Two Ladysmith Secondary Students have been awarded prestigious scholarships from Vancouver Island University that are awarded to students with the highest on grade point averages from Vancouver Island, Powell River and Bella Bella.
Alyssa Van Horne
LSS student Alyssa Van Horne is the winner of the Vancouver Island University President’s Award. She’ll be attending VIU’s Nanaimo campus in the fall for a Bachelor’s in Education.
“My dad’s a teacher, so I’ve been familiar with the school world. Ever since I was little I’ve really liked school. Teaching is always something I felt like I could do. I’ve really been able to fall in love with teaching through leadership positions in high school.”
One of those leadership positions came in Grade 10 when Van Horne was the choreographer for LSS’s production of Mamma Mia. Van Horne said she enjoyed planning the routines and teaching them to her peers.
“I loved the instruction and working with people.”
The President’s Award is based on grade point averages. GPA is calculated on the top four Grade 11 marks and top four Grade 12 marks in academic courses. The awards are then given out to the students with the top six GPAs from Vancouver Island, Powell River and Bella Bella.
The President’s Award will cover Van Horne’s tuition for five years. She plans to stay living at home in Ladysmith while attending VIU. Van Horne was born and raised in Ladysmith and she’s thrilled to stay near home. She hopes to work in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith or Cowichan Valley school districts after she completes her degree.
“The Island is really familiar, but I feel like I have so much left to explore here. It’s a really beautiful place to live,” she said.
LSS student Catherine Sampson has been awarded the VIU Chancellor’s Scholarship.
The scholarship is awarded to six Indigenous students from Vancouver Island and is based on their GPA. It’s a full-ride scholarship that will cover her tuition at VIU.
Sampson plans to stay living at home while she attends VIU for Indigenous Studies. Once she completes her degree, she plans to attend the University of Victoria for their Indigenous Law program.
“I kept hearing that we need more lawyers. A couple people in my family are doing it too — one of my family members is in her third year of the program I want to go in. I heard it’s a really good program. That inspired me to want to do it,” Sampson said.
Sampson is a member of the Stz’uminus First Nation. Once she obtains her law degree, Sampson hopes to use her skills to support her community.
As she prepares to leave LSS, Sampson says that she’ll miss the school community. She said that LSS does a great job of supporting students and creating a space where she feels safe to learn.