The Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise, supported by CIBC, presented a $1,000 scholarship to grade 12 student Jessica Vanlauwe at the sold-out Business Excellence Awards hosted by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce on March 24, 2011.
In 2006, the Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise established The Rotary Scholarship Award which is presented annually to a Cambridge secondary school student who demonstrates academic merit, exemplary humanitarian service and established financial need. This year's recipient Jessica Vanlauwe attends Southwood Secondary School and has maintained an "A" average throughout high school. She is also involved in exemplary humanitarian service. "I love to help people and have always been passionate about doing so," says Vanlauwe. Vanlauwe is a lifelong volunteer with hockey camps, hockey fundraisers, soccer teams, fairs, fundraisers at the Sunnyside Home in Kitchener, hair studios, and sports events in and out of school. She has also participated in many school and community sports and is an accomplished athlete. A couple of years ago Vanlauwe suffered two severe concussions playing hockey and missed almost six months of school. She now views this as a great learning experience which started her on a journey to help those in need. Jessica recently went on a mission trip to Peru for 15 days with medical and construction teams devoted to improving the lives of others. Prior to leaving for Peru, she helped St. Brigid Elementary School students package up vitamins to bring along for the trip. She also did presentations about the trip for the students. In May, Jessica and her brother Luke will travel to Haiti for two weeks on her second mission trip with STIMMA (Short Term International Medical Missions Abroad). Jessica has wanted to work in the field with "Doctors Without Borders" since she was 11 years old and plans to pursue a career in medicine. The admiration for her accomplishments was felt by all of us in the room. We wish her much success in her future endeavours.