How many teens can you name that spend their summers volunteering for their church, who work throughout the school year on student council, theatrical productions and Youth in Philanthropy? Perhaps the same students that would volunteer for mission work, lead Sunday school and initiate a Peer Helpers group.
We are thrilled to introduce you to one such shining star that has contributed in significant ways all while staying on the school honour roll! We are inspired by his work and we are pleased to announce that Bailey Neufeld is the inaugural recipient of the Make It A Reality Scholarship.
Bailey is a grade 12 student at Garden Valley Collegiate who was born and raised in Winkler. He will be attending the University of Winnipeg to study psychology this coming fall. His outstanding work seems to come almost naturally for him. Of his strong commitment to supporting local causes, Bailey shares, “I like feeling like I have accomplished something. Even if I am scared and not totally sure about what something will involve, I would still rather do it and develop that interest. I don’t like not being involved.”
A main focus of his work in the past year has been the establishment of a student group called Peer Helpers. Through his role on Student Council he noticed that there were many areas of student life that are overlooked when a group is focused on meeting the requirements of their duties. These oversights included the mental health and social needs of students. To address these needs, he and his friends have committed to the motto of “supporting the wellness of others.” Their actions include greeting students in the mornings, offering granola bars to the hungry, programming restorative yoga and generally trying to “make people’s day without expectation of anything in return.”
Listening to Bailey speak, his ethos demonstrates strong leadership that aligns strongly with the values of the Winkler Community Foundation. The Peer Helpers project is a glowing example of the spirit of generosity behind Pay It Forward May. As well, the Helpers show their savvy in creating synergy by promoting these initiatives during this month designated for “Mental Health Awareness.”
Bailey’s career goal is currently to become a school psychologist, although he asks that we remember he has a lot to learn at school and that this may change. He is also interested in biology and nutrition and hopes to integrate these subjects into his coursework. He will be lodging with two of the other Make It a Reality Scholarship finalists. As it turns out, they are the best of friends.
By all accounts, Bailey keeps good company, devotes to impactful work and strives to meet both his commitments and the needs of others. The Scholarships Committee was impressed with his contributions to community projects, his self-awareness and his plans for building a strong foundation for a positive future.
The winner of the $20,000 Make It A Reality Scholarship represents the very best of our community – a giving spirit, commitment to leadership and excellence in their pursuits. We are confident that Bailey is living proof that Gordon Wiebe’s vision and legacy are alive and strong in Winkler’s next generation.
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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. These scholarships are for local students age 30 or under who are completing their first undergraduate degree or diploma at a registered post-secondary institution within Canada. This year, the fund is enabling the granting of 29 awards valuing a total of $61,000.