Seven teenagers honoured with IPM 2017 scholarships
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The 2017 International Plowing Match (IPM) Legacy Fund continues to have an impact on the community with seven scholarships being handed out over the weekend.
Quinn Driscoll, Clarissa Gordon, Lexi Smith, Loretta Higgins, Sarah Mitchell, Haden Flood and Natalie Fear were all honoured as successful scholarship applicants over the weekend as part of a special ceremony held at Jack Ryan’s Walton-area farm, the site of the 2017 IPM.
While past scholarship classes had been honoured at the Huron County Plowing Match, with no match this year, 2017 IPM Chair Jacquie Bishop held a special afternoon to honour this year’s seven teenagers.
• Driscoll, the son of Ben Driscoll and Crystal White, is studying Agricultural Science at the University of Guelph. His community involvement includes the Londesborough United Church’s Sunday School, the Seaforth Agricultural Society, Camp Bimini, being a cadet leader for a local church and working on the IPM educational display. Driscoll is also a member of the University of Guelph’s 2023 executive.
• Gordon is the daughter of Rob and Lori Gordon. She is attending the University of Waterloo and studying a double major in Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology.
Her community involvement includes five years at Camp Menesetung, playing minor hockey, local 4-H Clubs, the Elementary School Fair and the Reach for the Top competition.
• Smith is the daughter of Chris and Shelly Smith. She is attending the University of Western Ontario and studying a Bachelor of Health Science with an Honours specialization in Rehabilitation Sciences and a Bachelor of Education.
Smith has given back to her community as a soccer coach, as a member of the Mustang Athletic Student Council, a Huron County Princess at the Huron County Plowing Match and volunteering to read and entertain the region’s older residents at local nursing homes and through OneCare.
• Higgins is the daughter of Greg and Betty Jane Higgins. She is attending the University of Guelph to study Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences.
The long-time member of the Wawanosh 4-H Club, Higgins has also been the Huron County Queen of the Furrow, has played minor hockey and soccer, served on the children’s liturgy for Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wingham and volunteered at the Wingham Knights of Columbus Centre.
• Mitchell is the daughter of Neil and Marie Mitchell. She is attending the University of Guelph to study Accounting and earn a Bachelor of Commerce.
Mitchell has served with the Avon Maitland District School Board as a student senator, as well as serving on the Central Huron Secondary School’s student council. She was a Lions Club Youth Exchange delegate, as well as a member of the Brussels Leo Club and a youth recruitment co-ordinator with Canadian Blood Services. She has worked as a tutor and a mentor, while volunteering at Camp Kintail, as a student event leader at Central Huron Secondary School and participated in many local minor sports leagues.
• Flood is the son of Calvin and Dianne Flood. He is attending the University of Guelph to study Accounting.
Flood has spent time as a member of the Central Huron Secondary School band as well as volunteering with the United Church Youth Camp, numerous 4-H Clubs and at the Seaforth Agriplex.
• Fear is the daughter of Paul and Ann Marie Fear. She has completed her time at the University of Guelph, earning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Child Youth and Family Studies, and is now at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario to earn her Master of Social Work.
Fear worked in peer counselling at the University of Guelph and volunteered with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brussels and her school’s student accessibility office. Fear was also crowned Huron County Princess a few years ago at the Huron County Plowing Match.
Bishop said it was another good year for applications from qualified local young people. She said the impact of the Huron County plowing match community can be seen in the words of Smith in her application.
“When I became Princess of the Furrow in 2011, it was one of the most rewarding experiences that taught me so much about myself and the importance of always giving back to the community that raised you. It also gave me endless amounts of opportunities to give back and be involved in many different ways,” Smith wrote in her application. “I vividly remember the competition day like it was yesterday and one thing that I will never forget is during the interview portion, I was asked by the judges what career I was planning to pursue one day and why. Going back to that day, I responded by saying I would love to become a teacher because of the impact you can have on the life of a child and how education and learning shapes a child’s life in so many ways and I wanted to be a part of that shaping.
“Now, nine years later, I am pursuing my dreams of becoming a teacher and I am constantly reminded about the day I was asked that question... one of the most important things I learned was to never give up and always put forth your best effort in everything that you do and eventually your dreams will come true.
“All in all, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my application and it would be a great honour to be a recipient of this scholarship because it would continue to benefit my education journey and continue to make my dreams come true.”