Two of Westisle Composite High School’s graduating students have been awarded prestigious university scholarships.
Olivia Batten, who will be attending Queen’s University in the fall to study political science, is one of 50 recipients of the university’s Chancellor Scholarship which is valued at $36,000 over four years.
Ashton Grigg, who is enrolling in the science program at University of New Brunswick, is one of 50 students from across Canada to be awarded the Schulich Leader Scholarship. She is one of 25 recipients of the Math and Science Scholarship which is valued at $80,000 over four years.
Every high school in Canada had the opportunity to nominate one graduating student per year for the Schulich Scholarship, redeemable at 20 partner universities, of which UNB is one of only two in the Maritimes.
The students are the daughters of Perry and Christine Batten of Alberton and Perry and Carlene Grigg of Tyne Valley.
A school committee nominated Grigg for the major award.
“I had to write an essay. I had to talk about my top three achievements and where I see myself in 10 years," she said, describing the next stage in the process.
“This isn’t a given, obviously, because I’m not sure where I will be in 10 years – I could see myself working, trying to create something that everyday people can use in their house without having to change how they live, that results in, basically, them being more environmentally friendly,” Grigg said.
Batten was to Toronto in February where she received a $5,000 finalist award for the national Loran scholarship. She shared her interest in the environment with the scholarship committee.
“I’m not surprised that Ashton and I have similar interests in the environment,” Batten said. “I mean, look where we live. The Island is so beautiful and, in rural areas, we really see the effects of climate change. We live on a sandbar. It’s going to only get smaller.”
While both students say they place high priority on their studies, neither admits to stressing over marks.
“Applications look for a well-rounded person,” Grigg said. “Yes, you want to be up there with your marks, but they also look for people who are involved with their community and have social skills.”
Batten added, “They really want people who have good communications skills and who really can manage their time and build relationships and connections.”
Batten is vice-president of students council and is on the P.E.I. Youth Futures Council to advise the provincial government on youth issues. She was a page in the provincial legislature in Grade 11.
Grigg is also on the students council and has helped with proms and Safe Grad. She is in her second year as a Westisle student representative on the district advisory council. One of the council’s recommendations has led to the return of late bus runs for high school students. She also volunteers at Stewart Memorial Manor in Tyne Valley.