Mt. Sentinel student wins $87,000 scholarship

Adriana Burton plans to go into electrical engineering

Adriana Burton’s achievements in academics, technology and volunteering have earned her the $87,000 UBC Centennial Entrance Scholarship.

Mount Sentinel Secondary counsellor Claire Hewson says it’s unusual for someone from such a small school to get such a big award.

“Those national type scholarships of $10,000 plus,” she says, “we don’t get those. I’m proud of her and our school and our area, just because we are this little school and sometimes we get forgotten about.”

Burton intends to take general sciences the first year and then take electrical engineering, a change from her original idea of going into computer science.

“I have always been passionate about computers. I have taken all the tech courses my high school has to offer and volunteered at a computer lab in the Slocan Valley for a few years. But I have also realized that I like the hardware part of computers more, so that made me think of engineering.”

Volunteering is a big part of Burton’s life. Recently she’s been taking training at the local fire hall and learning search and rescue skills in Castlegar.

“I first started volunteering in Grade 9 at the Slocan Library. I learned about how members of the community can work together to make things happen. Then I started volunteering with the WE Graham Community Services Society, doing food bank and computer lab over the years.”

At W.E. Graham school she took an outdoor leadership program. At Mount Sentinel she’s been involved in an environment club.

“We hold seminars and get students involved in climate change awareness. And I am pretty involved in sports — I was part of the soccer team this year for past two years, and have helped out with organizing fundraising.”

Burton expects to try to work in the local area after she graduates from university because it’s “the perfect environment for me.”

Her parents’ reaction to the scholarship?

“They definitely cried a little. They were always encouraging me to try my hardest, and they thought this was my hard work paying off. They were surprised, but they thought that if anyone could do it, I could, so that was pretty great.”

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