Graduating Reynolds secondary students Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski were both offered spots in the prestigious House of Commons page program for the fall, though Kowalewski turned it down to pursue a degree in biophysics at Simon Fraser University. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Ottawa calls on Reynolds grads

Students score big with page program, Schulich scholarship

For the second year in a row, a Reynolds secondary student is graduating directly into Canada’s House of Commons.

And for the third time in two years, a Reynolds student has secured one of 50 prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships, an $80,000 value towards a degree in science.

The truth is two Reynolds Grade 12 students, Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski, have been offered a place in the House of Commons page program. Schaefer is jumping on the opportunity and is registered in political science at the University of Ottawa. Kowalewski, meanwhile, made it through the rigorous interview and application process, including a French language evaluation (candidates must be bilingual) but later chose to accept the Schulich Scholarship through Simon Fraser University, where she’ll study biophysics.

“These scholarships are very competitive and for our high school to have back-to-back recipients is quite something,” said Patricia Daniells, a Reynolds teacher who offers career help to students.

Before interviewing for the House of Commons Page Program, Schaefer was able to check-in with Sylvan Lutz, a 2017 Reynolds grad who is currently working as a page while studying at University of Ottawa. Schaefer will put in a minimum of 15 hours a week at the House of Commons, one morning and one evening shift. It starts with a week-long training session in August.

“To some people the House of Commons might seem boring but to a poli-sci nerd like me, to be there assisting successful politicians and to be in the same room as the Prime Minister is like Christmas for me,” Schaefer said.

On top of a nearly flawless report card – Schaefer is one half of this year’s Reynolds valedictorian team with Camryn Nadeau – the teen spent a month over the winter holiday this year as a counselor to 11-year-olds at a CISV (a youth-oriented movement for global peace formerly known as Children’s International Summer Villages) camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

It’s that type of extra-curricular leadership that helped him get into the Page Program.

“The camp is mostly in English, so you learn how to communicate at different levels, especially with 11-year-olds who are still learning English,” said Schaefer, who is adding Spanish to his quiver of languages.

Same goes for Kowalewski, a science-oriented academic who’s been active in a number of initiatives throughout her time as a high schooler. But now the focus will turn on schooling, as Kowalewski enters a demanding program.

“It’s been a lot of work the last four years so it’s nice to know my dedication to school and a lot of extra-curricular activities has paid off,” Kowalewski said.

She follows in the footsteps of 2016 Reynolds grad Rebecca Hansen who also secured a Schulich for science.

“I always loved the sciences but I figured I would know which direction I wanted to focus on by now,” Kowalewski said. “I ended up liking all off biology, chemistry and physics so I’m going into biophysics, which encompasses them all.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

Join Oak Bay’s heritage walk and scavenger hunt this Saturday

Hunt seeks significant examples of historical architecture in Oak Bay

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

LETTER: Refining bitmen not a good idea

One of the arguments against increasing the capacity of the Trans Mountain… Continue reading

LETTER: Welcome to Nevergreen Mall

Re: Work starts on mall expansion (News, July 17) Welcome to Nevergreen… Continue reading

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read