Several thousand dollars in scholarship money is once again up for grabs for Surrey Grade 12s.
The Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation (CRYIF) is offering the cash to students that have been using their free time to volunteer and help out in their communities.
The program is usually open to “past and present student volunteers of the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair who are in their graduation year,” according to cloverdalerodeofoundation.com. But with the Rodeo cancelled for three years in a row, the program is still open to Grade 12s that have volunteered in their communities in some capacity.
“Prior to 2019, volunteering at the annual Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair was one of the criteria for applying for a scholarship,” said Rick Hugh, chair of CRYIF. “With no Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair in 2020, 2021 and 2022, the Foundation dropped that as a requirement and focused on students’ service and volunteerism through other events and organizations.”
Hugh said with plans well underway for a 2023 country fair and rodeo, CRYIF is once again opening up applications for students who have volunteered at rodeo events.
“That said, it is not a requirement for 2023 scholarship applicants to volunteer with us in May,” added Hugh. “(We) realize that for many Grade-12 students, May is a very busy month.”
Hugh said they are also welcoming applications from any student in Grades 10-12 who may want to volunteer at the 2023 rodeo. Info on volunteering can be found by visiting the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association website.
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Last year CRYIF awarded $1,000 scholarships to: Arjan Bhatha (Clayton Heights Secondary), Amrita Johal (École Kwantlen Park Secondary), Ashan Khangura (Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary), Sava Khangura (Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary), and Ella Vuilleumier (École Salish Secondary). Mackenzie Dawson (Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary) won the $2,000 Isabella Olson Rising Above Scholarship.
“Beyond providing scholarships, (we) offer other opportunities for high school students,” explained Hugh. “Part of our mandate is to assist youth and community organizations with projects and initiatives that benefit youth in the Lower Fraser Valley.”
He said that “other” assistance can come in the form of funding or other types of resources. Applications for help in other areas can be found by clicking on the “Request Help” tab on the CRYIF website.
Hugh said they are also looking for students to serve as youth advisors on the Cloverdale Rodeo Youth Initiative Foundation board. Applications for youth advisors positions can also be found on the CRYIF website under the tab “Lend Help.”
“Through these positions, high school students have an opportunity to help shape the future of our Foundation, while making a difference in the lives of youth across the Lower Fraser Valley.”
Hugh added that CRYIF and the Cloverdale Rodeo & Exhibition Association depend on the support of the community, citing a few examples.
“The Isabella Olson Rising Above scholarship was established by Isabella’s family in her memory, in 2021,” explained Hugh. “In November 2022, community member Parveen Bharti , CEO and founder of BSL Security, made a generous donation to CRYIF, pledging his support to our endeavors.
“More recently, partnerships are being established with other organizations and individuals who believe in giving back, especially when it involves youth. This includes Ron and TJ Brar, owners of the BCHL Surrey Eagles, who are eager to work with the Rodeo Association and the Youth Foundation.
CRYIF was a finalist for a Clovie Award in 2022 and although they did not win, Hugh said it was an honour just to be nominated.
“(It was) confirmation that the community recognizes and appreciates the efforts of the Foundation to support youth.”
Hugh said CRYIF has also started a new fundraising initiative with the Joseph Richard Group.
“They have included CRYIF as a recipient in the JRG Rewards app sponsorship program,” Hugh explained. “Patrons at any of the JRG establishments, including The Henry, Glass House Winery, etc., can download the app and then select “CRYIF 22/23” from the list of funding recipients. After doing so, a percentage of the customer’s bill is donated by the JRG group to CRYIF.”
To apply for a scholarship, applications can be found at cloverdalerodeofoundation.com. The deadline for applications is May 29.