Erin Bonisteel has the poise of a figure skater
During an interview with Erin Bonisteel at her family’s home in New Harbour last week, everything from her straight posture to her ready smile radiates with quiet self-assurance.
Those who know her say it’s a product of hard work and tremendous self-discipline — both in school and on the ice.
“ Erin comes home more beat up from figure skating than her brother does from hockey,” says her mother, Mary Harris.
“ Whenever she falls, she wants to get up and try the jump again. It comes to a point where her coach has to tell her to get off the ice.” Erin’s work ethic has certainly paid off. Last week, the Level II student at Crescent Collegiate in Blaketown was named the recipient of the prestigious Lester B. Pearson Scholarship, valued at $68,000.
Lengthy application process
In September, she will be among 200 students selected from more than 100 countries to enroll in a pre-university international baccalaureate (IB) program at Pearson College, a United World College in Victoria, B.C. Bonisteel decided to pursue the scholarship after hearing about it from a family friend, and underwent a lengthy application process. All students are chosen on the basis of high academic achievement and quality of character.
Traditionally, only one scholarship is awarded to a student in this province each year.
When asked what part of the experience she is most looking forward to, Bonisteel does not hesitate for a moment.
“Going to school with people from all over the world,” she says.
She also looks forward to taking advantage of the campus’s rugged location, where extracurricular courses include learning to kayak or scuba dive in the Pacific Ocean.
“I like to get involved,” she says. “Everyone needs to relax, of course, but I don’t need to relax for long. I get bored.”
Leaving friends, teachers
Besides figure skating, Bonisteel is a member of her school’s cheerleading squad and spends her summers working as a lifeguard. While she admits that she will miss these activities when she leaves home, Bonisteel most regrets leaving her friends and teachers behind.
“I’m sad to go a year early, but hopefully next year I’ll be back in time for graduation.”
She also worries about the new academic challenges she may be faced with in the IB program, but Mary Harris has every confidence that her daughter will continue to thrive at Pearson.
“Erin has always been very independent, and very intrinsically motivated,” she says. “ This is just one more new experience.”
Erin Bonisteel of New Harbour is this province’s 2011 recipient of the prestigious Lester B. Pearson Scholarship, valued at $68,000.
Compass intern Mika Rekai (left) chats with Erin Bonisteel of New Harbour.