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Division students earn $5,000 U of L Chinook Scholarships

Three Lethbridge School Division students have taken home a prestigious scholarship from the University of Lethbridge.
Friday morning at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, two of those students were presented with their Chinook Scholarships $5,000 scholarships, in a rare double ceremony. Only six Chinook scholarships were handed out this month, as students form Lethbridge, Coaldale, Magrath and Okotoks were honoured.
All ULethbridge-bound high school students are eligible to apply for the Chinook Scholarship, which recognizes those who have demonstrated superior academic achievement (minimum 85 per cent admission average) and leadership qualities.
LCI’s Alejandro Figueroa and Makena Wood were recognized Friday’s at their school’s Green and Gold awards. Winston Churchill High School student Bhawana Pradhan is the other Chinook Scholarship winner from the Division.
“These students have shown throughout their high school careers to be leaders in their schools and in their communities,” said Dr. Mike Mahon, ULethbridge president and vice-chancellor. “Their applications highlight a well-rounded group of engaging young people who take initiative, are empathetic and utilize the critical thinking skills that will greatly add to our campus community. We’re excited to welcome them to ULethbridge to begin their post-secondary journeys.”
Figueroa, who will study Kinesiology at the U of L, was the president of his school’s branch of the National Honour Society, where he served as the group’s official representative to other organizations, led meetings and public presentations, and organized content, community speakers and logistics of the club.
He initiated the introduction of mathematics peer tutoring hours, created a STEM club and demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities in church and sports activities.
“I am truly grateful and elated to have been chosen as a recipient of the award, as it helps reassure me that I am on the right trajectory and have the capabilities to navigate this new stage of my life,” he said. “I am excited about being able to start a new academic journey that entails diversifying my current lifestyle and surrounding myself with more like-minded people.”
Wood, who will be studying Neuroscience, was a member of her school’s branch of the National Honour Society, which required significant volunteer and community service responsibilities. She was a Lethbridge Amateur Swim Club athlete who also served as a coach and role model for seven to 10-year-old students.
“This award has been amazing to receive as an acknowledgement of my hard work and achievements in high school,” she said. “I recognize that most everyone spends a lot of time and effort through their teen years as they prepare for the post-secondary path they will take and it is truly special to me to feel recognized for the journey I have been on. This award is definitely a confidence boost heading into my university career and its value will no doubt help kickstart my success. I am excited to experience and participate first hand in the amazing neuroscience program, to get to know some of the talented researchers and professors who make the program what it is, and to explore the amazing technology we have access to. I am also very excited to continue my competitive swimming career in a program I have grown up around for the last decade.”
Pradham, who intends to study Health Sciences and Management, was a student leader in school leadership club, where she organized a clothing and necessities drive that impacted over 200 students and resulted in a large donation to the Streets Alive Mission.
She participated in her school’s English Language Learning program, supporting programming and companionship and was a volunteer service representative and sorter at Interfaith Food Bank.
“This award is very significant to me because it gets me closer to being able to take more classes without financial worries,” she said. “It also means a lot to me because it rewards my academic achievements and lessons learned throughout life. I am excited to attend ULethbridge because I will be able to study the field of my interest, join new clubs and meet new people.”

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