New ag scholarship finds its way to Peace area

One of the first 12 students to receive a brand new Agricore scholarship called the AgPlus Education Award for the first time ever lives just outside of Peace River.
St. Isidore High School student Crystal Riczu is one of the recipients to rope a $1,000 regional scholarship for the 2001-2002 academic year. Riczu said she qualified for the award after fulfilling all the application requirements, which included writing an essay and gathering reference letters.
Although Riczu is not an active grain or livestock producer, she resides on an acreage and is actively pursuing her goal to become a veterinarian. She has never farmed or touched a machine but she has worked on two horse ranches and has worked in veterinarian capacities at other farms. A lot of her experience is hands-on.
The AgPlus awards, like other scholarships, are awarded on a number of factors such as school marks, extra-curricular activities and leadership qualities.
“One of the main eligibility factors is based upon how you contribute to the community and they also consider how you will continue to contribute to the farm industry,” she said.
The senior high school student will be attending the University of Alberta this fall, but she said she believes her experience was serious work place experience that has prepared her for the next six years of post-secondary education.
“I’ve woken up at four in the morning to assist in a birth,” she said. “When I was working, I’ve had to do all the chores and I did it when it was -40 Celsius outside. I didn’t just say, ‘I’ll work when it warms up.’ I just did it.”
Her advice to others is that applying for the grant is worth the trouble.
“It pays to apply. It’s hard work, but it does help with the school expenses.”

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