Queen Elizabeth High School student Kristina LeDrew could hardly contain her excitement upon discovering she would be receiving a 2018 RBC Award.
“It felt amazing,” said LeDrew. “I’ve received various awards through school but never (something) like a scholarship funding my education… It was a bit of an honour to be awarded for my work.”
LeDrew is a recipient of the RBC Award and bursary which offers graduating high school students $1,000 to offset some the costs of post-secondary education. The bursary is available to students who are deeply committed to their community, academics and exhibit a desire to further their education to realize career goals.
LeDrew undoubtedly fits the award criteria.
An active participant in the Duke of Edinburgh program, LeDrew has taken on the gold level of the program’s curriculum after Jim Butler, a teacher at Frank Roberts Junior High, persuaded her to get involved in Grade 9. The leadership program involves weekly volunteering, developing a new skill and a focus on physical fitness.
“There’s three levels and I’m in the final now,” said LeDrew. “This past summer I completed a three-night (60 kilometre) hike as part of the program.”
LeDrew also continues to volunteer at the Admiral’s Coast Retirement Centre in Upper Gullies. It was through her volunteer work that LeDrew decided what she would like to pursue in her future studies.
“Right now I’ve applied for, and been accepted into, the Bachelor of Human Kinetics and Recreation (at Memorial University) to study therapeutic recreation — which I did find my passion for while volunteering at Admiral’s Coast,” said LeDrew.
The Queen Elizabeth student said that while she hasn’t completely decided on her future career goal, she was interested in taking her passion for therapeutic recreation to long-term care facilities such as the Miller Centre. She hopes to help patients by working to implement recreation programs designed to help with physical, intellectual, psychological and social therapy.
LeDrew already praises the effects of recreation programs.
“My grandmother, she spends a lot of time with elderly groups out doing activities all of the time and that’s 100 per cent why she’s so healthy and so active — I just think everyone should,” said LeDrew.
While she keeps herself busy with her extracurricular activities, LeDrew is also active in the school community at Queen Elizabeth High. Through school, LeDrew has attended a Model United Nations Conference, and completed a summer-long Women in Science and Engineering program.
For LeDrew, scholarship opportunities afford her a level of freedom to pursue her studies. The RBC Award isn’t the only scholarship she’s availing of so far.
“I’ve been non-stop applying for scholarships to fund school for next year,” said LeDrew. “As of right now, if my marks stay up, I have $2,500 (funded) from Memorial University and I have $500 — I work at Pipers — I have a $500 award from there.”
LeDrew likely has little worry of her marks dropping. The Queen Elizabeth honours student currently sports a sparkling 95 overall average.
And as for the bursary from RBC, which she’ll receive upon graduation, LeDrew has big plans for the extra cash.
“I intend on using the funding to buy a new laptop for school,” said LeDrew, laughing. “I currently have a huge, blocky one that needs to be plugged in to work — it’s not good.”
By Kyle Reid