Gravenhurst grad awarded bursary with plans to head to Georgian College

·2 min read

A Gravenhurst High School graduate with her eye set on a future in the field of law is this year’s recipient of a $5,000 bursary granted by the Muskoka Lakes Association.

Makayla Smith-Lagrandeur, who will begin the law clerk program at Georgian College in Barrie in the fall, was on her way home from shopping for her first vehicle when she got the news. “I got a call saying I’d won the bursary,” she explained. “The amount that’s given each semester will pay for my semester term.”

Unsure what post-secondary education will look like in the age of COVID-19, Smith-Lagrandeur still plans to move to Barrie, whether the first year of college takes place virtually or in the classroom. “It would take a lot to adjust to online learning,” she said, but the advantage is that, “I can learn at my own pace.”

Studying law has always been the focus for the honours student, whose goal is to become a family lawyer and open a Muskoka law firm to serve her home community.

Until then, she plans to spend her summer clocking hours at Bala Freshmart, where she currently works part time.

A resident of Wahta Mohawks Territory, Smith-Lagrandeur served as a student delegate for the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee and a delegate for youth leadership at the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians conference in 2018.

“Makayla’s application to the MLA was exceptionally well written, organized and thoughtful,” the MLA said in a statement, adding her teachers noted her work as a peer tutor helped motivate other students and organize workspaces.

The Muskoka Lakes Association awards its annual bursary to a student who demonstrates financial need to continue post-secondary education. The bursary is part of an initiative by the community programs committee and is now in its eighth year.

Kristyn Anthony reports for through the Local Journalism Initiative, a program funded by the Canadian government.

Kristyn Anthony, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,