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Airdrie student receives $100,000 scholarship

An Airdrie high school student has received one of the most coveted scholarships in Canada.

Kailey Beckie, a Grade 12 student at St. Martin de Porres High School, has been awarded a $100,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. The 18-year-old is one of just 100 graduating high school students across the country – from more than 1,400 nominees – to receive the prestigious award.

“I was extremely humbled and grateful,“ Beckie said. “There are so many amazing students at St. Martin, so it was an honour.

“It truly takes an army. It was my friends, family, mentors, community members, teachers and my principal [who helped me]. I just felt extremely grateful.“

Beckie said she plans to attend the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus next fall to pursue a degree in engineering, adding she intends to specialize in mechanical engineering. She said her interest in the field emerged after taking part in the Calgary Catholic School District’s Career Discovery Program when she was in Grade 10.

“I spent two weeks working in an aircraft hangar at Rocky Mountain Aircraft,“ she said. “Just being exposed to the trades, the hands-on and the design aspects of that kind of career was really interesting, and it’s one thing that piqued my interest in engineering.“

In addition to her academics, Beckie has maintained a steady schedule of extracurricular activities throughout high school. She started a gardening club at St. Martin de Porres, while also being involved in the Golden Rod 4-H Multi Club through the Airdrie and District Agriculture Society. She is also a member of the Calgary Fiddlers Association.

“I think I like being able to give back to the community, and then there’s all the people you meet, too, from all different walks of life,“ she said. “You make so many friends and memories – it’s just really fun to get involved with the community.“

Athletically, Beckie played basketball for the St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks, helping the senior girls’ team make it to the Calgary Senior High School Athletics Association Division 2 championship game. She's also played basketball as part of a club team.

Beckie also competed for the Kodiaks in cross-country.

According to, the Schulich Leader Scholarships are awarded to entrepreneurial-minded high school graduates enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or math program at 20 partner universities across Canada. Fifty of the awards are valued at $100,000 for engineering scholarships, while the remaining 50 are valued at $80,000 for science and math scholarships.

Each high school in Canada is allowed to select one student as a nominee for the award.

St. Martin de Porres principal Elisé Saraceni said Beckie was a deserving recipient, given her success and involvement on and off campus.

“She’s not only an academic student, but an athletic one as well, and she does volunteer throughout the community,“ Saraceni said. “She’s definitely what we would consider a model citizen and we couldn’t be more proud as a staff and school community about her success.“

Scott Strasser,
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19

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