A teenager from Wolseley has earned an amazing scholarship for her community leadership.
Avery Young-Lee received a $70,000 scholarship through TD Bank for her creation of a high school breakfast club at Bert Community High School in Fort Qu’Appelle.
The money is to be used towards university tuition and living expenses over four years.
Young-Lee joined the Gormley Show last week to talk about the program that earned her a scholarship only 20 students are eligible to receive across the nation.
The breakfast club was created to help kids have access to proper nutrition if they weren’t able to get it at home.
“It’s not an original idea, it’s not the first of its kind, there are breakfast clubs all across Canada. I thought it was something super necessary and an equal opportunity for all students,” Young-Lee said.
The goal of the program was to create convenience for students who couldn’t financially afford breakfast, or didn’t have time in the morning to eat something nutritious.
“Nothing was over a total of $2. Administration worked really well with us, as well as the school division, to apply for grants for initial funding for the program,” Young-Lee said when it came to the cost of the program.
Young-Lee said the program also helped see an increase in morning attendance and school involvement, with many students volunteering to help.
“Preparations started early in the morning, we had both hot and cold options so usually they’re there at seven o’clock in the morning to prepare the food and get that ready,” she said.
To help raise money for the program, Young-Lee said they held some “quirky” events, like a cooking showdown in Yorkton.
Students who couldn’t contribute to the program financially would contribute in other ways, like volunteering.
Now with Young-Lee heading off to university, what’s next for the program?
“That was something that we looked into when the program was revived, the longevity of it. Another student and my former staff supervisor of the program will be continuing (it),” she said.
An “all knowing binder,” as Young-Lee calls it, will be left behind as well.
“It’s got our budgeting from last year, it’s got the menu of things that we prepared and quantities of how much we were to give to the students so it’s a pretty pass-and-go kind of program,” she explained.
Young-Lee intends to check in on the program, even after she’s left for university in Manitoba, where she’ll work on a bachelor of health sciences.
What the program offers
The food the program serves was actually determined after students took a poll of what they’d like to see offered.
The poll also looked at what students could contribute, whether it was financially or through volunteering.
Some students, along with some farmers in the area, helped the program as well by donating food.
— With files from John Gormley