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Nelson’s Osprey Foundation establishes Maia Vezina Education Award

Award will provide annual scholarship to an L.V. Rogers student planning to study education
Maia Vezina of Nelson passed away on May 26, 2023, at the age of 29, after having achieved a degree in education from the University of Calgary. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by the Osprey Community Foundation

The Maia Vezina Education Award was recently established at Osprey Community Foundation in Maia’s memory by her family. The award will provide an annual scholarship to an L.V. Rogers Secondary student entering post secondary in the field of education. Maia was a passionate well-loved educator who had recently returned to Nelson to begin work with School District 8.

Maia graduated from L.V. Rogers in 2012. In 2013, she and her mother, Pat Henman, were in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on an East Kootenay highway, resulting in severe injuries. Maia suffered internal injuries and damage to all four limbs. She underwent over a dozen surgeries during her three-month stay in the hospital. Despite the pain, Maia returned to university four months later in a wheelchair to continue her double degree in English and education at the University of Calgary.

Pat knows first-hand about the physical and mental scars that the accident left behind and the super human effort it took for Maia to go back to school.

“Maia was determined to finish her degrees and be a teacher, something she always wanted to be, except for a short period when she wanted to be a rock star like other 13 year olds,” says Henman

A five-year program became a six-year program, and in 2018 a very happy graduate walked the carpet to accept her two diplomas.

“She surpassed all the surgeons and doctors predictions that she wouldn’t be able to return to school full time. Her mission was always to help guide others in their quest to learn,” Pat says.

Maia tragically passed away on May 26, 2023, at the age of 29. Her family established this award with $5,000 and they invite everyone who knew her to donate to the fund.

Donations are endowed in perpetuity and the earned income will be used to support future educators. Donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt and can be made online at

Osprey is a public charitable foundation, created in 2000 by and for the people of Nelson and the surrounding area. Donations to Osprey are pooled in a permanently-endowed fund, one that now exceeds $8.5 million in donations. Generated income each year flows back to local charities and eligible organizations. Osprey is governed by a volunteer board of directors, and is a member of Community Foundations of Canada. For further information, please go to or call 250-352-3643.

READ MORE: ‘She’s not going to stop’: Pat Henman receives Courage to Come Back award