Five students who have overcome personal adversities in their lives have been awarded with the Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship, on behalf of the Muth family and Columbia Basin Trust.
The total annual award is $10,000 and this year it will be shared by recipients Reid Ambrosio from Kimberley, Summer Bradford from Invermere, Olivia Ady from Trail, Grace Cline from Castlegar and Levi Sykut-McCulloch from Cranbrook. The scholarship aims to support these students in their post secondary and career endeavors.
The scholarship was created in 2017 in honour of former CBT president and CEO Neil Muth, who passed away in November 2016.
Neil valued and supported perseverance and continuous learning. He encouraged his children, staff and others to be curious, to seek their own path, and to never give up.
“Life doesn’t always present an easy path, so we offer this scholarship to recognize and support students as they shape their futures through post-secondary studies,” said Cathy Muth, Neil’s wife.
“We wish Olivia, Reid, Summer, Grace and Levi all the best as they reach for their goals, which will both benefit them and positively affect the people and communities around them.”
Each recipient provided a personal response to receiving this scholarship.
“My life was forever changed in January 2022, but I was determined and motivated to continue my high school education and graduate with my peers,” said Ambrosio.
“My perspective has forever changed, and I try to focus on the positives rather than the negative. After spending 13 months in treatment for T-cell lymphoma, I am looking forward to taking the first steps in the next phase of my life.
“In September I will start my degree in human kinetics at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and this scholarship will help to lessen the financial burden. Thank you to the Muth family for this award.”
Olivia Ady of Trail said:
“In 2018, I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. After going through years of treatments, scans and surgeries, I am now in remission and am excited to start my post-secondary education. I’m looking forward to obtaining my Bachelor of Science degree from Thompson Rivers University.
“I would like to focus on cancer research and, in particular, investigating if less harsh treatments can be developed, especially when dealing with childhood cancers. Just five short years ago, I wasn’t sure if I would see myself graduating high school, let alone heading off to university.
“I have been blessed with an amazing support system made up of friends, family and teachers who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. There have been a lot of obstacles thrown in my path but, despite this, I have made a promise to myself to give back and am excited to see what lies before me in my future. I can’t thank the Muth family enough for awarding me the Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. This award will be used to help make my dreams come to fruition.”
Summer Bradford of Invermere said:
“I have grown up in Invermere for 15 years, and in those years I have learned the importance of a community—this community and valley has shaped me into the person I am today, and I am thankful to always call this place home. By making connections with entrepreneurs around me, I gained so much knowledge and the courage to start my own business.
“I absolutely loved everything about the business culture and knew that it was something that I wanted to pursue. I had so much support from mentors and family members that truly pushed me to be the person I am today. This scholarship will help me reach my goals for business while attending the University of Calgary, as well as keep me motivated to complete my degree in the next four years.
“I want to thank the Muth family for giving me this opportunity to receive this scholarship, as it will help me begin my journey in post-secondary education.
“I will honour this award with great appreciation and enthusiasm.”
Grace Cline of Castlegar said:
“Receiving the Neil Muth award is so incredible to my family and my studies. I’m so excited to take Columbia Basin Trust through my education journey! Neil Muth’s story felt close to home, so applying was the least I could do. I am so very thankful to this family and what they have offered to students over the years.
“As a student who works very hard and believes in earning money toward my education, I can confidently say this is a massive weight off my shoulders. I want to do incredible things in life, so getting jump-starts like these are so important and are appreciated by all. I am hoping to spend my next years in school, studying medicine.”
Levi Sykut-McCulloch of Cranbrook said:
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude for making the Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship possible. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honour and I am deeply appreciative.
“Obtaining a degree in electrical engineering has been my focus since high school and I want to thank the Muth family and Columbia Basin Trust for awarding me this scholarship. It gives me the freedom to focus on my studies and makes a big difference to my excitement of attending the University of Victoria in the fall, where I will complete my degree in the coming years.”