A buzz from her phone gave Brooklyn Scorey the shock of her life.
The aspiring electrician was surrounded by friends when she checked her phone and found out she was the latest recipient of the Bev LaPointe Memorial Scholarship for Women in Trades.
“I think I about jumped this high off the ground when I turned on my phone and I scared everyone around me,” she said Tuesday. “They didn’t know what happened to me, if I got stung by a bee. My friend asked me if I’d won the lottery.”
She didn’t win the lottery, but this was the next best thing. The $2,000 scholarship will pay for Scorey’s tuition, and then some, when she starts the six-month electrician’s program at Selkirk College’s Silver King Campus in February.
Scorey, 28, comes from a family of tradespeople. Her father is a machinist, her brother is a third-year woodworker and her uncle owns an electrical company in Northern B.C.
That kind of work suits her. She did agriculture jobs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand for about a decade before deciding on a career change.
“I’ve always been a hands-on person,” she said. “I’m always really excited to just apply practical skills and physical labour skills to whatever I’m doing. I love that kind of hands-on type work.”
The scholarship honours Bev LaPointe, whose resume included working for the City of Nelson’s parks and public works departments and a term as president of CUPE Local 339.
A complaint filed by LaPointe with the B.C. Human Rights Commission in the mid-1990s also led to a new sexual harassment policy for city workers that banned pornography from the workplace.
LaPointe retired in 2012 and passed away two years later.
Scorey is the second recipient of the award. Jocelyn Carver, executive director of the Kootenay Career Development Society, said Scorey’s application stood out.
“I think part of what shone through for her is she clearly had quite a bit of work experience,” said Carver.
“Then even though we hadn’t met her before it was clear from her application that she’d done some really deep thinking about what she wanted the rest of her life to look like and had thought about trades, a variety of them, and then really, really consciously and carefully moved towards being an electrician.”
Scorey can’t wait to get started — she’s already got her textbooks.
“It seems like there’s a lot of need for electricians right now,” she said.
“There’s a big movement and I feel like it’s something I could definitely work on to expand my skills and participate in that industry.”