Local students awarded McCall Scholarships
Six Huron County students will receive scholarships valued at up to $44,000 over four years to pursue their undergraduate degrees starting this fall. This is the third class of recipients of the McCall Huron County Scholarships, founded by Marcy and John McCall MacBain in 2018.
This year’s recipients are: Liam Wilson (Central Huron Secondary School), Eleanor Sawchuk (F.E. Madill Secondary School), Jessica Hewitt (Goderich District Collegiate Institute), Alyssa Sturdy (South Huron Secondary School), Ava Hill (St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School) and Kate Huettlin (South Huron Secondary School). In addition, six students who were finalists for the scholarship received an entrance award of $2,500 towards their university studies.
This year, the number of scholarships provided increased thanks to the generous support of the Baker family of Huron County. John Baker, founder of Desire2Learn, and his family provided funding to expand the program to more recipients for the next six years. Liam Wilson was the first Baker McCall Huron County Scholarship recipient selected thanks to this gift. The Baker family also supported one of the six finalist entrance awards provided this year.
McCall Huron County Scholarship recipients are selected based on the demonstration of potential for leadership, positive contributions to their school or broader communities and an overall commitment to excellence. The scholarship supports them over the course of their first undergraduate degree at any Canadian public university.
“I am pleased to announce the third class of recipients of the McCall Huron County Scholarships,” said Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain. “Growing up in Huron County was foundational for me, and I am grateful for all the support the community has provided me. These scholarships are one way of saying thanks and giving back to my hometown. The past year has illustrated more clearly than ever the need for positive, community-minded leadership. John and I invest in education and scholarships because we know we must embolden students to take meaningful risks to improve our collective future. We are delighted to provide this scholarship to help students from Huron County realize their full potential.”
The selection process began at each of the high schools, in which committees nominated a total of 24 students from those who had completed a comprehensive application for the scholarships. The students selected to move forward participated in extensive virtual interviews, which looked beyond academic achievement to examine activities and pursuits in the service of others and across a broad spectrum of leadership roles.
• Jessica Hewitt, Goderich District Collegiate Institute: Jessica was involved in the Student Leadership Club, played saxophone in the jazz band, and planned Christmas assemblies at Goderich District Collegiate Institute. She also organized craft shows to support Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, and raised funds for the Goderich Town Council. Outside of school, Jessica presented livestock through 4-H, and was also a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, dropping off meals at the homes of senior residents.
Jessica is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences at Guelph University this fall.
• Ava Hill, St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School: Ava was the Student Cabinet Minister of Arts and Culture at St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School. She is a talented voice, flute and guitar performer. Ava worked as a summer arts camp counsellor at the Huron Waves Music Festival, and volunteered as a fundraiser for the Huron County Food Bank, and as a youth mentor for Leads Services. She was also a Peer Educator for Choices for Change, which raises awareness about the health risks and ramifications of substance abuse.
Ava is pursuing Psychology at Queen’s University this fall.
• Kate Huettlin, South Huron District High School School: During her high school career, Kate volunteered for several annual events, including the Annual Curling Bonspiel and the Annual Golf Tournament of Community Living Stratford and Area, raising funds to purchase accessibility equipment for those in need. Kate also supported the Pineridge Snowmobile Club with maintenance and upkeep of local trails, and was a CLeW leader for a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation event. Kate started a small business selling eggs, and worked at a dairy farm, pursuing her love for agro-enterprise.
Kate is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Guelph this fall.
• Alyssa Sturdy, Goderich District Collegiate Institute: Alyssa represented Goderich District Collegiate Institute at the school board as a Student Senator, a position she held for three years. She was a member of the student leadership team, and volunteered for Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving, where she helped to organize an annual Christmas food drive. Alyssa played on her school’s basketball and volleyball teams and has been recognized with team awards and at the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association. Over the course of her high school career, Alyssa held several roles at the Goderich Park theatre. This summer, she also worked at the Bayfield Berry Farm.
Alyssa is pursuing a Bachelor of Life Sciences at Queen’s University this fall.
• Eleanor Sawchuk, F. E. Madill Secondary School: Eleanor was engaged in the Social Justice Club at F.E. Madill Secondary School, and served as a representative on the Student Council. She skied with the school and has raised funds for global causes and the North Huron Food Share, through Mustangs Making a Difference, a school initiative. Eleanor is passionate about costuming, design, and theatre, and supported a local youth production with her costume creations. During her high school career, she also worked two part-time jobs, at a local vintage clothing and costume shop, and at a local brewing company.
Eleanor will pursue a Bachelor of Arts in History and Costume Design at Dalhousie University.
• Liam Wilson, (Baker McCall Huron County Scholarship Recipient), Central Huron Secondary School: Liam was the student council Treasurer at Central Huron Secondary School, a position he held for three years. He also competed in cross-country, swimming, track and field and hockey. During his high school career, Liam assisted in fundraising and organizing for the Doug Perkes Memorial Tournament, worked as a year-long lifeguard at two local pools, and worked as a student page at the local library.
Liam is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy at Western University this fall