Two Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) Grade 12 students were at the Capital Regional District (CRD) boardroom in Victoria last week to receive bursary awards presented by CRD vice-chair and Sooke mayor Maja Tait.
First to be honoured before the CRD board was Maggie Naphtali, chosen by the selection committee from School District 64 to receive the 2023 Nils Jensen Memorial Bursary in the amount of $2,500 per annum. The family of the former CRD board chair established a bursary in his memory in 2022, which is administered by the district and awarded on an annual rotating basis to one of four school districts within CRD boundaries based on a student’s financial need and an interest in environmental protection or water security.
Naphtali, who maintained an academic average of over 95 per cent, was a founding member of the GISS Earth Club and will be attending Dalhousie University where she has been accepted into the environment sustainability and society program, with an intended minor in journalism. She has also been selected to receive a BC Excellence Scholarship, according to Tait.
Next up was Elvin Shoolbraid, who was chosen to receive the 2023 Ed MacGregor Memorial Bursary, also in the amount of $2,500 per annum.
This bursary was created in 2003 in memory of MacGregor, the first mayor of the District of Sooke. The bursary is also awarded annually on a rotating basis based on financial need, with recipients selected through a collaboration of principals at the eligible school. Shoolbraid is this year’s top academic student at GISS, with an average of 97.6 per cent maintained while working part-time through the school year and full-time through the breaks, according to Tait.
Shoolbraid is also class valedictorian and receiving a president’s and a dean’s entrance scholarship to attend the University of Victoria, where he will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.