Yael Witvoet. Photo submitted

Yael Witvoet. Photo submitted

OUR COMMUNITY: Ponoka student earns scholarship

Yael Witvoet awarded $500 from Kinnette Club of Ponoka

Graduating Ponoka student Yael Witvoet was recently rewarded with this year’s Kinette Club of Ponoka’s $500 scholarship, which will certainly help as she goes on to post secondary in the fall and Witvoet is very thankful.

Witvoet has been accepted into the University of Alberta’s bachelor of arts and criminology program.

“I will definitely be putting the money to good use,” said Witvoet, adding it may be used for textbooks, tuition, or groceries.

“I feel receiving this scholarship benefits me through both being given some financial aid since university can be a very expensive investment, as well as a sense of support from the community I grew up in,” she said.

“Receiving this scholarship makes me feel both recognized for what I have done, and encouraged to continue doing great things that will benefit the communities I am a part of.”

When applying for the scholarship, Witvoet listed all the clubs and teams she has been involved with, as well as her volunteer work.

She was the co-president of the student union at St. Augustine School and is the youth representative on the Police Advisory Committee.

Her volunteer work includes helping out at soup kitchens and food drives, as well as participating in the annual Race for Kids.

“Other criteria they wished to know about included explaining how I have made an impact on my community, how I plan to continue volunteering, and how I will continue improving my future.”

Witvoet is an active part of the Ponoka Youth Centre and was selected for the National Youth Council (NYC) of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) earlier this year.

READ MORE: Deserving Ponoka student appointed to National Youth Council

Witvoet recently appeared in a video featuring kids from Boys and Girls Clubs from across Canada, thanking everyone for all they’re doing to keep people safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help others.

She was supposed to travel to Toronto in March for training for her new position, but it was cancelled due to growing concerns over the coronavirus.

Witvoet continues to participate in scheduled meetings with the council through video calls. They can’t meet in person, but continue to act as role models for youth across Canada in virtual ways, such as the video she was in.

Since she joined the NYC, they have been discussing how to continue with their yearly plans, including the National Youth Forum set for 2021.

She has also joined the social justice sub-committee as a part of the NYC.

“My focus remains on how we as youth can assist in spreading awareness and doing our part to prevent injustices in our country.”

On May 7, which was National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, the social justice committee compiled a list of different platforms that would help educate and give support to youth who may be struggling with their mental health or know someone who is. The list was shared online through the BGCC.

”Working with the National Youth Council has been a great experience so far and I hope I can continue to do more great things with them as my time on the council progresses.”

Witvoet has also been awarded with the Premier’s Citizenship award, the Rotary Club Scholarship, as well as a University of Alberta Entrance Leadership Scholarship. She applied for several others and is still waiting to hear back.

Our Community: This is a new, semi-regular feature page where Ponoka News will highlight the positive work and contributions individuals or organizations make to our vibrant community. We have a great town and county and many people who make it what it is — let’s celebrate them. If you know a person or group who should be featured in “Our Community,” please contact the editor at editorial@ponokanews.com.