Awarding the Health Professions Scholarship always casts a pleasant glow on June meetings of the Northumberland Hills Hospital board, and 2019 was no exception.
This year's recipients are Madison Holmes and Catharine Mead, with proud parents Andrew Mead and Robert and Shelley Holmes looking on as the award was made.
Board chair Beth Selby said this program was created in 2003 for West Northumberland students enrolling in post-secondary education designed to ready them for a career in the health-care field. In helping them achieve their goals, Selby said, NHH is hoping the students will consider one day returning to their home-town hospital to practice the skills they have acquired.
This year's recipients, she added, are “smart, hard-working and very focused on their goals – characteristics I think we all agree are worthy of special recognition.”
St. Mary Secondary School alumna Madison is completing her first year at Trent University, where she is working on a bachelor-of-science degree in nursing. Her goal is to become an emergency-department nurse and, eventually, a nurse-practitioner.
By the time of her high-school graduation last year, she had achieved Ontario Scholar status with a stellar academic record and many extra-curricular activities to her credit (including acting as coach and volunteer at Northumberland Gymnastics).
Letters in support of her application spoke of her work ethic, strength of character and leadership abilities.
Catharine, one of the youngest-ever recipients of the scholarship, is finishing Port Hope High School and heading for the University of Waterloo's honours kinesiology co-op program.
She graduated PHHS with the second-highest academic record at her school, winning the general proficiency award, the Port Hope citizenship award and the Kim Rudd Award. Catharine also had 700 community-service volunteer hours to her credit.
She was involved with the yearbook, played in the school orchestra (and on the girls' volleyball team), participated in student government and was a fixture on the Link crew that each year helps Grade 9 students adjust to high school.
In the community, Catharine studied ballet, participated in several choirs, and played in the Northumberland Players pit orchestra (as well as with the La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra).
“The values and commitment of these two excellent students are a tribute to the support they have received from their families, teachers and mentors,” Selby said.