thursday, June 22 at The Harvest Golf Club.