Local student awarded $5,000 scholarship

Northlands Parkway Collegiate student Vanessa Kran was awarded a Horatio Alger Scholarship worth $5,000. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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A local student from Northlands Parkway Collegiate has been awarded a Horatio Alger Scholarship worth $5,000.

Vanessa Kran, who lives on a three-and-a-half acre farm near Plum Coulee, is a grade 12 student at NPC.

Kran described herself as a science-interested student who likes to exercise, play sports and loves animals.

“I’m a farm girl who never really grew up spoiled,” she said. “Everything I get I kind of appreciate more than other people.”

When Kran heard about the scholarship and the topic to write about, she immediately connected with it. “Some of them I looked at and I didn’t relate to any of it so I moved on,” she said. “This one it was like, ‘I really want to speak about what is going on.’ I wrote about how I see the world, how it is now, what’s going to happen. I wanted to put my opinion out there because I thought I really had a voice in that category.”

The Horatio Alger Association of Canada states that their belief is that “hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles.” Kran said that was something that resonated with her. “It just connected with me in a way, because it’s something that I really wanted to write about,” she said. “I really tried hard by this one.”

The essay topic was “30 Years From Now,” and Kran wrote about her observations of how people interact with technology.

“I see people on their phones, they’re distracted,” she said. “People are kind of not as appreciative as they were.”

Horatio Alger scholarships are awarded to high school students who not only keep their marks up, but who overcome adversity while demonstrating “strength of character, a commitment to pursuing high education as well as a desire to contribute to society.”

35 per cent of recipients experienced abandonment by parents or guardians, 34 per cent suffered from physical, mental or sexual abuse, 22 per cent dealt with drug or alcohol abuse in their household and 21 per cent experienced disability or a serious illness.

Kran is receiving the Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship worth $5,000. She said the money will be a huge help moving forward.

Kran will be studying kinesiology at University of Manitoba.

“I really want to go into fitness because it’s been part of my life since grade 7 and I really enjoy it,” she said. “I’ve always wanted a job that I can actually enjoy, not be like, ‘Oh, I have to go there, I have to do this.’ I’m going to do what I really like so I can actually enjoy the rest of my life with it.”

Kran plans to get an apartment in Winnipeg while she goes to school, so the money is a big help. “It makes me want to study more,” she said. “I feel like now that I’m getting the money I have to push myself, that I’ve earned it. It makes you more focused, not so much worried about how much this is going to cost. It gave me a different mind set, like now I have this money to start with, so I can focus more on having money for something else instead of schooling.”

Kran already works four to five times a week on top of going to school and playing sports, and plans to go full-time in the summer to pull some more money together.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “Those days that I don’t work I try to get as much as I can done. Some days I relax, because I tend to get very stressed sometimes, and I’m just tired for no reason.”

Since 2012, the Horatio Alger Association has awarded over $5.1 million in scholarships to 866 Canadian students.

“This year, we more than doubled the number of scholarships offered in recognition of the immense need for post-secondary financial support in Canada,” president of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada Prem Watsa said. “The 170 outstanding students selected to be 2019 Horatio Alger Scholars prove that we made the right decision.”