The Kootenay Co-op values community dialogue and empowerment through education about food, health, the environment and social justice.
Each year, the co-op offers one $1,000 scholarship in support of its vision of thriving communities with resilient food systems, where all people have access to affordable food that is healthy for our bodies, our communities and the Earth.
This year, however, the co-op recognized how many have struggled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an attempt to ease that economic stress, they decided to offer two $1,000 Member Scholarships in 2020.
Anna Yule (food services production supervisor at the Kootenay Co-op) and Indigo Bowick (LVR grad) were chosen from more than 20 applicants and will each receive a $1,000 scholarship this year. The second runner-up, Gretchen Lewandowski will also receive a $100 Kootenay Co-op gift card as gratitude for the good work she will do in her future.
Yule is working toward a Red Seal culinary certification at Selkirk College. Yule plans to use this scholarship and her education as a cook to showcase locally inspired menus which highlight seasonality and sustainability.
“I hope to take the enthusiasm for environmental and sustainable agriculture practices that I have garnered from those around me at the Kootenay Co-op and use that in part with my education to become a leader in community-based food systems that show off local, organic food with creative, affordable menus,” she says.
Bowick will be heading to UVic for environmental studies. Her interests are in sustainable architecture, biomimicry, culturally-informed climate change adaptation techniques, community resilience, and innovation to mitigate anthropogenic environmental impacts.
The co-op’s community giving review committee is made up of members, staff and board directors.
This scholarship is open to any active co-op member (or the child of an active co-op member) currently residing in the West Kootenay, for education at an accredited post-secondary institution. Applications are due on April 25 each year. Preference is given to applicants who are pursuing studies in one or more of the following areas: food, agriculture, co-operatives, community development, environmental studies, and alternative health.
The selection committee strives to choose the applicant who would most benefit from this opportunity, and who it believes will make the most significant contribution to their local and global community in alignment with the Co-op’s vision, mission and values.