Exams, ceremonies, graduation dates, and what comes next. There are many things that may weigh on the minds of grade twelve students today. Especially with the end of high school around the corner. One worry graduating Métis student Zoe Doucette won’t have, is where she’ll be going to school and how she is going to pay for it.
It was announced on May 13 that Doucette was awarded the Scholastic Distinction Entrance Scholarship through the College of the Rockies worth approximately $3500 based on one year of free tuition in her program.
“The Scholastic Distinction Entrance Scholarship is the most valuable and prestigious scholarship awarded by the College, says Lois Murray, Financial Aid and Awards Officer for College of the Rockies. “These awards are available to all East Kootenay Secondary Schools Students with a minimum of an 85 per cent grade average in their completed grade 11 and 12 academic classes.”
The College of the Rockies always aims to give out a top award to the high schools such as in their campus areas such as David Thompson Secondary School. While in the past they have sometimes been short on applicants, this year they had 48.
Part of the criteria is that an applicant must show an interest in attending a full-time program for the fall at College of the Rockies. Doucette applied for the Scholastic Distinction Entrance Scholarship in March with an interest in the Pre-Education program for the fall. Doucette has been accepted to the Pre-Education Program for the fall while her GPA of a 93.5 per cent average in her top academic courses made her an easy selection.
Being from a big family, this scholarship means a lot to Doucette. “I was speechless when I found out I couldn’t believe it,” says Doucette. “It means that my parents won’t have to worry about my tuition, and we could just save it for next year. It’s been a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Doucette doesn’t just give her all in the classroom but also in the community as she has participated in two work experience programs both in Canal Flats at Columbia Lake Technology Centre and Triple J Window Cleaning from January to June of last year.
This year from September to January Doucette had the opportunity to volunteer at Martin Morigeau Elementary School, a perfect fit for this future educator. She has had many mentors along the way to put her on this path including her retired counsellor Ms. Brown. “I loved teaching and she really helped me get to that point,” says Doucette.
Monica Fisher who works in the Indigenous Education program at David Thompson Secondary School has also been a big support for Doucette especially with her scholarship applications.
“She’s always thinking of others and often spends a lot of her time in our room tutoring other kids from all different grades in various subjects, in particular math,” says Fisher, adding that, “She’s very patient in her teaching, and it just comes naturally to her. It’s always exciting when our kids get these extra opportunities to further their education.”
The College of the Rockies is located on the unceded territories of the Secwépemc and Ktunaxa People and the land chosen as home by the Métis Peoples of B.C. which runs along the Columbia River. After Doucette completes their Pre-Education Certificate program she plans to apply to the University of Lethbridge where she’ll work towards her combined education and science degree.
Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer