Vincent Martin, a war orphan from Uganda, is planning on becoming an RCMP officer to help stop violence in society “and to keep people safe.”
The Grade 12 student from St. Joseph High School was among 17 soon-to-be graduates to win a $2,000 Rotary Career Opportunity Award from the Rotary Club of Red Deer and the Red Deer and District Community Foundation.
A total of $34,000 in scholarships was presented an a luncheon Monday at the Pidherney Centre to help these “exemplary” students further their education.
Martin appreciates the financial help with his tuition — as well as the other opportunities he’s had since arriving in Canada as a nine-year-old with his aunt.
“I’m thankful and I want to give back to the community.”
Const. Sean Morris, an RCMP community policing member, believes Martin has the integrity and compassion needed to become a great police officer someday.
Christopher Warren, chair of the Rotary Career Opportunity Awards, is pleased his service club can help such deserving Grade 12 students further their education.
He noted students do not have to have top marks to apply. The 30 applicants were good students, but were also scored on their community involvement, extra-curricular participation, academic efforts and financial need.
Warren added they also had to be accepted into a post-secondary program.
Many applicants came with remarkable commendations, said Erin Peden, co-ordinator for the Red Deer and District Community Foundation.
This includes Notre Dame student Taylor Resendes, who received a letter from her school bus driver, who noticed she had become an advocate for two non-verbal students, communicating on their behalf.
Hunting Hills student Emma Baker and Lindsay Thurber graduate Dajana Cadjan were also among the Rotary Career Opportunity Award winners.
Baker, who’s performed with her band Ten02 at community functions, said the money will “help like crazy” when it comes to getting her combined bachelor of science and education degree.
Cadjan, who volunteers at the hospital, is happy to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, who received the same scholarship.
“She’s now very happy and excited and loves her job” as a teacher, added Cadjan, who also plans to get an education degree.
Other winners from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School were McKenzie Armstrong, Kaleb Blue, Morgan Gouldie, Delanie Gouldie, Alma Kreho and Alexandra Gonzales.
Notre Dame High School scholarship award winners are: Deonna Ashelen, Gonzalez Alvarez, Janessa Labrecque-Pearch, Jaisen Lehmen, Julia McIlravey, Anne-Marie Purdy and Owen Walker.
The awards are presented annually.