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EDHS grad receives Libro Student Award and FIRST robotics bursary


- combined, Jenna Reaume earned $3000, which will help with university expenses -

by Sylene Argent

Essex District High School graduate, Jenna Reaume, has extra reasons to celebrate, while wrapping up her grade 12 year as a Red Raider.

  Recently, the local student learned she was the recipient of not one, but two bursaries, combining to total $3000. Reaume earned a $2000 bursary through Libro Credit Union’s annual Student Awards program and $1000 through the FIRST Robotics’ memorial bursary program.

  The Libro Student Award program recognizes youth, between the ages of 17 and 25, who demonstrate outstanding commitment in their local communities through volunteerism, leadership, and academic performance.

  Reaume was one of the lucky local winners. She was selected for the Essex branch. In addition, Alyssa MacMillan of Leamington, Madison Selwood of Kingsville, Ethan Hill of Harrow, Anumita Jain of Windsor, Caitlyn Humber of Belle River, and Giulia Buratto of Amherstburg, were also recipients.

  In total, there were 34 students across Southwestern Ontario who received a Libro 2021 Student Award.

  Last Thursday, a slew of representatives of Libro Credit Union paraded around the Windsor-Essex County region, horns honking and music blaring, to recognize the seven local representatives of its annual Student Awards program.

  Every year, a selection committee picks a winner, from the applications submitted, from each community where a Libro Credit Union is based.

  Jelena Adzic, Manager of the Essex Libro, noted 27 applications were submitted for the Essex-based grant.

  “By far, her application stood out,” Adzic said of Reaume, noting the selection committee was unanimous in choosing her as the winner.

  “We know how hard the last 15-months have been for everybody, especially for students,” Adzic said, adding Reaume managed to stay quite busy, volunteering for Sarah Parks Horsemanship, Fire Horse Leadership, and FIRST Robotics, where she helped to mentor youngster students. In addition, she achieved a 93 percent average in school.

  Reaume said she was excited when she learned she had been selected for the Libro Student Award. In preparing for post-secondary education, she began researching possible scholarship and bursary opportunities to help get her to university.

  Being involved in the community has always been important to the Reaume family, she noted. She enjoys getting involved within the community. She also enjoyed being in the grade 11 and 12 leadership classes at EDHS, where she and her classmates fundraised for a variety of causes, including the CAS Adopt a Family for Christmas program.

  In addition to earning the Libro Student Award, Reaume was one of five local high school graduates who received a $1000 bursary through Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics (WEFR), a group that promotes and delivers FIRST Robotics Canada programming in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.

  “I’m very passionate for science,” Reaume said, noting her first introduction to FIRST Robotics was through her parents’ work, CenterLine, which put together a team eight or nine years ago. At the time, she tagged along with her brother to the meetings, but soon fell in love with the program. She was later approached to join an all-female community team.

  Getting involved with that team, she said, was the best decision she ever made.

  “It was incredible to witness the resilience of our local teams this year as they participated in virtual competitions that challenged them in ways no one could expect. These five graduating students stood out as the cream of the crop. We wish them well and they continue their studies and trust that FIRST has prepared them for their journey,” Larry Koscielski, Vice President of Process and Technology Development at CenterLine and Chairperson of Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics, stated.

  The annual bursaries are named in honour of James Broom and Spencer James - a student and mentor of FIRST Robotics teams at Maranatha Christian Academy and Belle River High School respectively, who passed away in 2014.

  “Both James and Spencer inspired the people around them, and we established this bursary to honour that legacy,” Koscielski added.

  In addition to Reaume, Emily Archambeault, Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Windsor, Biological Sciences; Andrea Bareich, Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Waterloo, Chemical Engineering with Co-op; Finley Booth, St. Anne Catholic High School (SainsBots Team 4688), University of Waterloo, Mechatronics Engineering; and Sean O’Neil, Sandwich Secondary School (SabreBytes Team 772), University of Windsor, Communication, Media and Film, received a bursary through Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics.

  The funds Reaume earned will help her excel at the post-secondary level. In the fall, she will start studying at the University of Waterloo in the Biomedical program, with the intention of graduating as a pharmacist.

  From a young age, Reaume said she knew she did not want to be a doctor or a nurse. She fell in love with science when she had to dissect a frog in class. She found the project to be interesting and decided to see what other medical-related jobs she could consider.