COCHRANE— The Rotary Club of Cochrane has found two bright students to be the recipients of its $10,000 scholarship program this year.
Seventeen-year-old St. Timothy High School student Gaby Eliscupides and seventeen-year-old Bow Valley High School student Sharllette Manabat both received $5,000 to be used for their first year of post-secondary education.
Gaby said she was shocked and relieved to hear she had won the bursary.
“I was honestly really surprised when my teacher told me about it. I thought I was being considered, I thought I didn’t actually win it,” she said. “I wasn’t too excited yet, but then when I mentioned it to my mom and she went ‘well you won,’ I was like ‘did I?’”
Both students had to fill out an application and write an essay for consideration by the Rotary Club.
Gaby said she wrote about her future goals, contributions to the community and what she plans on doing with her degree in her application essay.
Gaby plans on attending the Haskane School of Business at the University of Calgary to get a degree in commerce, with a concentration on entrepreneurship and innovation. She hopes to one day establish a business in the Philippines.
“My parents taught me English as my first language, so I understand the language there but I can’t really speak it. I feel like going back there and making myself familiar with the culture again and the language again is really important to me as someone who was born there and is Filipino,” she said.
Gaby said she feels the Bachelor of Commerce degree is versatile and will open up many doors for her. While she is not sure what line of business she wants to be in quite yet, she knows she wants to be her own boss.
“Running my own business is something that I always wanted to do, or being the boss of something. I always liked leadership roles, I feel like I’m most comfortable in that sort of area,” she said.
She added she expects to get more clarity with regards to her future while attending university as she is exposed to new ideas and industries.
Sharlette said receiving the bursary was a surprise for her too.
“I was shocked when I got it. I was under the impression that I was going to get the results back if I got it or not later, so when I got the email that I was selected, I think it was early in the day, I didn’t fully process it when I saw the email notification in my phone,” she said.
Bow Valley High School, Sharllette explained, has a scholarship program where staff collect the various scholarship opportunities available and help students apply.
Sharlette said she wrote about her dreams of being an engineer in her application essay.
“I talked about how I wanted to be an engineer. I’ve wanted to be one for a really long time and the University of Calgary is offering a biomedical engineering program that I’m very interested in. My mother works in the health care industry, and my personal skill-set regarding school are math and science areas, I’m super interested in those, so I thought BioMed engineering was going to be the right fit for me,” she said.
Sharllette said she always knew she wanted to be in the engineering field so she made sure to take every science-related class available to her in high school.
She added she feels excited about pursuing her degree as it is something that personally interests her.
Receiving the bursary was a big relief, as university is a huge expense for a young person to take on.
“I’m living in a single-parent household and there are some difficulties with funding my education, so a scholarship of this size would have been an amazing help,” she said.
She said she wants to use her degree to find a job in a diagnostics and imaging technology company, helping to improve doctor’s ability to make accurate diagnoses and improve overall patient care.
Both students said they were extremely grateful to the Rotary Club of Cochrane for its support as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives.