The Rotary Club of Red Deer in conjunction with Red Deer & District Community Foundation awarded 16 high schools students with Rotary Career Opportunity Awards worth $32,000 Monday afternoon to help with their post secondary education. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

Rotary Club of Red Deer awards $32k to high school students

The awards will let students pursue post secondary education without worrying about finances

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.

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Joshua Young, a Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School student, is one of the 16 Rotary Career Opportunity Award recipients. The Rotary Club of Red Deer in conjunction with Red Deer & District Community Foundation handed out awards to students Monday afternoon. Geannette Lehman, Lindsay Thurber High School vice principal Grade 12, said the awards help students like Young to pursue post secondary education. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff

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