A Life-Changing Award

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Image of smiling young woman with mountains and a lake behind her.

After two years at College of the Rockies, Kara Froese really wanted to attend UBC Vancouver for the Bachelor of Science in Forest Science program but wondered if she’d have to set her sights a little lower and attend a university in a more affordable city.  With some encouragement from her friends, she applied to her top pick but recognized that money would be her biggest obstacle in pursuing her education there.

In an effort to try to alleviate the costs, Kara applied for scholarships and bursaries.  Through College of the Rockies, she was awarded a $600 Coca-Cola Bottling Company Scholarship.  She also applied for awards at UBC – and was awarded one that will help her to achieve her dreams.

The Centennial Leaders Entrance Award, created in celebration of UBC-Vancouver’s 100th year, is geared toward new students who would not be able to attend UBC without significant financial assistance.  It is awarded based on academic merit, leadership skills, involvement in student affairs or contribution to community service, recognized achievement in performing arts, athletics, debating or creative writing and achievement in math or science competitions or examinations.

That’s a pretty extensive list of criteria – but Kara’s a pretty special student.  A self-described perfectionist who is working to learn to not fret the little things, Kara was a part of the PACWEST Provincial Champion women’s Avalanche volleyball team.  She was awarded most-improved player in 2014/15, and in the 2015/16 season received both a PACWEST Academic Excellence Award and a CCAA National Scholar Award.

Receiving the award means her tuition, books, living expenses (including a meal plan) will be covered (up to $20,473) for each of the three years she has remaining in her program.  A life-changing award indeed!

After graduating high school in 2010, Kara took some time away from school before deciding to attend College of the Rockies in 2014 – the first big step toward her goal of obtaining a degree.  She chose the College because of the affordability and our proximity to mountains and countless hiking trails.  She found that beginning her education in a small institution was a great way to ease back into school.  “At the College, class sizes are small and the instructors are friendly and helpful”, she says.

“The amount of extra help I received through the professional math tutor was invaluable to my success. The fact that the College provides these types of services shows that the institution really cares about student success,” she adds.  “I loved being able to walk into the building and know the majority of people I saw.  I am excited to go to UBC but I will definitely miss the small-college atmosphere.”

Kara gives a lot of the credit for her success to others and to her faith.  “I have a great group of friends from my church who have supported me by encouraging me, praying for me, or cooking meals for me (as an athlete, this was key).  It is impossible to face challenges without the support of others and this group of friends helped me through the busiest, most stressful days.”

As she pursues her goal to obtain her Bachelor of Science in Forest Science degree Kara hopes to better understand the uniqueness of BCs wild spaces so she can focus on working to protect them.  She wants to ensure her kids and grandkids are able to enjoy the same unspoiled lakes, rivers, oceans and forests that she does. We have no doubt she’s just the person to do it.

“I am so overwhelmed to be receiving this award.  It is 100% an answer to prayer.  It means that I can pursue my degree without stressing over having to work during the school year or taking out student loans.  I feel very humbled but also very determined not to let this blessing go to waste.  It is definitely putting me in a position where I will have time and energy to help others – just like my friends, instructors and coaches helped me.”