A Kelowna student is among the 170 Horatio Alger Association of Canada $5,000 scholarship winners chosen from across the country.
Madison Delaurier, a Grade 12 student at Rutland Senior Secondary, said she has been accepted at both Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan to pursue her post-secondary education.
“The scholarship offers a great opportunity to me to study for my future degree. I want to study psychology and business…I am thinking right now toward choosing to go to Okanagan College which has a good business program,” Delaurier said.
The Horatio Alger scholarships are awarded annually to deserving high school students in financial need who have overcome significant adversity while demonstrating the strength of character, strong academics, a commitment to pursuing higher education and a desire to contribute to society.
Delaurier submitted an essay about herself for consideration, writing about her struggles with sports injuries and growing up in a single-parent household.
She said the lesson from her experience is to research all potential scholarship and bursary options to apply for if considering post-secondary education, something she acknowledges RSS staff was very helpful with pointing her in the right direction.
“You have to do your own research but when you apply just try to be yourself,” she said.
Prem Watsa, the president of the Horatio Alger Association, said the COVID-19 pandemic added to challenges already faced by high school students this past year.
The association says it received thousands of scholarship applications from across the country.
It reports the average scholarship recipient posted a GPA of 3.85, while the average family income was $24,429.
Other facts drawn out of the 170 successful applicants included: 28 per cent experienced abandonment by a parent or guardian; 20 per cent suffered from physical, mental or sexual abuse; 19 per cent faced drug or alcohol abuse in the household; 13 per cent experienced disability or serious illness, and 11 per cent faced the death of a parent or guardian.
Horatio Alger was a prolific 19th-century American author, best known for his many formulaic juvenile novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of respectable middle-class security and comfort through hard work, determination, courage, and honesty. He lived from 1832 to 1899.
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