A Clearwater graduate has been named the only recipient of a bursary through Thompson Rivers University.
The Charles and Jean Whittaker Memorial Bursary Endowment is given each year to Clearwater Secondary School graduates who are entering TRU in following fall. Emma Collins, who graduated from CSS this year and was awarded a bursary of $3,325 from the endowment.
Earlier this year, Collins was also awarded a $300 bursary from the Clearwater Times, in addition to six others, including Clearwater minor hockey Akers Sjordin memorial, Kamloops junior Blazers scholarship and the British Columbia Achievement Scholarship.
Currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts program through TRU, Collins said her plan is to transfer to the Bachelor of Education program to become an elementary school teacher, and would like to return to Clearwater to teach at a local school.
“Learning in Clearwater has been a pleasure for myself, it has made me who I am today and supported all my future goals and plans,” she said. “I have to say, if I had attended any other school, I may not be on the path to becoming a teacher, which is where I am happy to be at.”
Born and raised in Clearwater, Collins grew up playing sports, such as hockey, soccer, volleyball and baseball. When she got older, she started to coach other younger kids. She has also enjoyed being part of student and junior councils. It is these attributes, she said, that led her to attend university and aspire to become a teacher.
“I have always enjoyed being part of a team and representing such a beautiful place where I live,” said Collins.
Engaging with the senior population in Clearwater is another aspect she has enjoyed about living in a small town. As part of a group who ran a technology class for seniors, Collins helped the older generation to communicate with others through the touch of a few buttons. She also assisted in writing a grant and organizing a seniors block party which brought together young and old. It has now become an annual event.
Collins also got a taste for teaching when she became a water instructor, allowing her to teach swimming lessons and life-saving skills to youth aged two to 15 at Dutch Lake.
“I believe that learning how to swim and to be safe in the water is one of the most important life skills a person can have,” she said. “That is why I chose to become an instructor and encourage other to learn. Overall, Clearwater has been an incredible place to live and I am truly grateful for the community that it is.”
The Charles and Jean Whittaker Memorial Bursary Endowment was established by Roland and Anne Neave in 2017 and is managed by the TRU Foundation. After several donations from the Neaves, the endowment is now worth $95,000.
The Whittaker endowment was named for Anne’s parents who were both teachers in Nanaimo. They have also created three other endowments at TRU, as well as donated 160 acres in Upper Clearwater in 2014 which is now the site of the TRU Wilderness Centre.
“Anne and I are so pleased to be able to assist students with their ongoing education at TRU,” said Roland.