By RYAN KING
PORT AUX BASQUES – On Nov. 22 Tom Osborne, the Minister of Education, announced more than $200,000 in scholarship funds as part of the Provincial Scholarship Program that was awarded to 201 high school graduates. Previously the scholarships had been awarded based on grades from public exams in English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. However, public exams were cancelled during the pandemic in June of 2021, so the scholarships were instead awarded to school graduates in the relevant subject areas.
The awards included 120 Electoral District Scholarships, which are granted to three high school graduates with the highest marks in each district. In the Burgeo-La Poile district, all three scholarships went to students at St. James Regional High. These students were Marcy Leamon, Dylan Macdougall, and Sophia Munden.
Munden said that winning the $1000 scholarship was a wonderful surprise.
“I had no idea that I would be considered and selected for such a prestigious scholarship. My older sister received this award when she graduated high school and I remember thinking how nice it would be if I could achieve something like that in the future. I didn’t think this was very realistic as my graduating class and others in the region all are very academically successful students. Receiving this scholarship was a goal of mine, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up with the competition being so high,” said Munden.
Munden said that while it was a challenge to keep up her grades, her efforts have paid off.
“It was definitely a challenge to keep my marks up in the subjects of Math, English, Science, and Social Studies, but I always put the work in and tried my hardest. Maintaining a high average and working hard was very important to me because I felt like it gave me more opportunities and a better chance of succeeding in university. Putting in lots of effort in high school has definitely helped me work through the challenges that I’ve incurred in university.”
Munden added that the scholarship will be a big help while she attends university in Nova Scotia, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
“Currently I am studying Business at Acadia University and I will be using this scholarship to help pay for my courses and textbooks in the upcoming semester.”
Munden was just as excited for her two classmates.
“My first reaction to being awarded this scholarship was excitement and then happiness to learn that my two fellow classmates also received the award. I immediately messaged my classmates Dylan and Marcy to congratulate them and share the excitement. We all left the province together for university, so we tend to keep in touch, and we are all very proud of each other,” said Munden.
Naturally her family was pleased as well.
“When I told my family about the scholarship, they were also very excited and told me how proud of me they are. I’m very proud of myself for being awarded this scholarship and it makes me realize that hard work pays off. I’m very thankful for receiving this award and would like to thank all of the teachers at St. James Regional High who helped me achieve this goal” said Munden.
Leamon had also aspired to winning the scholarship.
“Receiving this scholarship was a goal of mine! Academic achievements are something I have always strived for. I have been hearing about the electoral district scholarship for years growing up, so now being a recipient is kind of a full circle moment,” said Leamon, who never shies away from hard work.
“It was definitely a challenge to keep my grades up during high school. I have always had to work hard to keep good grades, especially considering my involvement with various extracurriculars and sports. That being said, I look back at my high school career now and have a great appreciation for that hard work considering the doors it has opened for me,” said Leamon.
Leamon will be using her scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
“I have hopes of majoring in neuroscience with a minor in biology upon my second year of school. From there, I hope to go to medical school in order to obtain an M.D. This scholarship is an amazing contributor to this goal,” said Leamon.
She credits her family and friends for their support.
“I was thrilled to receive this scholarship,” said Leamon. “Academic achievements and
scholarships are incredibly important to me, as they represent the work I have put in. My family and friends were very pleased as well. They have always revelled with me in my achievements and are very proud of how far I’ve come. I would like to thank them for all the support that they have given me up to this point as I would not have made it to where I am now without their love and encouragement.”
Like his fellow recipients, Macdougall was also surprised to learn he had won.
“I honestly had no idea about the scholarship until I received it. However I was quite honoured when I heard.”
Macdougall admitted that it was harder to keep his grades up for some subjects.
“I didn’t find math and some of the sciences to be that much of a challenge as that is where my interest is highest, however English and Social Studies I found slightly more challenging,” said Macdougall.
Science and Math will remain his focus as he continues his studies at the university level.