Three Ladysmith Secondary School students have been awarded entrance scholarships to the University of Victoria. The scholarships are awarded based on students’ GPA and academic achievements.
LSS student Skyla Thomas has been awarded an entrance scholarship to the University of Victoria.
Thomas found out about her scholarship while she was in class and thought it was a joke.
“I’d never seen that much money in my life,” she said. “I thought someone was scamming me. I was gobsmacked — flabbergasted.”
After her friends and parents looked at the email they determined the scholarship was the real deal.
Thomas will be studied political science and she hopes to go into human rights law and politics later in life. She became interested in politics after becoming aware of the way that politics impact people on an individual level. Thomas says she wants to help people have better lives.
“I started to look at different political philosophies and I found it so interesting,” she said.
Thomas says that the scholarship has taken a lot of stress of her shoulders because she won’t have to work a part-time job while studying.
She’s also relieved to be attending school in person and she’s happy that rates of COVID-19 transmission are dropping in the province.
Thomas was surprised to receive the entrance scholarship because her GPA wasn’t as high as other students. She feared that she wouldn’t get accepted into any of her desired schools, let alone receive such a highly valued entrance scholarship. But Thomas was accepted not only to UVIC, but also McGill University and the University of Ottawa — mainly on the basis of her Grade 12 GPA.
“I pushed myself a lot,” she said. “I was really proud of myself for what I achieved in that short amount of time.”
LSS student Ava Smith has been awarded an entrance scholarship to the University of Victoria.
“It’s amazing — I was shocked. I didn’t know they gave out that much,” she said.
The scholarship will go toward funding Smith’s tuition at UVIC. She said that the scholarship has helped her feel more prepared to go to school without having to stress about the financial aspect of going to university.
Smith is going for a major in geography and plans to go into a field related to the environment or community planning depending on what interests her most.
“I want to work with cities. I love being in the city. I want to work in a place like Vancouver and help companies focus on sustainability and make sure they have good plans for climate change,” Smith said.
She was also accepted to Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. The scholarship helped her make up her mind, but prior to the scholarship she wanted to stay close to home.
Smith has lived in the Ladysmith area for her whole life. She said she was nervous about living away from home during the pandemic.
“Victoria is so close, I can go home on the weekends if I want,” she said.
Although she’ll be close to home, Smith says that she’ll miss Ladysmith Secondary. Smith has been part of the LSS Student Council and the LSS Interact Club. She said that she’ll miss the school events and community.
“I’m going to miss the teachers, the students, and all the activities we got to do together,” she said. “We have such a good school spirit and everyone’s so close because it’s so small. I’m going to miss all of it.”
LSS student Katrina Kurylowich was awarded an entrance scholarship to the University of Victoria.
Kurylowich said she was incredibly excited to receive the scholarship. She found out about Skyla’s scholarship before she found out about her own, and says that she’s excited to be going to the same university as one of her best friends.
She will be enrolling in the Bachelors of Commerce at UVIC’s Gustavson School of Business. She became interested in the program after attending a presentation at the Gustavson school. Part of what drew her to the program was the requirement to complete co-op terms and the opportunity to learn abroad at UVIC sister schools.
“Right now I have the goal of becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant and going into forensic accounting. But I’m not set on anything at the moment,” she said.
Kurylowich says that she’s enjoyed her time at LSS and has felt at home in the LSS community. She said that the teaching staff at LSS support students to do their best. Kurlyowich added that LSS extra-curricular activities have been great to experience.
“I was involved in the soccer team and the musicals, choir, band, student council, and Interact Club. It’s been so fun.”
She plans to continue her involvement in extra-curricular activities and student clubs at UVIC as her schedule allows.