Every year, hundreds of people apply for the Horatio Alger Association of Canada scholarship. The selection committee looks at a few contributing factors including perseverance to get through tough situations and the financial need. You also need to maintain at least a 65% average.
Only four students in all of Manitoba were selected and Gilbert Plains Collegiate Jaelyn Frykas is one of them. That means the 17-year-old's post-secondary education will start with a little bit of a boost as she's been rewarded with $5000.
"It's such an honour to be able to know that I won this and they believed in me," said Frykas, a grade 12 student.
Jaelyn is set to attend Brandon University in the fall and she'll be looking to major in physical therapy. She's choosing that field because of her passion for sports. For the past several years, Frykas has helped her high school volleyball team enjoy a ton of success including winning three provincial titles. She was also the co-captain of the team for the past two seasons and she has a couple of all-star accolades to her name as well.
"That's the biggest reason why I want to be in this field. Although I won't be playing, I'll be connected with the players and that's what makes me the most excited," she added. "Just to know that I'll be right in the middle of things means a lot to me."
One of the criteria for winning the scholarship is also community involvement and Jaelyn is all about that. Prior to the club volleyball season ending, she was an assistant coach for the Predators 15U team based out of Grandview.
She's also helped out with intramurals at her school during her time at the collegiate and she volunteers for SwimAbilities, a swimming program for children with special needs. She's also on Student Voice, a student-led committee for Mountain View School Division.
"Volunteering and just helping out has always been a big part of my life, I love helping wherever I can," she continued.
After living in her hometown for her entire life, Jaelyn will spend a couple more months at home before she makes the transition to college life, one that will be spent at Brandon University, the home of the Bobcats.
"I am so very excited about this. I'm passionate about this and I can't wait to get things going," she concluded. "It's a perfect fit for me; I'll be pushing for excellence just as I have been for as long as I can remember."