BARRY’S BAY – Someone once said that it takes a village to raise a child.
Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS) student Claudia Burchat fits that description. Burchat is the one of the recipients of the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Canada Canadian Scholar Award for 2019. Along with the recognition it affords, the award provides Claudia with a scholarship in the amount of $5000 to be used towards her post-secondary education.
“I found out on January 31st that I had won the scholarship. It was the last week in January and I figured I didn’t get it because I hadn’t heard anything. Then the email showed up. I was in disbelief,” remarked Claudia.
Along with being elated herself, Claudia says her family is very excited, especially her mum. Her win has now been confirmed by a letter from the Association, making it ‘really, really, real.’
According to the Association’s website, these awards are presented to deserving high school students across Canada each year that are in financial need. As well, each one has overcome significant adversity to achieve strong academics. Out of 10,000 applicants this year, 170 students were chosen. Claudia was one of them.
So, what is Claudia’s story?
Claudia is a survivor of physical and emotional domestic violence and bullying.
“I was quite young [when this happened] and a lot of my life has been working through that,” shared Claudia, who began seeing counsellors in Grade 5 to help her understand the things in her life that were troubling her.
As well, her learning disabilities, which her family renamed ‘learning differences’, held her back from success in school, until they were properly identified and addressed.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the February 27, 2019 Valley Gazette or subscribe online.