Recipients continue their education after overcoming adversity
“I have big plans for the future, and this is helping my dreams come true.” So says Slocan’s Alexander McIntyre. In 2018, he received a Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship to help him attend Vancouver Film School and become a digital artist.
Since the scholarship began in 2017, 18 students have felt a similar sentiment, thankful for the financial boost—ranging from $2,500 to $3,500—that would help them achieve their educational and career goals.
The scholarship was established to honour Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 2005 to 2016, who passed away in November 2016. Neil valued and supported perseverance and continuous learning, encouraging his three children to be curious, seek their own paths and never give up.
Now the scholarship in his name is encouraging other people in the Basin to do the same—specifically those who have triumphed over adversity, yet continue to have a sense of determination and self-motivation.
Montrose’s Nigel Burk is one of the recipients. In 2020, he used the funding to continue his education degree through Selkirk College and Thompson Rivers University. “I want everyone to know that it is possible to overcome challenges, even those that might seem insurmountable, to recalibrate your life and start doing the things you love and want to pursue,” he says.
Whether they’ve faced issues like illness or financial constraints, the recipients have pushed forward to pursue their goals. Studies range from kinesiology, to resource and environmental management, to engineering. Many of the recipients are dedicating themselves to helping others through interests like social work or equine therapy.
In 2019, Elizabeth Sutton from Cranbrook put the funding toward College of the Rockies’ Pre-Education Certificate program. “Without this scholarship, it is questionable whether I would have been able to afford to begin my post-secondary education,” she says. “Now I can start working towards a career where I can be part of a supportive network for children. That is what helped me as a child and now I can help give back.”
2020 recipient Ayla von Diebitsch, from Rossland, used the scholarship to continue her nursing degree through Selkirk College and University of Victoria. Her aim is to “help people who are at their most vulnerable to heal, process whatever they are faced with and find hope.”
The scholarship is awarded by Neil Muth’s family, administered by the Trust and made possible by the generous donations of family, friends, local governments and organizations.
Creston’s Jet Noble received a scholarship in 2021 and is using it to study the mechanical trades at Selkirk College, with a mechanical engineering degree in mind for later on. “It’s nice to be able to look forward and see a clear path,” she says. She thanks the Muth family, “as this scholarship will help me to work less and focus more on studying. I can’t wait to show the world what I’m capable of!”
The 2022 intake has $10,000 available to support two to four applicants. Apply by April 14, 2022. Learn more here.