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Local student wins county bursary

By Robin MacLennan, Special to QMI Agency

Five recent local high school graduates — including an Orillia teen — have been chosen to receive bursaries from the County of Simcoe.

Olivia Hauck graduated from Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School last June and is now studying social services at the University of Toronto. She and four others will receive $3,000 each from the program.

It’s the second year for the program, which has now awarded eight $3,000 bursaries.

County council will consider removing the requirement for Canadian citizenship in order to open the program to additional applicants in future years.

Councillors Barb Baguley and Gordon McKay raised the issue at a recent council meeting, suggesting the policy is too restrictive and should be open to all legal residents of the county.

A vote to remove the requirement immediately was lost in a tie vote, with 15 councillors opposed.

“There are so many people and children out there that have not yet attained their citizenship and it would be nice to open this program up to all residents equally,” said Baguley, Town of Innisfil mayor. “It is a way to acknowledge that we are supporting immigration on a local level.”

According to a staff report, the bursary program was established two years ago “to encourage and assist county residents and county employees in achieving access to post-secondary education and training.”

Information packages concerning the bursary were distributed to all secondary schools within the County of Simcoe, including the cities of Barrie and Orillia.

Applicants must have completed a secondary school program in Simcoe County, be eligible for graduation and accepted into an undergraduate program at an Ontario university, college or trades program.

Awards are handed out based on recommendations of a selection committee.

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