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‘Empowering tomorrow’: Students in Penticton, Summerland awarded scholarships

Rick and Yasmin Thorpe scholarships awarded to local students starting at Okanagan College
From left to right: Yasmin Thorpe, Kendall Pennington, Ollie Jacques, Eva Braam and Rick Thorpe. (Submitted)

As local high school graduates start the next chapters of their lives at post-secondary school, four new students at Okanagan College have found themselves on the receiving end of $2,500 scholarships.

Mackenzie Lucier and Kendall Pennington from Princess Margaret Secondary, Eva Braam from Summerland Secondary and Ollie Jaques from Penticton Secondary have each been awarded funds, thanks to the annual Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship.

The scholarship has benefited 85 students who combine academic achievement and community involvement, with the Thorpes contributing upwards of $180,000 in awards since 2006.

“These young individuals are our community’s future,” said Rick Thorpe. “Supporting their education makes a direct investment in the future.”

Like the Thorpes, the idea of giving back and paying it forward is also on the mind of Jacques. The graduate of Penticton Secondary recently began studies in Kinesiology at Okanagan College and has aspirations of becoming a teacher.

“Through basketball, I’ve gained valuable lessons from my coaches, not just about the sport but also essential life skills,” said Jacques. “I want to become a coach myself to give back to the youngsters. This financial assistance I’ve received motivates me to pay it forward.”

Pennington, meanwhile, is beginning her Associate of Arts degree and hopes to work in speech pathology or teaching.

Braam is enrolled in the college’s business program and wants to use the opportunity to follow in her parents’ footsteps by becoming an entrepreneur.

“The generosity of this annual award has created a ripple effect in the community and has established a legacy of educational empowerment for our students,” said Helen Jackman, executive director at the Okanagan College Foundation.

READ MORE: Local couple helps create $50k bursary fund for Penticton healthcare students

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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