2013 Barriere Secondary School grad Alysha Piva has accepted a $22,000 scholarship to begin her Bachelor of Social Work at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops this September.
The TRU Ambassador’s Entrance Scholarship recognizes documented leadership and community service, combined with strong academic performance. Piva is one of six to receive the award in 2014, with the others from schools in Clearwater, Kamloops, Kelowna, Salmon Arm, and Duncan.
“I think I’m in the world to serve a purpose and that is to inspire others in my community to make their own unique mark,” says Piva, adding, “That may be through helping others to express themselves, helping them creating unique things, or encouraging them to join groups and organizations.”
This sense of obligation swells from many sources, but two emerge as the largest. Witnessing the resiliency and resolve of residents during the 2003 McLure-Barriere wildfires is one. The other is growing up in a ranching family.
“Ranching has played a significant role in my life,” says Piva. “Aside from learning to operate a variety of haying equipment, living on a ranch has taught me many valuable lessons. These valuable moral lessons include, the importance of hard work, the value of money, self-sufficiency, teamwork, and generosity. Growing up heavily involved in agriculture has made me think more critically about the contributions I want to make in my community and the meaningful risks I want to take in order to discover my passions.”
Among Piva’s academic accomplishments: Straight A’s throughout high school, district honours recipient, being recognized as most athletic and academic senior girl, and valedictorian of her graduating class.
Among Piva’s giving back to her school: Helping create the school’s first student council in 2013 and serving as its secretary, mentoring Grade 8 students, helping with school spirit events, and announcing school announcements to keep students, teachers, and staff up to date with events and information.
Among Piva’s giving back to the community: Receiving a Rotary Daybreak Award for Community Service and Leadership, volunteering for the Barriere Fun Run, being a mentor with Big Brothers and Sisters, organizing swimming lessons for families in Barriere and if needed, receiving Canadian Tire Jumpstart money for low-income families. Her strong commitment to bettering her community also landed her a Loran Scholarship.
About Thompson Rivers University (TRU) educates 13,170 learners on campus and 11,794 by distance and online, for a total of 24,125. The student body is 11 per cent Aboriginal, and includes more than 2,500 international students from more than 85 countries.