Queen Charlotte student Paisley Nelson’s academic achievements and community engagement earned her the John F. Hamilton Scholarship from the Insurance Brokers of B.C. on June 14.
Recipients of the scholarship must have a relative of an insurance industry practitioner or be one themselves. Nelson’s mom Shelia West, is the manager of insurance at Northern Savings Insurance Services in Queen Charlotte.
Nelson will receive $3,500, which she said will help pay for living costs while she pursues a Bachelor of Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) next September.
She was also chosen as a UNBC scholar, which will cover tuition costs during her undergraduate degree. This scholarship is awarded to students in B.C. and the Yukon who have the highest grade point average at the end of grade 11.
Nelson graduated from Gidgalang Kuuyas Naay Secondary School this spring. She credits school programs and learning from the elders as the inspiration for her interest and passion for the outdoors.
“I’ve definitely fallen in love with nature, and so I wanted to take a program that revolves around that,” she said.
Specifically, she hopes to use her degree to help protect the environment.
“I think it’s important to learn how we can make an impact on the environment and how we can alter our lifestyles to have a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.”
Volleyball has been a significant part of Nelson’s life, both playing and coaching. She’s received five all-star awards and was named captain of her team.
While sports keep her busy, she’s also found time to volunteer in the community. Helping at the SPCA and the Fall Fair, being an active member of the student council and organizing the Terry Fox Run are all ways she’s given back.
This summer she looks forward to running kids’ camps for Haida Gwaii Recreation Commission.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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