Per­se­ver­ance pays off for Galt stu­dent

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Sher­brooke, Lennoxville

Last week, the Ho­ra­tio Al­ger As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada an­nounced the re­cip­i­ents of this year’s Ho­ra­tio Al­ger Rt. Hon. Brian Mul­roney Que­bec Schol­ar­ships. Apt that the an­nounce­ment should be made dur­ing School Per­se­ver­ance month: the schol­ar­ships are awarded to stu­dents

who have “demon­strated in­tegrity and per­se­ver­ance in over­com­ing ad­ver­sity”. The re­cip­i­ents must also demon­strate a fi­nan­cial need and have a good aca­demic record of a six­ty­five av­er­age or higher, a plan to con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tion af­ter high school and a de­sire to con­trib­ute in a mean­ing­ful way to so­ci­ety.

Sher­brooke’s Ly­dia Tous­saint, an Alexander Galt Re­gional High School stu­dent in level five, found out a few weeks ago that she had been cho­sen to re­ceive a pres­ti­gious Ho­ra­tio Al­ger Schol­ar­ship, worth an im­pres­sive $5000. “The As­so­ci­a­tion sent me an email say­ing that I had won a schol­ar­ship to con­tinue go­ing to school. I was re­ally, re­ally happy. It was a pretty long process to ap­ply for the schol­ar­ship. I had to pro­vide a lot of in­for­ma­tion and I had to write a cou­ple of es­says. The first es­say was about how I had shown per­se­ver­ance in the past; the sec­ond es­say was about dif­fi­cul­ties I had faced in the past and how I over­came those dif­fi­cul­ties,” ex­plained Ly­dia in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal. “It was re­ally hard to write those es­says.”

Ob­sta­cles to stu­dent suc­cess can come in all dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes, and Ly­dia spoke about some of her chal­lenges. “The school­work has never been hard for me, but we’re ten kids in the fam­ily and that’s not al­ways easy. Just to find a quiet spot in the house to study can be hard; some­times it seemed like it would be im­pos­si­ble to get through it all,” said Ly­dia. But get through it she did, even with English be­ing her sec­ond lan­guage, and she re­ceived many aca­demic awards from her high school along the way.

“I’ve been go­ing to school in English since el­e­men­tary school and I was home-schooled for a few years. I don’t get as good grades in English as in French, but I’m al­most as good!” ad­mit­ted Ly­dia. The schol­ar­ship win­ner also spoke about how she has stayed mo­ti­vated through her school years. “I like learn­ing. Some school sub­jects I like less than oth­ers, but I al­ways loved to learn. I don’t like do­ing homework very much but I’ve no­ticed that it is a good way to learn,” she men­tioned.

Hav­ing many sis­ters has also kept Ly­dia mo­ti­vated to work hard in school. “I’m sort of in a good com­pe­ti­tion with my sis­ters be­cause they have won awards at school, too,” she said. “Some­times I want to have re­ally good marks but it doesn’t work out. But it’s okay; I’m try­ing to keep a bal­ance although it’s not al­ways ob­vi­ous,” joked Ly­dia.

Although she knows with cer­tainty that she will be con­tin­u­ing her ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney next year, this soon-to-be high school grad­u­ate is still try­ing to fig­ure out what she should study. “I’m think­ing about maybe tak­ing cour­ses in the health field…but what I do know is that work­ing with peo­ple will be key,” con­cluded the friendly teen.

The Ho­ra­tio Al­ger As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada re­ceived al­most three thou­sand five hun­dred ap­pli­ca­tions for this year’s awards in the four Canadian prov­inces they are present in: Que­bec, On­tario, Al­berta and Bri­tish Colom­bia. They awarded $5000 schol­ar­ships to nine­teen de­serv­ing and per­se­ver­ing Que­bec high school stu­dents, four­teen in On­tario, eigh­teen in Al­berta and twenty in Bri­tish Colom­bia. The As­so­ci­a­tion plans to ex­pand na­tion­ally in 2015.

Ho­ra­tio Al­ger, who died in 1899 at sixty-eight years of age, was an Amer­i­can au­thor best known for his many “rags to riches” sto­ries about im­pov­er­ished boys who suc­ceeded in the face of ad­ver­sity.

Seen here in her grad­u­a­tion robes, Ly­dia Tous­saint re­cently re­ceived a $5000 schol­ar­ship from the Ho­ra­tio Al­ger As­so­ci­a­tion

of Canada.

Photo cour­tesy

Ly­dia Tous­saint has re­ceived sev­eral aca­demic awards while at Alexander Galt High School.

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