Oak Bay Rotarians celebrate youth with cash award

Oak Bay High’s humanitarian of the year earns local scholarship

Oak Bay High graduate Alexandra Ages accepts a certificate along with a $1

Oak Bay High graduate Alexandra Ages accepts a certificate along with a $1

Recent Oak Bay High graduate Alexandra Ages finds election time troubling.

“It’s kind of difficult times,” she told Rotarians gathered for the weekly lunch meeting. With an election looming, campaigns seem to be all about spending money to talk about the problems we face in this country and beyond.

“It’s really saddening,” Ages said. “It’s really nice to see organizations like this one, and the ones I’m a member of, outwardly trying to make a difference.”

The teen was there to receive the Oak Bay Rotary Foundation’s first $1,000 scholarship.

Each year, the foundation awards a scholarship to an outstanding graduate of Oak Bay High School who intends to pursue post-secondary study immediately following graduation. This year the organization upped the value.

The winner is selected based on the candidate’s record of academic excellence and demonstration of leadership qualities and the motto ‘Service Above Self.’

“She really did embody the entire spirit of of service above self,” said David Maxwell, foundation president.

Ages served as a peer counsellor at Oak Bay High; a member of the Island Sexual Health Youth Committee; a member and led a Mental Health Forum of the Greater Victoria Youth Council; a youth facilitator for the Red Cross anti-bullying program; a volunteer for the Greater Victoria Green Team; a participant with Amnesty International; and a member of the Syrian Refugee Aid Club.

She also co-chaired the Climate-Action Summit for YesBC Youth and earned Oak Bay High School’s 2015 Humanitarian Award.

“I think you want to support the youths from a few different perspectives,” Maxwell said, noting the rising cost of education means they need a hand with the financial aspect. “It also sends a message to students that giving back is valued and recognized. It also helps publicly recognize and promote that there are incredible things being done by youth out there.”

Ages is registered to study Political Science and Humanities at the University of Victoria this fall and plans to join the Rotary-affiliated UVic Rotaract Club of Victoria.

“The more youth leaders we support today, you hope they get inspired to become Rotarians or part of other volunteer organizations,” he said. “You hope it inspires them to be part of Lions or Kiwanis or Rotary when they get older.”