Qualicum School District recipients of Pieter de Reuver Foundation awards, from left, Rachel Sokyrka, Juliette Desvaux, and Sharon Mathew. (Submitted photo)

Three graduating SD69 students earn prestigious foundation awards

Recipents plan to continue their impactful work in the service of others

Three graduates in School District 69 (Qualicum) have been awarded scholarships by the Pieter de Reuver Foundation.

Grade 12 Kwalikum Secondary student Rachel Sokyrka received the Award of Excellence scholarship in the amount of $5,000 to pursue her post-secondary goals.

The award criteria included excellence as a learner, commitment to community service or volunteer work and contributing to the culture and fabric of the school through active participation in arts, athletics, leadership or service. Among her many accomplishments, Rachel highlights her community experiences with helping others, including volunteer work within senior citizen’s homes, as influential in her decision to study biology and to become a pediatrician one day.

“I am deeply appreciative of the support from the Pieter De Reuver Foundation, as this generosity has influenced and motivated me to pursue a career in which I can also give back,” she said.

RELATED: PHOTOS: Ballenas Secondary grads celebrate with rally through Parksville

RELATED: PHOTOS: Kwalikum Secondary grads celebrate with rally through Qualicum Beach

Grade 12 Ballenas Secondary students Juliette Desvaux and Sharon Mathew were this year’s recipients of the Rising Above awards in the amount of $2,000 each (including $1,000 from the foundation and $1,000 matching funds from the SD69 board of education).

A release from the district said “these two awards recognize students who are determined to continue their education after graduation, in spite of challenges and barriers experienced in their lives. Both students credit their experiences with adversity as drivers behind their aspirations for careers in social work and medicine, and are grateful for the financial support that will help make their educational dreams a reality.”

The Pieter de Reuver Foundation, in co-operation with several Vancouver Island education institutions, was able to issue more than 100 scholarships and bursaries to Vancouver Island students in 2020.

“The Qualicum School District appreciates the foundation’s generosity to our deserving graduates,” read the release. “During the pandemic, it is especially heartening to know that these three dedicated and compassionate students plan to continue their impactful work in the service of others.”

— NEWS Staff, submitted

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