Class of 2022 Kellie Oler graduated from Sparwood Secondary School with the highest-grade point average of her class and received the Governor General of Canada’s Bronze Medal for this academic achievement.
Described as both humble and gracious, she is also the recipient of the Sparwood Community Response Network’s (CRN) Fellowship Award, a $1,000 scholarship that helps new post-secondary students entering the health or education fields with the costs of tuition and books.
This year’s award winner was announced in June as part of Sparwood Secondary School’s grade 12 graduation ceremony and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This is the second year the Sparwood CRN has been able to provide this award to the community.
As part of the application process, students are asked to submit a 250-to-500-word essay, writing about the risk factors for adult abuse, neglect, and self-neglect in Sparwood and providing possible strategies the CRN and local community could use to address them.
Because Sparwood itself is a small town, and the graduating class of students is also small – there were 35 students in total – everyone knows each other. To fairly judge submissions, applicant names, addresses, and any identifying data were redacted from the entries so the contents of the application could be evaluated objectively.
“Our selection committee agreed that Kellie’s paper had the strongest scholarly presentation of content out of all the applications received this year,” says CRN Coordinator Lois Halko. “She demonstrated that she had researched the topic of adult abuse, neglect, and self-neglect well and cited solid sources.”
Kellie was accepted to the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia – Okanagan, and the University of Calgary. She selected the University of Alberta as her school of choice and will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree starting this Fall. She plans to enter medical school and chase her dreams of becoming a pediatrician.
Congratulations, Kellie, on your achievements, and good luck with your studies!
(Header photo: K. Oler)