Exshaw students receive post-secondary scholarship

Sep 12, 2018Education Initiatives

Three local students have received post-secondary scholarship support from Lafarge in recognition for being excellent students, active volunteers and strong community leaders. Lafarge gave $11,500 in 2018 from its $315,000 education endowment. Marina Neilson and Chasey Kutzner were each awarded $5,000, while Joshua Carvelli received $1,500.

Known as a creative and well-rounded individual with strong interpersonal skills, Marina is starting the two-year Music and Technology program at Selkirk College in September. Her long-term plan is to become a music therapist, with additional schooling planned for Capilano College. Her piano teacher, Andrei Dandridge-Evancio, started working with Marina four years ago, guiding her through three Conservatory Canada practical exams and one theory exam. She achieved First Class Honours in each.

“The dedication and focus required to achieve outstanding marks in several exams speaks to Marina’s commitment to her higher educational pursuits,” said Andrei. “Marina has also displayed a willingness to support those around her. She has always extended a helping hand or a kind word to the younger learners around her.”

Marina’s hopes to use music therapy to care for others. “With this education, I would be helping people who suffer from all kinds of illnesses—such as autism and Alzheimer’s. I would be providing this care and help through the very thing I love; music,” she shared.

Chasey Kutzner will be starting her Bachelor of Nursing degree at Mount Royal University in the Fall. Part Highland Dancer, part academic, all heart, Chasey has spent her last year working at the daycare in Canmore as an aide to a visually impaired two-year old, Adele.

“Thanks to Chasey’s compassion and hard work, Adele has been able to attend and participate in the daily routines and activities of a daycare. In a very short period, Chasey not only helped her feel comfortable, but made daycare a place she looks forward too,” said Adele’s father, Brad Skinner.

This experience has shown Chasey how much she enjoys caring for others. “She has taught me more than I’ve taught her, about “seeing” things in a different way and how incredible it is that we, as humans, can adapt to our surroundings in such different manners. She amazes me every day!” she said.

Joshua is enrolled in the Information Technology program at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). His goal is to open his own Fiber Optics installation company. Athletic and dedicated, Joshua has used sports to give back to the community. He coaches hockey and baseball, volunteers at Canmore Eagles hockey games and helps with the Canmore Community High School garden.

“As a student, Joshua demonstrates an enjoyment for learning and constantly strives for personal growth through new knowledge. He has the drive and commitment necessary to succeed at SAIT and beyond,” said family friend, Sara Kelsey.

In 2014, Lafarge in Exshaw announced the creation of a $315,000 endowment fund that would be used to support annual scholarships for future leaders in the Exshaw and Lac Des Arcs communities pursuing post-secondary training or education. The Lafarge Education Endowment Fund is managed by the Banff Canmore Community Foundation. Visit www.banffcanmorecf.org for more information.