Langleyâ€™s Lexi Vankevich is the first Canadian to receive Rotary International scholarship under the Global Grant program.
Valued at $53,000, the scholarship will allow her to attend the London School of Economics starting in September as she goes after her Masters degree in science, social policy, and education.
The Rotary Club of Langley had the honour of announcing the scholarship.
â€œIâ€™m so grateful for the mentorship of Langleyâ€™s Rotarians in my life. It was the late Eric Bysouth, long-time Langley Rotarian, who was the first Rotarian to take me under his wing,â€ she said.
Vankevich has been busy with an array of activities that earned her the scholarship.
She graduated with a bachelorâ€™s degree in history in April from Trinity Western University, served as an intern in the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office in Ottawa and was a International Baccalaureate (IB) student at R.E. Mountain Secondary.
Right now sheâ€™s summering in Washington â€“ D.C. not State â€“ where she is a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, a private, right wing, not-for-profit think tank focused on issues of government, politics, economics and social welfare.
â€œLexi is a remarkable young woman with a passion for all that Rotary International stands for â€“ and we have seen her in action as she has served both her community here in Langley and has served the poor and needy overseas,â€ said Rotarian David Truman. â€œHer vision to empower women and children in developing countries to pull themselves out of poverty to support their families through micro-business is exciting.â€
Truman is not only a Langley Rotarian but also the assistan governor of Rotary District 5050 Area C which includes 58 Rotary Clubs from Hope, B.C. to Everett, Wash.
â€œThis is such an honour to be chosen to represent my country as well as our wonderful Rotary Club here in Langley. Iâ€™ve seen the influence of Rotary both here at home and around the world, and Iâ€™m proud to be part of what it represents â€“ hard work, integrity and service above self,â€ Vankevich said.
She served as president of Langley Rotaract, the Rotary group for young professionals, and hosted events to raise funds and awareness for Wagner Hills Farms, Ratanak International which works to rescue young girls from the sex-trade in Cambodia, Wellspring Internationalâ€™s Educational work in Rwanda, and Opportunity International for supporting micro-financing in developing countries. Lexi also volunteered at Harrison Landing Seniorâ€™s home, and with the children at Langley Evangelical Free Church.
Last summer, she volunteered with an organization called Mission in the Amazon to do humanitarian work with the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest, working to both teach English and help rebuild houses after flooding damage.
In May she was a speaker and coach at Rotaryâ€™s International Youth Convention for RYLA in Sydney, Australia.
Itâ€™s these sorts of endeavours that earned her the label of one of Vancouverâ€™s Top 24 Under 24.