High school students ‘elated’ by scholarships honouring future Manitoba leaders
Recipients of Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow, Leader of Tomorrow awards selected
Standout high school students received word on their selection for scholarships, including ones that are being awarded for the first time under a new program at the University of Manitoba.
“I was elated and grateful,” said Tyler Vinet, who was selected for the Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship, alongside two other students.
This year marks the first time the Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships are being awarded.
“It is such a relief to know that the financial burden is not as great. It will be so much easier to focus on my academics,” said Vinet regarding the award.
The scholarships are all worth $16,000 allotted over four years of study.
Vinet, an 18-year-old from Ross L. Gray School in Sprague, who attended his sixth basketball provincials this March, will be going into kinesiology at U of M this fall, with the goal of completing the physical therapy program.
“It combines science and physical activity – my two passions,” said Vinet, who also has been involved with his student council, travel club, drama production group and cross-country running in high school.
“When we compared universities, the U of M had everything I wanted. Since I am starting with kinesiology, the state-of-the art facilities stood out in a big way. I felt at home on the campus,” said Vinet.
Along with Vinet, the other Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships were awarded to Heaven Bignell of Hapnot Collegiate Institute in Flin Flon and Lacee Nakonechny from R.D. Parker Collegiate in Thompson.
In addition to the Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships, six Leader of Tomorrow Scholarships have also been awarded, as part of a program dating back to 1993. These are also worth $16,000.
Hilary Ransom, 17, from Stonewall Collegiate Institute is one of the students selected.
“I was absolutely thrilled,” said Ransom. “It was really exciting and humbling to be chosen.”
Ransom is a Stonewall Collegiate Institute student involved in school groups on human rights and teens against distracted driving, among others. In the community, she’s been working with a children’s literacy program at a local library and teaches dance to young children.
Ransom aims to complete a bachelor of commerce degree, with the current goal to major in actuarial math.
“I really like math and I always have, but I love working with other people. I thought that business would be good fit for me in that sense,” she said.
Six of the scholarship recipients will receive continuing funding in their second through fourth years from BMO.
Along with Ransom, the other students awarded the scholarships are Nina Lam from Fort Richmond Collegiate, Maria Nallim from Kelvin High School, Daniella Archer from Shaftesbury High School, Ivy Madden from Oak Park High School and Luke Thiessen from Mennonite Brethren Collegiate.
Director of Financial Aid & Awards Jane Lastra said the recipients of the Indigenous Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship and Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship show far-reaching abilities.
“We have students who are not only excelling academically, but are also investing countless hours of their time to their communities in such selfless and genuine ways. These students shine as pure examples of the next Leaders of Tomorrow,” said Lastra.
Students that apply for the scholarships must have “a minimum of a 90 per cent average based on a list of select courses, and each student needs to demonstrate leadership skills, community involvement and volunteerism,” she said.
After the December 1 application closing date each year, applications are extensively reviewed by committees, which then establish a short list.
Students on the short list are contacted and invited to visit campus for interviews with panel committee members. Following the interviews, the committee deliberates and selects recipients for the scholarships.
Indigenous Achievement and Outstanding Student Experience are pillars of the university’s Front and Centre fundraising campaign. By collaborating with Indigenous communities and stakeholders, the University of Manitoba is striving to be a welcoming place that translates into success for Indigenous students and their families. As part of its strategic plan, the U of M is committed to fostering the development of the next generation of Indigenous leaders by providing an inclusive and supportive learning environment that promotes Indigenous student success from the time of admission through graduation and beyond.