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Cenovus Aboriginal scholarships help students reach goals

Shelby competes at a rodeo with her horse, Seven.

January 2016 - Like most university students, Shelby Merchant was often stressed about her finances and worried what the future might hold for her beyond school. She found answers to both of those concerns when she applied for and received a Cenovus Energy Aboriginal Scholarship, worth $3,500.

The scholarship not only assisted Shelby, 23, in achieving her education goals, it also ultimately led to her accepting a job with Cenovus as a Local Community Relations Analyst. Shelby just recently transferred to Cold Lake, Alberta where she’s working as a liaison between our Foster Creek oil sands project and the local communities and stakeholders near our operations.

“When I found out I got the scholarship, it gave me the support I needed to move forward with my education,” says Shelby, who grew up on the Kikino Metis Settlement, about 185 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. “Since I could barely afford rent, the scholarship helped me finish my next semester. I was able to focus on school and not stress about money.”

Cenovus made learning and strengthening the sustainability of communities two of our main focus areas for community investment when we launched as a company in late 2009.

“This Aboriginal scholarship program makes a significant contribution to both of those areas and we’re pleased to offer up to 10 scholarships a year,” says Mandy Bishop, Senior Advisor, Community Affairs.

Shelby, who likes to compete in barrel racing during her spare time in the summer months, heard about the scholarship in 2013 through the University of Alberta’s Aboriginal Students Association when she was a student in the Environmental and Conservation Science program.

“It opened so many doors for me,” says Shelby. “After I won the scholarship, the Cenovus recruiters called to offer me a summer student job on their environmental team. I learned a lot in that role and it eventually landed me a full-time job.”

Visit our application page to learn more about the eligibility requirements or to apply for the Aboriginal Scholarship.