Queen Charlotte Secondary student Ben Drover says he is “still flying” after finding out this week that he is this year’s recipient of the Fernandez Earle Scholarship.
The scholarship includes tuition, books, and all expenses for the Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, as well as two trips home per year. “It’s going to be amazing!” he said, obviously still stunned by the announcement.
The decision was based on a combination of academic standing and community involvement, he said. Mr. Drover has been involved in and volunteered for numerous islands organizations: Limestone Island, fisheries, streamkeepers, and the Pacific Halibut commission, as well as volunteering at the music festival. Mr. Drover will be studying nursing and natural sciences in Hawaii.
The decision makers had a tough time of it though, he said. There were three finalists, the other two were Ashley Muller (QCSS) and Ben Wells (GMD).
“They called and said they were having a hard time deciding,” he said, “and asked us to come back in for another interviewÂ… It’s been a stressful week!” But in the end, the foundation awarded the scholarship to Mr. Drover. And the Drover family is delighted. “My mom cried,” he said.
The Fernandez-Earle Scholarship Foundation began four years ago, and has already sent two other students from the islands to Hawaii. The foundation’s benefactors include Langara Lodge, which donates $10,000 each year toward the scholarship.
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