News Local

‘It’s more than just the money’

By Fallon Hewitt, Sarnia Observer

Rebecca Rust (left), Rachel Petersen, Theresa Van Damme, Megan Dupuis and Peter Matthews were named Nicol Scholars on June 28 at Lambton Central Collegiate Vocational Institute in Petrolia. Four of the five students were recipients of the 32nd Nicol Scholarship, valued at over $6,000 each. Fallon Hewitt/Postmedia Network

Rebecca Rust (left), Rachel Petersen, Theresa Van Damme, Megan Dupuis and Peter Matthews were named Nicol Scholars on June 28 at Lambton Central Collegiate Vocational Institute in Petrolia. Four of the five students were recipients of the 32nd Nicol Scholarship, valued at over $6,000 each. Fallon Hewitt/Postmedia Network

Three hundred and ninety students and $3.9 million in scholarships.

Spanning three decades, the impact and legacy of Harold Robert Madden Nicol continues to be showcased through students at Petrolia’s LCCVI, with five recipients of the Nicol Scholarship named on June 28.

This year's Grade 12 recipients are Megan Dupius, Peter Matthews, Rachel Petersen, Rebecca Rust and Theresa Van Damme.

The lucrative scholarship is awarded to students who exhibit academic success, leadership and service to both the school and community, LCCVI principal Linda Jared said Thursday.

Financial need is also taken into account.

“The honour of being named a Nicol is significant in Petrolia,” said Jared.

The scholarship, which has almost always been valued at $10,000 in American funds or a little over $13,000 in Canadian funds, is usually split amongst multiple students annually. This year, the Town of Petrolia decided to match the scholarship, with four out of the five recipients receiving $5,000 USD scholarships, which at the time of conversion was over $6,200 CAD.

Matthews, who is heading to Queen’s University in September to study engineering, was named a Nicol Scholar only, as he was awarded the Schulich Leadership Award, valued at $100,000. Matthews hopes to specialize in electrical engineering.

All recipients said they were very honoured to be named Nicol Scholars, with Petersen noting the honour is worth more than money.

“I would've been okay with my name only. It’s more about the honour than the money,” said Petersen, who will attend Wilfrid Laurier University to study business administration.

Rust, who will be studying civil engineering at the University of Waterloo, called the honour and scholarship a goal of throughout her time at the Petrolia high school.

Dupuis, who will be studying human kinetics at the University of Ottawa, was grateful but also surprised.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I’m still incredibly grateful,” said Dupuis.

Van Damme will be attending the University of Guelph to study science and agriculture and said she hasn’t yet decided in what she will specialize.

“All I know if that I want to be a successful woman in agriculture,” said Van Damme.