Joshua Young is a grade 12 student at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School who dreams of becoming a civil engineer.
Now that dream is slowly becoming a reality.
The Rotary Club of Red Deer with Red Deer & District Community Foundation handed out Rotary Career Opportunity Awards Monday to 16 students worth $2,000 each. The recipients will be able to use the money to continue with their post-secondary education.
For Young, the scholarship helps “smooth some of the bumps in the road” that will lead to University of Alberta in the fall.
“I feel civil engineering is what really calls to me. My family comes from a long line of people in trades and construction so I think engineering is a great way to carry on that legacy,” said the 17-year-old.
Thirty students applied for the annual awards this year.
Grace Sporea, a Notre Dame High School student, said the award means she can pursue her dreams without worrying about finances because she has younger siblings at home.
“This really helps,” said Sporea, who will study biology at Red Deer College in the fall.
Christopher Warren, Rotary Career Opportunity fund chairman, said he feels proud giving away the scholarships because it encourages students to attend college, university or trade school.
He said the awards aren’t necessarily for “elite students.”
Warren said students were selected based on financial need, academic excellence, school and community involvement, and acceptance into a post-secondary program.
Geannette Lehman, Lindsay Thurber High School vice principal Grade 12, said school administers help students anyway they can, but they have no control over their finances.
She said some of the students awarded come from single family homes, some have chronic illness, and others are new Canadians.
She said these students work tirelessly outside of the school to support their families as well as keep up with other students in the classroom.
“Many of these students have served their community, their church, the hospital, their school, and a number of local organizations, putting others above themselves,” said Lehman.