“Through the personalized learning experience that SelfDesign Learning Community offers, our learners can get the same credentials as in any school in the province,” says SelfDesign Chief Learning Officer Nikki Kenyon. “Our learners can apply to post-secondary institutions to further their education and work towards a future professional career.”

As proof of that, we’re delighted to congratulate the seven learners from our Class of 2021 who are recipients of School District/Authority scholarships from the Province of B.C. These young people are among more than 400 learners from B.C.’s independent school authorities and among 5,500 students across the province who have each been recognized with the $1250 scholarships this year.

The scholarship recognizes learners for excellence in a range of interest areas such as Dance, Music, Fine Arts, Technical and Trades Training, Indigenous Languages and Cultures, and Physical Activity.

Meet some of our scholarship recipients

Makayla and Mariah each received their scholarships for Fine Arts – Studio Arts. In recent years, the Victoria-based twins have had a number of their artworks selected by jury to be showcased in the Youth Art Gallery at the annual Sooke Fine Arts Show, Vancouver Island’s premier adjudicated art show.

At the University of Victoria, however, where the sisters begin classes in September and where they both have also received full entrance scholarships, the sisters are studying theatre.

“We’re super excited about the scholarships,” Makayla says. “We really do like the arts, and throughout our time with SelfDesign, we explored all kinds of the different types of arts, and through that we found a real big love for theatre.”

In addition to performing on stage and learning about how the business of theatre works, the sisters will be studying community and applied theatre.

“That’s how to take theatre out to communities and use theatre to create change or impact in those communities,” Makayla says. “I’d really like to explore that and see where that takes me – it mixes my desire to positively impact the world with my love of theatre. I’d also like to become a performer. I just want to perform. I love performing.”

“I want to share with the community all of the positive things that theatre gave me,” Mariah said, “the confidence, the movement, the freedom, the friends and the family that I’ve gained from it. I’d love to share that with other people. I’d also love to travel the world and bring theatre to places that might not have theatre or are struggling to bring it about. I’d also love to do art therapy, or therapy through theatre, or start something completely new. There are so many different aspects that I’m looking forward to learning about while I’m at university.”

Hannah’s volunteering contributions led to her scholarship in the Community Service category. She plans to use the funds to help pay for the chef training and operations program at B.C.’s North Island College that she starts in September. The scholarship, she says, is “a huge help, as the cost of this program is higher than many other degree programs. This is because of additional costs like knives and uniforms.”

In two years, she plans to transfer to the culinary arts program in Tralee, Ireland.

“My current career goals are to be able to travel and work as a chef, and maybe one day open my own restaurant,” Hannah says.” I will graduate with a European degree and Canadian Red Seal Trade, so I feel this program will provide a lot of versatility in terms of where I work in future.”

Izabel, another of our recently commenced learners, received her scholarship for her achievements in ballet. The teen has performed in Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and Hansel and Gretel with Vancouver’s Coastal City Ballet Company. She spent the past summer studying with the English National Ballet School in the U.K. She is signed to dance with Coastal City Ballet this fall, winter and spring. After that, she’s hoping to return to the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York City where she’ll take part in the four-week summer intensive ballet workshop for her second time.

With five years in which to use her District/Authority scholarship, she has plenty of time to consider her options.

“We’re looking at a few of the post-secondary ballet programs where you dance with a company and also work towards a degree,” Izabel says. “The American Ballet Theatre [ABT] has a program with New York University that I’ve been looking at, where you can go to NYU and do ABT. There are a few special colleges and places that support dancers’ schedules. I was also looking at the Carolina Ballet [in North Carolina]. You can go to university there and get your degree in dance, which would also be good. And there’s also – obviously – Juilliard [in New York City] or something like that.”

The other three learners who were awarded District/Authority scholarships this year received them for excellence in Music and Community Service.

“We are so incredibly proud of our scholarship recipients,” Nikki says. “The success of these youth shows that SelfDesign’s approach to learning creates as many opportunities for learners to pursue post-secondary studies and the careers of their choice as those attending bricks-and-mortar schools do.”

About District/Authority scholarships

In order to be eligible for a District/Authority scholarship, B.C. learners must fulfill the Ministry of Education’s graduation requirements by either obtaining a Dogwood Diploma (B.C. Certificate of Graduation) or an Adult Dogwood Diploma (Adult Graduation Diploma). In addition, they must meet the criteria determined by their local scholarship committee by demonstrating outstanding achievement in one or more areas. For SelfDesign Learning Community and other eligible independent schools in B.C., the scholarship committee is administered by the Federation of Independent School Associations in B.C.

Learn more about the District/Authority Scholarships

Learn more about our kindergarten to grade 12 program, including our grade 10–12 program

Learn how SelfDesign Learning Community sets learners up for success

Learn about the paths to completion at SelfDesign Learning Community