Edward Milne Community School students have received more than $100,000 in scholarships this year.
The highest value scholarship of $26,000, called the University of Victoria Excellence Award, was awarded to valedictorian Andrew Rodd.
In order to win the UVIC Excellence Award, a student must have a 98% overall academic average. Rodd also won three other scholarships, amounting to $1,500.
Rodd said the scholarships will help him pay for schooling, as he plans to study biochemistry at the University of Victoria this September.
“Biology is my favourite subject. I don’t know exactly where I’ll go with my program but I could see myself specializing in genetics,” said Rodd. “Genetics interest me so much because they are the code of human life.”
EMCS student Ella Constandinou also received multiple scholarships, including three through the school, one from the Sooke Lions Club, one through the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, a District Authority Scholarship and a University of Victoria Entrance Scholarship.
Constandinou also received a Ted Rogers Scholarship, worth $10,000, that is only awarded to 20 students throughout Canada.
To win the award, students are required to be part of the Big Brother Big Sister program, write a personal statement, and showcase the volunteer work they have done in their community.
“Ella’s scholarship reflects not just her academic preparation, but also emphasizes her community involvement,” said EMCS principal Laura Fulton.
In total, Constandinou received approximately $16,000 in scholarships, which she says takes an extreme financial burden off her shoulders.
“I was planning on working through school, but now this will likely cover me for the first four years, and allow me to just focus on my studies,” said Constandinou.
She will be studying social sciences at the University of Victoria.
Fulton said the number of scholarships awarded each year is increasingly on the rise, and she hopes that the scholarships will alleviate some of the costs of post-secondary school for students.
“I am exceptionally proud of all the students graduating this year, and I think it’s great that so many scholarships were given out because paying for school can be quite daunting,” said Fulton.
“The majority of the graduating class is heading to post-secondary next year, some are opting to work, some are going to travel and then going to school, and I feel that all of the students are very well prepared, well-rounded people, that are ready to contribute to society, whichever path they take.”