Langley student wins scholarship to study in London
Lexi Vankevich of Langley is one of the first students in Canada to be awarded the new global grant scholarship from the Rotary Foundation. She was nominated for the award by the Rotary Club of Langley, the original Rotary club in the community. It meets on Thursday nights at the Cascades Casino and Convention Centre.
Vankevich, who graduated in April from Trinity Western University with her B.A. degree in history and a concentration in philosophy, served as an intern in the policy department of the prime minister’s office in Ottawa. She is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate program at R.E. Mountain Secondary in Langley.
She spent the summer in Washington, D.C. as a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute. She will use her scholarship, worth more than $50,000, to attend the London School of Economics, starting in September. She will pursue a Master of Science, in social policy and Education.
David Truman, assistant governor of Rotary District 5050 Area C which includes 58 Rotary Clubs from Hope, B.C. to Everett, Washington, noted, “We are very proud that Langley’s own Lexi Vankevich has been chosen for this international honour. Lexi is a remarkable young woman with a passion for all that Rotary International stands for. We have seen her in action as she has served both her community here in Langley and has served the poor and needy overseas.
“Her vision to empower women and children in developing countries to pull themselves out of poverty to support their families through micro-business is exciting.”
“It’s an honour to be chosen to represent my country as well as our wonderful Rotary club here in Langley,” Vankevich said. “I’ve seen the influence of Rotary both here at home and around the world, and I’m proud to be part of what it represents—hard work, integrity and service above self. My grandfather and my parents taught me to ask myself the questions in Rotary’s ‘Four Way Test,’ “Is it the Truth? Is it Fair to All Concerned? Will it Build Goodwill and better Friendships? Will it be Beneficial to all Concerned?
“I’m so grateful for the mentorship of Langley’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. I am confident that if he were here today, he would be proud of what we have accomplished at Langley Rotary. I hope to honour his memory by advancing Rotary ideals both in the U.K. and the world.”
While serving as president of the Langley Rotaract Club (Rotary for young professionals), Vankevich 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 International’s educational work in Rwanda, and Opportunity International for supporting micro-financing in developing countries.
She has also volunteered at Harrison Landing seniors’ home, and with 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 rain forest, working to both teach English and help rebuild houses after flooding damage.
She was recently recognized as one of Vancouver’s Top 24 under 24, and in May of this year she was chosen to be an inspirational speaker and coach at the Rotary’s International Youth Convention for RYLA in Sydney, Australia, where she inspired the delegates to find a need in the world where they can be a part of the solution. She used her current job as an example of how one person found a need in the world and filled it.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a visionary like John Volken,” she said. He saw the need for long-term drug and alcohol recovery, and set his focus on researching and creating what we believe to be the leading recovery centre in the world — right here in the Fraser Valley. It is called ‘Welcome Home-Life Skills Academy.”
Students aged 18 to 34 can get a new start in life while they learn life skills and job skills at the store he opened so they could have a place to work, Price Pro, on King George Highway in Surrey.
Wayne Wiebe, past district governor of Rotary District 5050 added, “We were proud to nominate Lexi for the global scholarship based on her outstanding academic achievement at Trinity Western University, her tireless volunteer service here in Langley and overseas, and for her potential for global leadership.”