2010 Macville Foundation Entrance Scholarship
Vancouver Island University
I graduated from Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay (2010) and received the Macville Foundation Entrance Award to Vancouver Island University. In 2012 I finished the Resource Management Officer Technology Program (RMOT) and received the President’s Award for the highest GPA in the class of 24 students. I also received the Natural Resource Protection Entrance Award for continuation onto my Bachelor’s Degree. In 2014 I graduated with my Bachelor of Natural Resource Protection with the highest GPA in the graduating class of 12 students. My university education focused on fish and wildlife biology/management and environmental law and enforcement (provincial and federal).
In the summer breaks between semesters I found relevant work. In 2011 I worked in environmental education at a Nature Centre on the Sunshine Coast. In 2012 I worked for the summer at a park office in Metro Vancouver, enforcing dog-on-leash bylaws. In my third summer I found my true passion for ornithology when I worked as a field technician for a SFU graduate student on a small songbird project, the Yellow Warbler.
For the last three and a half years my life has had a complete avian focus. I worked a second season as crew leader on the Yellow Warbler project, volunteered at Rocky Point bird observatory (Victoria) for 4 months, worked as a bird bander in Mackenzie, BC, and worked for 5 months on the Channel Islands in Southern California on the San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike recovery project. I spent the winter of 2015 in the South Pacific on a small American-owned island called Rota, where I worked on the recovery project for the critically endangered Mariana Crow with the University of Washington. In 2016 I was very excited to get my first Arctic experience working with shorebirds in Nunavut for Environment Canada.
I am really enjoying getting to travel with my bird work and will probably continue this pattern for a few more years. Eventually, I am going to work towards getting a permanent job in BC or look into going to graduate school.
I am so grateful for the support I received throughout my university education. Without help from the Macville Foundation and other non-profits I would have taken time off to work after high school, instead of continuing my education right away. I don’t know where I would be today if I didn’t receive such help! With my first year of university covered financially, I was able to pay for the rest of it with my summer jobs.
Vancouver Island students are so lucky to have such a caring and generous force helping them pursue their dreams! I am so grateful that I can wake up every day; excited to go to work 🙂 .