The final tally is in: 76 local youth have applied for the inaugural round of the Gordon Wiebe Post-Secondary Scholarships. These young people are sharing their life lessons in sport, music, education and faith-based involvements to build after-school programs, to coordinate fundraisers, to coach younger teams, and to ensure that their elderly neighbours have clear driveways. One applicant reflects, “Many important programs and services would be impossible without people who recognize others’ needs….I have seen the value in giving up our own time to help others and to bless someone, especially when one is blessed with so much.”
Applicants represent students from all walks of life who seek to be of service through community participation. Another applicant offers thanks to his mother for moving to Manitoba and for all that she has done to support his dreams: “She did it to provide the best possible life for [her children.] She inspires me to study volunteer, work, and give back to the community.”
Seeking to develop rewarding careers, these athletes, environmentalists, future scientists and health care practitioners share a mature understanding of what it takes to set and achieve high personal goals. Their charisma and determination is highlighted by the glowing letters of reference from leaders in our community. One referee commends, “I appreciate [applicant’s] genuine interest and communication skills with the elderly population…. She always responds very professionally and with great dignity towards patients and staff.”
Charlie Siler, Student Guidance Counselor at Northlands Parkway Collegiate (NPC), anticipates that the awards will make a real difference in the lives of NPC graduates: “At NPC we are very excited that more of our students will have access to scholarship funds. These awards are sizable and for some students they may provide the necessary encouragement to continue on with post-secondary studies.”
The Foundation’s Scholarships Committee will convene later this month to adjudicate applications. Finalists for the Make It A Reality Scholarship will be interviewed in April. Winners for both award streams will be notified in Spring. The Winkler Community Foundation expresses a deep gratitude to all applicants and referees for all of their remarkable work in our community.