Chris Slater Memorial Scholarship continues to assist OSS graduates

By on August 6, 2014
The proud winners of the Chris Slater Memorial Scholarship for the 2013-14 school year are good friends Elizabeth Burnett (left) and Kayla Turnbull. The recent Osoyoos Secondary School graduates will each receive $500 as they pursue post-secondary studies this coming fall. Turnbull will be attending Okanagan College in Penticton, while Burnett will be attending the University of British Columbia campus in Kelowna. (Keith Lacey photo)

The proud winners of the Chris Slater Memorial Scholarship for the 2013-14 school year are good friends Elizabeth Burnett (left) and Kayla Turnbull. The recent Osoyoos Secondary School graduates will each receive $500 as they pursue post-secondary studies this coming fall. Turnbull will be attending Okanagan College in Penticton, while Burnett will be attending the University of British Columbia campus in Kelowna. (Keith Lacey photo)

More than a decade after his tragic passing, Chris Slater continues to make a positive impact on young people and the Town of Osoyoos.

For more than a decade, the Chris Slater Memorial Scholarship awards have been handed out to assist graduates of Osoyoos Secondary School who are pursuing post-secondary education.

Chris Slater is the son of former Osoyoos and Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater. He died from cancer back in 2002. He was an outstanding student through his years at OSS and continued to display scholastic excellence while attending the University of Victoria.

This year’s recipients of $500 each are 2014 graduates – and good friends – Elizabeth Burnett and Kayla Turnbull.

Turnbull, 18, will be attending Okanagan College in Penticton starting in September and has plans to attend Capilano University in North Vancouver in a couple of years to pursue a degree in music therapy.

Burnett, also 18, will be studying early childhood education at the Kelowna campus of the University of British Columbia and has a long-term goal to acquire a Bachelor of Education degree and become an elementary school teacher.

Although they are too young to remember Slater, they knew all about the scholarship fund set up in his name and all of the good work the scholarship fund has accomplished in assisting local high school graduates for more than a decade.

“I know his sister and my older brother was a friend of Chris’, so I’ve heard his name a lot growing up in Osoyoos over the past several years.,” said Turnbull, an aspiring musician and songwriter who recently released her first CD of original tunes called Never Give Up.

“I’m honoured to have received this award because I do know Chris was a great guy and he accomplished a lot in his young life.”

Burnett agreed.

“This scholarship is a great way to remember a young guy who did so much for young people when he was alive and continues to help young people,” she said. “I’m really honoured to have received this scholarship and I want to thank Chris and his family for helping me.”

Chris Slater was the first junior champion at the Osoyoos Golf Club and was a big part of forming and developing the Osoyoos Junior Golf Development Program.

“His sense of humour and ability to break down the skills of golf down into component parts made him an excellent teacher and mentor for young golfers,” said Bob Blount, the founder of the junior golf development program in Osoyoos. “As a staff member, Chris assisted me and the other volunteers in every way he could. His contributions helped to make the junior development program a great success.”

In co-operation with Osoyoos Secondary School administration, the Chris Slater Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to one or two Grade 12 graduate each year since 2002.

All candidates must be a student in high school or post-secondary education, possess a demonstrated interest in education and scholastic achievement, have demonstrated athletic ability, combined with the qualities of fair play and sportsmanship and have an interest in working within the school and community at large.

The Slater family and Blount selected finalists for the scholarship.

A single candidate may be selected or they may agree to share the prize between two equally worthy candidates.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

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