When Marika Schenkels left her home of Nova Scotia at 16 to begin her studies at Lester B. Pearson College on Vancouver Island, she never dreamt her next journey would take her even further from home, to attend the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Every year, it is a pleasure and honour for the McEuen Foundation to offer this unique opportunity to one of Canada's brightest students. The scholarship is the largest single undergraduate award in the country and includes full tuition and room and board for up to four years.
Marika is completing her final International Baccalaureate exams at Pearson College and will leave in September to enrol in BSc Honours degree in Medicine. Upon completion, she hopes to continue medical training in Canada. Marika attended South Colchester Academy (SCA) in Brookfield, Nova Scotia, prior to completing the two-year program in Victoria.
At SCA, Marika was involved with science fair (at both a regional and Canada-wide level), SCA TV, Skills Canada TV/Video Competition, her school’s volleyball program as a player and coach and Because I am A Girl human rights initiative. She also worked as a swim instructor and lifeguard. She was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal in 2017. At Pearson, Marika was a co-leader of the school’s scuba program, was involved in the school’s gumboot dance program, acted as a bilingual interpreter for a national marine science project and co-led a Learn-to-Swim program for her peers.
Marika’s combined interest in health and living close to the water continues this summer as she looks forward to job at her beloved Camp Sheldrake on the Miramichi River as the Health and Wellness co-ordinator and counsellor.
“Through moving between these small yet wonderful communities, I have learned how much I value and depend on them. I can’t wait to become part of the community at St. Andrews,” she says.
Marika feels honoured, excited and humbled to be the recipient of the McEuen Scholarship and hopes she can contribute a bit of Nova Scotian enthusiasm to the storied university in St. Andrews.