Graduating Reynolds secondary students Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski were both offered spots in the prestigious House of Commons page program for the fall, though Kowalewski turned it down to pursue a degree in biophysics at Simon Fraser University. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Ottawa calls on Reynolds grads

Students score big with page program, Schulich scholarship

For the second year in a row, a Reynolds secondary student is graduating directly into Canada’s House of Commons.

And for the third time in two years, a Reynolds student has secured one of 50 prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarships, an $80,000 value towards a degree in science.

The truth is two Reynolds Grade 12 students, Solomon Schaefer and Antonia Kowalewski, have been offered a place in the House of Commons page program. Schaefer is jumping on the opportunity and is registered in political science at the University of Ottawa. Kowalewski, meanwhile, made it through the rigorous interview and application process, including a French language evaluation (candidates must be bilingual) but later chose to accept the Schulich Scholarship through Simon Fraser University, where she’ll study biophysics.

“These scholarships are very competitive and for our high school to have back-to-back recipients is quite something,” said Patricia Daniells, a Reynolds teacher who offers career help to students.

Before interviewing for the House of Commons Page Program, Schaefer was able to check-in with Sylvan Lutz, a 2017 Reynolds grad who is currently working as a page while studying at University of Ottawa. Schaefer will put in a minimum of 15 hours a week at the House of Commons, one morning and one evening shift. It starts with a week-long training session in August.

“To some people the House of Commons might seem boring but to a poli-sci nerd like me, to be there assisting successful politicians and to be in the same room as the Prime Minister is like Christmas for me,” Schaefer said.

On top of a nearly flawless report card – Schaefer is one half of this year’s Reynolds valedictorian team with Camryn Nadeau – the teen spent a month over the winter holiday this year as a counselor to 11-year-olds at a CISV (a youth-oriented movement for global peace formerly known as Children’s International Summer Villages) camp in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

It’s that type of extra-curricular leadership that helped him get into the Page Program.

“The camp is mostly in English, so you learn how to communicate at different levels, especially with 11-year-olds who are still learning English,” said Schaefer, who is adding Spanish to his quiver of languages.

Same goes for Kowalewski, a science-oriented academic who’s been active in a number of initiatives throughout her time as a high schooler. But now the focus will turn on schooling, as Kowalewski enters a demanding program.

“It’s been a lot of work the last four years so it’s nice to know my dedication to school and a lot of extra-curricular activities has paid off,” Kowalewski said.

She follows in the footsteps of 2016 Reynolds grad Rebecca Hansen who also secured a Schulich for science.

“I always loved the sciences but I figured I would know which direction I wanted to focus on by now,” Kowalewski said. “I ended up liking all off biology, chemistry and physics so I’m going into biophysics, which encompasses them all.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Third time’s not a charm for Oak Bay thief

Police briefs: Repeat thefts, stolen scooter, walking sticks misplaced

Lawyer for Victoria homeless camp questions offer by Saanich Police

John Heaney says breaking up camp puts people at risk because it seperates them from support

Former employee at B.C.’s oldest bakery says staff got no notice of closure

Willie’s Bakery staffer didn’t receive any severance

Elderly man in hospital after struck by car in Oak Bay

The incident happened Monday evening on Cadboro Bay Road

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps calls for audit on Johnson Street Bridge project

The bridge took three years and $40 million more than initially expected

Musicians take note at Victoria music industry conference

Rifflandia Gathering brings together emerging artists and industry professionals

Public to comment on Nigel Valley development in Saanich

Saanich residents will have their say today about a new housing development… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Ban on plastic bags reflects new reality

The plastic bag ban Victoria introduced in July of this year is… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Cyclists finish North America trip to highlight Ukraine struggle

The 10,000 bike ride raised over $10,000 for victims of the war in Ukraine.

21 new paramedics promised for B.C. Interior

A total of 18 new full-time paramedics will be hired for Kamloops and three are being hired for Chase.

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

Work begins to remove cargo from grounded Haida Gwaii barge and fishing lodge

Westcoast Resorts’ Hippa Lodge broke from its moorings and ran aground early this month

Most Read