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Three locals earn scholarships through Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta

Last Updated Aug 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm MST

PHOTO. Supplied. Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta.

Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta has announced the recipients of this year’s Women of Inspiration Award, which consists of three separate scholarships.

Each scholarship, worth $3000 is in partnership, with Syncrude.

Mackenzie Velders, Briten Vacheresse and Malja Najmi-Beauchamp were chosen from 40 applications.

Velders, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science from Grant MacEwan University, has been awarded the Ann Dort-MacLean Scholarship.

The award recognizes women who demonstrate a passion for youth empowerment and gender equality.

Velders belonged to various clubs in and out of school including Holy Trinity’s social justice club and the steering committee for Three Things Wood Buffalo.

She also raised public awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women by bringing the REDress Project to the region.

Vacheresse has been awarded the Elsie Yanik Memorial Scholarship which is given to a qualifying applicant of First Nations or Métis ancestry.

She is working toward a Bachelor degree in Child and Youth Care at MacEwan University and said the children she has worked with have changed her life.

She hopes she will be able to challenge the community to step up and further help children.

The Barb Jewers Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Najmi-Beauchamp who is attending the Calgary College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

The award goes honours a woman who is committed to volunteerism and community activism.

Najmi-Beauchamp said she plans to attend a specialized course in China for cancer treatment then move back to the region to help Indigenous women in rural communities.

She has been involved in various non-profit organizations including the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Youth and has won a number of awards.

The scholarships recognize women in the region who are igniting change and breaking barriers through their post-secondary studies.