Cenovus Aboriginal scholarship recipients pursue range of studies
March 2018 – Lori-Lei Mercredi is pursuing her passion for teaching. Elvera Tremblay is studying biology; Wyndi Bird is working toward a degree in psychology; while Bailey Lamarche is tackling new media studies. And they’re all finding the financial load a bit lighter this year after receiving help through the Cenovus Aboriginal Scholarship program.
Lori-Lei, Elvera, Wyndi and Bailey are among 32 Aboriginal student scholarship recipients for the 2017-18 school year. The financial award is offered each year by Cenovus to Aboriginal students located near our operating areas. Students begin applying in the fall and awards are given out at the start of the winter semester. The scholarships are granted based on successful enrollment into a full-time accredited program and also take into consideration community involvement, academic achievement, career goals and financial need.
Over the past five years we’ve awarded 94 scholarships to Aboriginal students. Part of the program’s goal is to support students through completion of their post-secondary studies. We have awarded more than 30 renewal scholarships in the last five years to 19 individuals, nine of which have gone through completion of their program in a diverse range of areas, including electrical apprenticeship, community social work, business, medicine, nursing, native American studies and law.
Hear from our recipients what the scholarship has meant to them:
Lori-Lei Mercredi (Education, University of Alberta)
Lori-Lei, who’s from Fort McMurray, Alberta, says the scholarship has allowed her to focus on family and studies instead of worrying about finances.
“I am grateful that Cenovus supports Indigenous students in the communities in which they work and that you understand the value of our studies and our commitment to making our communities a better place to live and work.
I am inspired to pursue a career in education by the students I am serving; working with and teaching students to become active and critical thinkers is imperative to bring change for our future. My intention is to continue creating positive change for our students, just like how I was influenced by my teachers when I was a student.”
Elvera Tremblay (Biology, Concordia University, Edmonton)
Elvera is from the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta. She says the scholarship has assisted her this year in helping to pay for school supplies, rent and groceries. When she’s not attending school, Elvera works in her community’s annual literacy camp to help children with their reading and writing skills.
“The scholarship is important to me because it's helping me survive my school experience. I am currently taking my bachelors of science in integrative biology. I hope to get accepted into medical school to become a pathologist or take my embalming licence. My university experience has opened my eyes to all the different fields of science and I'm proud of my achievements so far because no one in my community has attended school for science. This is a huge deal for me, so I want to succeed.”
Wyndi Bird (Pyschology, Concordia University, Edmonton)
Wyndi, a member of the Paul First Nation west of Edmonton, says the scholarship has allowed her “to breathe a little easier and not stress so much” about how she’s going to pay for her education. Through personal experiences, she settled on psychology as her area of study.
“Once I've finished my studies, I'm hoping to be able to use what I've learned to help as many people as I can with my education. Especially those struggling with mental illness as that is something I'm very passionate about. My university experience has taught me so much about people in general and myself. I'm becoming excited about completing my degree to go out into the world and put my education to work.”
Bailey Lamarche, 2017 recipient (New Media, University of Lethbridge)
Bailey, a member of the Sucker Creek First Nation near High Prairie, Alberta, was able to use her scholarship to buy equipment she needed to help support her new media and graphic design studies.
“The Cenovus scholarship provides opportunities for student financial security. As a New Media student I was able to get equipment like a camera and tripod to keep improving during my free time and in the summer. It also meant I didn’t have to worry about renting equipment during the school year. The university education experience comes with a lot of challenges and opportunities, which are helping me grow as a person while I persevere through student struggles. After I’ve completed my studies I would like to develop art as an graphic designer.”
Visit our application page to learn more about the eligibility requirements.
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