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Scholarships and adventures at the weekly Whitecourt Rotary meeting

The Whitecourt Rotary Club held its weekly lunch meeting at the Ritz on August 2 with a full house of members and guests. Two scholarships were given out to two successful applicants: Ryan Brooks and Krista Dewitz.

Ryan won the Dave Danks Award which is given to students who overcome educational adversity, and Krista was selected for the Business Scholarship as she is looking to further her education in a business-related application. Both students were all smiles and very happy to have been chosen as the recipient.

Rotary member Camden Robinson said the group enjoys being able to support local students in furthering their education. “Rotary is a business service group so we are designed towards getting business people together. It’s really nice to be able to help the next generation start that process.”

Camden explained that the process in selecting scholarship recipients involves several points. “We look at what they have done for the community and what their grades look like. We do ask for a couple of references to get a sense of their involvement, too. We take into account, especially for the Dave Danks Award, educational adversity, as well.”

Following the presentations, students James Woodford and Reyd Woykin shared their tales from the Youth Adventure Programs that they both recently took part in. James learned about self-confidence, self-esteem, and leadership skills during his time in Busby, Alberta, while Reyd showcased a slideshow from his time in Ottawa where he received a perspective on global issues in the nation’s capital.

Sarah Letkeman, Chair of the Youth Adventure Programs, said Rotary works with teachers to find the students who would be interested and would benefit from the different adventure programs. “The topics include leadership, technology, forestry, citizenship, photography, and the camps are located all over Canada. We find the students, interview them, select who we think would be a good candidate to represent our club, and pay for the registration fee and travel costs.”

With Rotary for just over a year and a half, Sarah says she owes a great deal to a big supporter. “Merv Hilland has been a great mentor to me in explaining the process and what the students are getting out of it. He also explains that with Rotary, the job is to help future leaders grow. We are not just giving out trips; there’s a bigger plan here to develop future leaders to give back to the community and the world.”

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