BY RYAN WELLICOME
The Lacombe & District Chamber of Commerce has chosen the recipients of its annual scholarship award.
Two scholarships, each in the amount of $1,250, will be awarded to Julena Andrew and Gerrit Verhoeven, both graduates of Lacombe Composite High School.
“As a Chamber it’s important for us to make (this) kind of contribution,” said the Chamber’s executive director Monica Bartman. “We’re very excited.”
As part of the application the hopefuls submitted essays disclosing their plans for post-secondary education and their current involvement within the community through volunteering, employment or extracurriculars.
“It’s always interesting to see and hear about the plans students in our community have,” said Bartman.
One requirement is that applicants must attend school within the County of Lacombe, being the City of Lacombe or any of the townships that are located there within. Another requirement is the applicant must work for, or have a parent that owns or is employed by, a Chamber-member business.
Bartman explained that the Chamber’s scholarship committee looks for applicants that are maintaining a positive contribution, through work or volunteering, to the community now and in the future.
“They look at, as well, whether or not a student has a specific interest in returning to Lacombe after they have completed a post-secondary (education) and bringing some of those skills back to Lacombe,” she said.
Andrew, an aspiring music teacher, plans to attend Red Deer College (RDC) to obtain a music diploma and then wishes to move on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Education. In her application, Andrew cited music as one of the defining influences in her life and said that it has helped mould her into who she is today.
She wishes to return to Lacombe as a primary school music teacher so she can show young minds the positive influence that music can afford them. Music, she believes, is an important part of public schooling and with the tools she looks to acquire, she wants to work hard to keep it that way.
Andrew currently works with the Dancer’s Edge Studio in Lacombe and wants to continue to do so while attending RDC in the fall.
Verhoeven is on his way to Calgary to complete a diploma in Instrumentation Engineering Technology at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).
He has maintained academic excellence in math and sciences, winning awards for both and has taken part in school leadership programs. Verhoeven was part of Lacombe Composite High School’s Students’ Union Council and, during his high school years, has maintained various jobs at businesses within Lacombe.
Athletics have also been an integral part of Verhoeven’s life. In particular, hockey has been a focal point for him.
He has played for some of the area’s top tier organizations including the Lacombe Rockets, the Red Deer Midget AAA Chiefs and the Central Alberta Midget AA Selects in Lacombe.
Verhoeven’s efforts in community outreach also include mentoring Grade 5-6 French immersion students.
Scholarship cheques will be presented to Verhoeven and Andrew on Aug. 18th and Aug. 30th, respectively, just in time for the fall semester.