Two Castlegar students earned Community Champs Bursaries from Kootenay Savings this year.
Svetlana Hadikin and Victoria Francis each received $2,000 towards their post-secondary education.
The Community Champs Bursaries award students who participate in their communities to make a difference and give something back. Four bursaries are handed out each year.
“We had a ton of amazing applicants … and looking at both [Hadikin and Francis’s] applications and submissions the amount of work they’re doing, not only in their community, but at their school, … when you roll it all together, they were two really strong and deserving recipients,” says Aron Burke, the community liaison for Kootenay Savings.
Francis has done a variety of community service work over the years, like helping out with painting and fundraising. She’s also worked at several summer camps.
“For the past couple of years I’ve been working at summer camps, like summer theatre camp Stage Right last year,” she says, “and I always help with music camps during the summer, and soccer camp.”
She’s also volunteered playing the piano for the funeral community service, and sings in the choir.
Francis plans to attend Selkirk College for a year before transferring to UBC where she’ll complete a bachelor’s degree in English. Afterwards she hopes to do a master’s degree in library studies.
Her fellow recipient, Hadikin, is president of the Castlegar Rotary Interact Club, a volunteering organization for high school students that does garbage cleanups and other community projects. The group also fundraises for a goodwill trip every two years.
“I’ve been on a trip before,” says Hadikin, “it was to Bolivia in the summer of 2013, and we built an outdoor sports facility, and a centre for children and adults with disabilities.”
Hadikin plans to become a doctor, and will attend the rural pre-med program at Selkirk College in the fall. She was excited to receive the bursary.
“Every little bit of support helps,” she says.