Earning any scholarship can be a big help to university students, but winning one worth $5,000 can also be the motivation needed to keep moving forward.
UVic student Megan Kelly, who graduated from Ballenas Senior Secondary in 2013, knows exactly how that feels. She recently won the Black Press Scholarship for 2014.
“It motivates me to keep working hard,” said Kelly. “It definitely has helped take a load off financially and it’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve done.”
The Black Press Scholarship is an annual award for students attending the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. According to a press release from Black Press, the scholarships aim to give students the opportunity to study business with the “hope that some of these students will eventually start businesses in their home towns and improve their local economies.”
Black Press owns The Parksville Qualicum Beach News.
There are up to 37 of these tuition scholarships, each worth $5,000, granted each year, one for each of the school districts in the province. According to the school’s scholarship website, eligible students must have graduated from a high school in B.C. and must be entering or returning to the business school.
Kelly said accepting her offer to the Gustavson School after high school graduation automatically entered her for the scholarship. When she didn’t win in her first year of university, she went back into the district pool.
On her application to the school, however, Kelly did have to meet certain criteria outlined for the scholarship. In particular, she had to demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and involvement in a community or campus organization, and highlight her personal goals. For Kelly, this meant talking about her softball experience growing up, volunteering with summer camps and being on the honour roll throughout high school.
As for her goals, Kelly has three more years of university to finish first. She is currently in her second year at UVic, taking pre-admission business courses and electives including philosophy, mythology and women’s studies.
Next year will see her fully enter the Gustavson School of Business for two years of commerce courses and at least two paid internships. When she graduates, Kelly will have a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
“I’m not sure what I’ll do after that,” she admits, though she is thinking about working for a bit before getting an MBA. Kelly is also highly considering accounting; her uncle is a chartered accountant and he greatly influenced her decision to enter into business school in the first place (she had previously thought about studying engineering instead).
No matter what she does, however, Kelly knows she has her family behind her. “We’re just dripping with pride,” said mom Jane Kelly. “She’s well-deserving. She works hard.”