Announcing this year’s recipient of the $20,000 Gordon Wiebe Make It A Reality Scholarship: Maria Gruen. The Winkler Community Foundation’s Scholarships Committee is impressed with her commitment to serving community, her resilience in navigating barriers and the leadership that she has shown in her drive to realize her life goals. Her dream is to inspire people around her to do their best and help others. She recognizes the importance of a supportive community; to help others and be active within the community.
Maria continues to give back to her community as a student volunteer with local hospitals, her church as well as participating in school fundraisers and helping with sporting events.
Maria has learnt to work hard for what she has; at home, in school, in sports and at her job. Being the 8th child from a family of 13 she has learnt to take care of her siblings and contribute to the day-to-day family chores while being involved in sports and maintaining her studies. Receiving this award gives Maria a chance to pursue post-secondary education and set an example for her younger siblings; encouraging them to follow their dreams. Maria plans to attend the University of Manitoba to obtain her science degree with a long-term goal to become a pediatrician.
This unique award opportunity is made possible by the generous bequest received from former pharmacist, Gordon Wiebe. In 2015, his gift of $2.2 million established the Gordon Wiebe Education Fund. It was his wish that these awards make life dreams possible for young people who demonstrate commitment to community service. Since 2017, the Winkler Community Foundation distributed $137,000 in scholarships. An additional $87,000 will be awards in 2019 impacting 39 students. These young students embody the spirit of the foundation – building community, and they show us what it takes to make life dreams come true.