Four North Okanagan-Shuswap Grade 12 students are being recognized for their scholastic achievements with $40,000 scholarships.
Garrett Kelly of Salmon Arm Secondary and Lynndsay Terpsma of Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong have been awarded $40,000 scholarships from the Cmolik Foundation, while Salmon Arm Secondary student Glitter Esquivias and Clarence Fulton Secondary’s Dezirae Bond will receive $40,000 Beedie Luminaries scholarships.
Glitter said she applied for the scholarship because she wanted to see “just how far my own story could go, plus Beedie was just a perfect fit.”
Beedie Luminaries scholarships are available to students who not only demonstrate strong academic potential, but are also involved in their communities and have faced life challenges and adversity with determination and optimism.
“I’m hoping to pursue fine arts in university; it’s likely that it’ll be theatre, music or visual arts. Perhaps even all three!” said Glitter. “I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to being a creator, so I’m honestly just planning to pursue what I enjoy and see where it takes me.
“I’d really like to thank the faculty that supported me during the process, the school counsellors, my careers teacher, the lovely Indigenous education workers and then also my arts teachers. They’ve all been such a wonderful help in supporting me, and I have such a beloved relationship with my fine arts teachers. I’m really going to miss it.”
Lynndsay Terpsma was recognized by the Cmolik Foundation for her achievements in overcoming adversity and excelling in her studies.
“The selection committee was impressed with Terpsma’s application, her academic goals and her future career aspirations,” reads a media release from the Cmolik Foundation. “The award recognizes and honours Terpsma’s hard work and commitment with this financial award and is keen to support Terpsma pursuing interests in science and biochemistry.”
Terpsma plans on pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, with a major in Biochemistry at UBCO.
“I chose this area of study because I want to use applied research to target real world issues,” she explained.
“I am so incredibly honoured to be awarded this scholarship, and it has taken away a huge portion of my stress about post-secondary school. I have always dreamed of attending UBC Okanagan, but I never thought it would happen, especially after my father’s passing in October 2021.”
Janet Gillis, a French teacher at Pleasant Valley Secondary School, described Terpsma as, “an exceptional student with exemplary grades resulting from diligent work habits and keen intellect.”
“She has also been a model citizen in our school community, exemplifying positive behaviour, maturity and discipline throughout her high school career,” said Gillis. “She is a brilliant young woman who can make a difference in the world.”
Garrett impressed the Cmolik Foundation’s selection committee with his application, academic goals and career aspirations. The award recognizes his hard work and commitment, said the Cmolik Foundation, which was keen to support Garrett in pursing a career as a French Immersion Social Studies teacher.
“I envision myself teaching at a high school while raising a family, coaching a minor hockey team and becoming a volunteer firefighter,” said Garrett. “Of course, the financial support I will receive from the scholarship will be crucial in helping me achieve my future goals, but the fact that the Cmolik Foundation also offers support, in the form of mentors, to its students is a unique part of the award that, I believe, will prove just as valuable as the money I will receive.”
Garrett credited Earl Dodds, his Grade 4/5 teacher at South Broadview, for his success in school, and teacher Patricia Izik-Dzurko, for help and support with scholarship applications.
“He is the reason I am the strong student I am today,” said Garrett, who also expressed his gratitude to family, friends and everyone who has on his scholastic journey.
“I would also like to add one piece of advice for anyone experiencing adversity in their life, especially young people: don’t try to do everything yourself,” said Garrett. “There are people who care about you who you know and who you don’t even know of. You are strong enough and everything will be okay.”
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