Hazelton resident gets great scholarship with Weston

Hazelton resident and graduate of Northwest Community College Martha Wilson has a story of inspiration involving a scholarship opportunity.

Hazelton resident and graduate of Northwest Community College Martha Wilson has a story of inspiration involving a scholarship opportunity.

The NWCC issued a press release recently to tell of Wilson’s experience as a mother and grandmother who recently found out she was selected as a 2011 Upper-Year W. Garfield Weston Scholar which is an award with a valued at $25,000.

The award includes a tuition waiver from the college they attend, a grant of $8,000 towards their living expenses, access to a mentorship program, summer funding and a leadership conference in Toronto.

However, most importantly, the scholarship will allow Wilson to pursue her career goal of becoming a clinical psychologist.

The NWCC said “the award caps an eventful two years for Wilson, who graduated with two full-time program credentials this spring.” One was an Associate Degree in Arts and the second was a Social Service Worker diploma.

She told NWCC that as a proud Gitxsan member of the Wolf (Laxgibuu) Clan belonging to House of Niik’yap, she plans to continue at NWCC this fall, working on credits she’ll need to eventually transfer to a Bachelor program at UNBC in Prince George. She said she’s grateful for the help she received at the College when she suffered a stroke in December 2008.

Yet nothing was going to stop Wilson from her plans and achievements she said.

“I set a goal for myself: nothing less than graduating with honours was acceptable,” explained Wilson. “The results gave me a lot of validation that if you really want something, it’s never too late.”

Yet according to NWCC, the foundation for Wilson’s big scholarship was built before she returned to school.

“She has worked in the social service field for 25 years, she owns her own consulting business in which she facilitates workshops on healing, conscious parenting and gives one-on-one counselling, and she has volunteered her time with the Highway of Tears advocacy, the Gitxsan Health Society and Gitanmaax interagency for youth at risk,” NWCC Director of Communications and College Advancement, Kritsine Kofoed wrote. “The turning point for Wilson’s community work came when her cousin became a Highway of Tears victim. Ramona Wilson went missing from Smithers in 1994 and her remains were found a year later near town.”

For Wilson, the family tragedy was and is part of her motivation.

“It was an issue really dear to my heart,” Wilson said. “To get involved with the Highway of Tears, Gitxsan Health and youth is something natural for me. If somebody needs help, you step up… you don’t do it because you have to, you do it because you want to.”

In addition to academic achievement, Kofoed said the Garfield Weston Foundation judges award finalists in three areas: community service, leadership and character and integrity, which she said are “attributes Wilson displays in spades.”

The award interview process was intensive, Kofoed explained, with one phone interview and five in-person interviews in Toronto.

“As part of the latter, Wilson had to present two hypothetical summer projects, one domestic and one abroad, and she drew on her passion for issues relating to First Nations women, youth, health and poverty,” Kofoed said. “Wilson says she still can’t quite believe the scope of her award, which is the biggest, but certainly not the only one she’s recently earned. She is also the recipient of two NWCC awards, the Patti Barnes Humanitarian Award which is valued at $2,000 and the Northern Institute of Resource Studies Scholarships  worth $500 among others.”

While Wilson is proud of her successes she is also humbled.

“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Wilson told Kofoed. “I think living in the North, you have to create what you have, you have to be resourceful.”

Kofoed also added that NWCC President, Dr. Denise Henning, is a big believer in the doors of opportunity that open through education and she says Wilson’s story is a perfect example.

“Northwest Community College is truly a better place for having a student and person the calibre of Martha Wilson,” said Dr. Henning. “Hers is a story that anyone could draw inspiration from and we wish her every success in pursuing her career goals.”

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

President and CEO leaving Coast Mountain College

Burt will say goodbye to CMNT come September

UPDATE: Downed power pole shuts down Petro-Canada

Business operator says Waste Management was responsible for the incident

Fire burns down barn and workshop near Tyhee Lake

Owner Martin Hennig estimates around $200,000 in uninsured losses after the buildings burned down.

Portugese national concertmaster headlines classical music festival

Spirit of the North festival will feature internationally-renowned musicians to local kids

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read