Vancouver, BC - In partnership with Trevor Linden, the Canucks for Kids Fund (CFKF) is proud to award the sixth annual Trevor Linden Community Spirit Scholarship to four graduating secondary school students throughout British Columbia. The $2,500 scholarship (to be used towards each winner’s post-secondary education) recognizes students who have maintained good academic standing and demonstrated exceptional leadership through a commitment to affecting positive change in their communities. Since its introduction in 2008, the Trevor Linden Community Spirit Scholarship has awarded $50,000 to 20 graduating students from across British Columbia.
After receiving nearly 250 applications, the four recipients were selected by a six-person CFKF committee led by the scholarship’s namesake. Hailing from Victoria to Kelowna, this year’s winners set an extremely high standard, displaying outstanding initiative and passion to both identify and address needs within their local and global communities.
“I’m in awe every year as we receive countless applications that highlight some extraordinary accomplishments by these young heroes,” Linden said. “It is an incredible honour to offer financial support for these remarkable individuals as they begin their post-secondary studies.”
The Trevor Linden Community Spirit Scholarship is one of numerous in-school and educational initiatives that the Canucks for Kids Fund dedicates resources to. Other education programs supported by the Canucks for Kids Fund include the Canucks Family Education Centre, Fin’s Friends, Power PLAY, Business of Hockey, Seventh Generation Club, and Raise a Reader Day. The Canucks for Kids Fund also generously supports its signature beneficiaries including the Canucks Autism Network, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Since its inception 28 years ago, the Canucks for Kids Fund has granted more than $45 million to these charities and numerous others. For more information, please visit www.canucks.com/cfkf.
2014 Trevor Linden Community Spirit Scholarship recipients:
Tom Kanwischer is a graduating student from Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver. Moving from Ireland to Canada in 2010, Tom at first struggled to adapt to his new environment. Refusing to let any difficulties impede him, Tom has become a well-rounded student, achieving high grades and working to help others reach the same level of success. Realizing that a friend had similar struggles upon moving to Canada, together the two formed the Channel Club, which helps new Chinese students improve their English, learn about the culture, and make friends. Tom helps others at his school by acting as a Peer Mentor to Grade 8 students, tutoring them, helping them work through problems, and presenting seminars on healthy relationships. Tom is also active in the community outside of school as both a rugby coach and member of his church’s youth band. After graduation, Tom plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia.
Kaitlyn Lafontaine is a graduating student from Kelowna Secondary School. Coming from a Métis family, Kaitlyn is passionate about mentoring and supporting young Indigenous people. Kaitlyn is a peer tutor to Aboriginal students and a proud foster sister to the Aboriginal youth that her family takes in. Playing such an important role in her foster siblings’ lives as they deal with challenges has inspired Kaitlyn to become a counselor. Kaitlyn is also a standout athlete as captain of her school’s AAA Basketball team and has inspired her teammates with her volunteerism, convincing each player to donate hair for cancer patients. Kaitlyn has helped raise money for BC Children’s Hospital, where her brother receives care, including starting “Bald Falcon Day” with her father and organizing Family Bingo Night. Kaitlyn plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts at Vancouver Island University, studying English and First Nations Studies and eventually obtain her Master’s Degree in Counseling.
Melissa Lyon is a graduating student from Stelly’s Secondary School in Saanichton. With a passion for education, Melissa has spearheaded multiple educational programs, including creating her own curriculum for her Elementary Online Learning Club, which she has run weekly for the last three years. Additionally, Melissa is a Volunteer Ambassador for the Headway Epilepsy Association, helping with awareness presentations, organizing an Epilepsy Awareness Day for her school, and acting as a keynote speaker. Melissa is also a speaker for the United Way, working to change the stigma surrounding people with disabilities. Melissa volunteers in numerous other ways, including as a peer tutor, and reading and tech buddy at her local library. Melissa’s goal is to show others that anything is possible, refusing to let her mild cerebral palsy and epilepsy stop her from reaching her goals. Melissa plans on attending Camosun College before transferring to the University of Victoria to pursue an Elementary Education Degree.
Vivian Tsang is a graduating student from Magee Secondary School in Vancouver. Vivian drew inspiration from her own childhood experiences to create the Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment (H.O.P.E.) which seeks to empower individuals through outreach projects in the Downtown Eastside. Her leadership qualities are evident in her role as President of this initiative and through the meaningful partnerships formed with other organizations. Vivian was also influential in bringing positive change in her school, as evidenced by her involvement in Leadership, Band and Choir, Peer Counselling, the Magee Environmental Club and the Youth4Tap initiative, among others. This extensive involvement earned her the Gold Service Award for 1000 hours on in-school service. Amazingly, Vivian still finds time to volunteer with her church, the Vancouver General Hospital, Metro Vancouver’s Youth4Action team and the KidsCan Group – all while excelling academically. Vivian’s hope is to continue using her past obstacles to inspire others as she moves into post-secondary schooling, where she intends to study Physiology.