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High school student raises funds to create annual scholarship

Grace Feduniak created the scholarship for a school project
Grace Feduniak has raised over $5,000 for her scholarship thus far. Submitted photo

A grade 12 student is hoping to leave behind a legacy at her high school by helping future generations of students.

Sixteen-year-old Grace Feduniak attends Mount Elizabeth Middle Secondary School (MEMSS) and has created a scholarship as part of her capstone project, which is required to graduate. She has already surpassed the halfway mark of her $10,000 goal.

Feduniak moved to Kitimat with her family from Calgary eight years ago and has been very active in the community ever since she first arrived, involving herself “as much as possible.”

When she is not busy with her duties as MEMSS Prime Minister of the school’s student council, Feduniak can be seen performing with the school band or volunteering at the Mount Elizabeth Theatre as part of the tech club. She is also active in the sporting community, having joined curling, soccer, softball and volleyball teams.

When thinking of an idea for her capstone project, Feduniak’s drew inspiration from her involvement in the community and decided to create a scholarship.

“I realized that I really wanted to be able to give back to my school and community that has given me so many opportunities,” she said. “I took some inspiration from Gracelyn Richard, a fellow curler from Comox, who created a one-time scholarship for her capstone project.”

Feduniak’s scholarship will be ongoing, as she plans on investing the funds into a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) which would generate around $500 annually. The $10,000 goal would be large enough to create annual interest for the scholarship, which will be under the Kitimat Scholarship Association. The criteria will be based on four key areas — academics, school sports, school clubs and community involvement.

As of Oct. 22, Feduniak has raised a little over $5,000 through fundraisers such as online auctions, bottle drives, bake sales and garage sales. The biggest fundraisers have been the online auction of donated items, which brought in about $2,000, and the bottle drive which contributed just over $1,600.

While the support from the community has been huge, Feduniak admits that it has been a lot more work than she had anticipated.

“I started the bottle collecting last June, and between organizing fundraisers for the scholarship and keeping up with my academics and extracurriculars, spare time is hard to come by,” she explained. “I could not do this without my parents, as I only have my L driver’s license, so they are always driving me to pick up bottles and return them.”

Feduniak needs to reach her goal by May of next year, and hopes to hand out her first scholarship in June to one of her MEMSS grade 12 classmates.

“I thank everyone who has supported by being part of the online auction or garage sale, buying cookies and donating bottles,” she said. Kitimat Lodge and Debbie’s Bistro have been amazing with donating their empties to my project.”

Feduniak says she will keep working hard to reach her target, and hopes the community will continue their generosity for her cause.

About the Author: Alexander Vaz, Local Journalism Initiative

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