Barriere grads take $100,000 in University Entrance Scholarships

2013 Graduation Commencement Ceremonies for Barriere Secondary took place on May 24, in the Barriere Curling Rink

Barriere Elementary principal

Barriere Elementary principal

2013 Graduation Commencement Ceremonies for Barriere Secondary took place on May 24, in the Barriere Curling Rink, in front of a standing room only audience.

Scholarships and bursaries won locally, provincially and nationally by Barriere graduates totalled over $150,000, of which close to $40,000 came from community sponsors.

Shelley Ewashina, the principal of Barriere Elementary, was on hand at the ceremonies to announce the recipients of this years’ University Entrance Scholarships.

“You know at the beginning of the school year most students are just settling into the routine of school.  But there are always a few ‘keeners’ who start thinking about scholarships in September,” said Ewashina during her address, “Tonight I am honoured to be able to recognize publicly four young dedicated ladies who started thinking about scholarships very early in the school year, and their early commitment has paid off.”

Ewashina then called grad students Jessica Gartner, Katrine Schilling, Hannah Allen and Alysha Piva to the podium.

In recognizing the students scholarships, prinicipal Ewashina noted, “Quest University is located in the beautiful coastal mountains of Squamish, B.C., on a 60 acre campus.  It is a 21st Century liberal arts university.  In order to be accepted and earn a scholarship, they look for students who have a certain passion, combined with an ability to lead and a willingness to contribute to society around them.  I am so pleased to say that this student shows all of these attributes.  Jessica Gartner is the recipient of a $12,000 entrance scholarship for Quest University.”

She went on to say, “I have always been a huge advocate for our very own local university – Thompson Rivers University.  TRU provides students with an excellent undergraduate education, and these next two girls are recognized for demonstrating strong academic performance, moral character and inner directedness.  Kate Schilling has been awarded the TRU Board of Governors Entrance Scholarship in the amount of $3000, and Hannah Allen has received the TRU Leadership Entrance Scholarship in the amount of $5000.

“Now the first scholarship that comes across the counsellor’s desk in September is the LORAN Scholarship.  When this young lady asked me if I would help sponsor her with this application I said “absolutely”. It has a very rigorous selection process, and it is a lot of work for students who apply.  Each year about 3,700 applications are received – it is then narrowed down to about 300 who are selected for a regional interview in Vancouver.  Then it’s narrowed down to about 50 finalists that go to a final interview in Toronto. The criteria that the judges are looking for are strong academic performance, outstanding overall potential for leadership, but most importantly independent thinking and a willingness to take meaningful risks.  I am proud to say that Alicia Piva is the recipient of an $80,000 entrance scholarship that she will be using to attend the University of Alberta in September.”


Amidst much applause the grads received their envelopes, and Ewashina wrapped up the presentation by saying, “How’s that for a small school like Barriere Secondary? Well done girls!”