Oct 30, 2023

VCI grad receives $60,000 award from Queen's University

Posted by Review Newsroom | Jun 28, 2023 | Education, Health & Wellness, News, Top Stories | Vankleek Hill


For Olivia St-Denis, the cost of the first four years university is taken care of.

The Grade 12 Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) student has received the prestigious Chernoff Family Award of $60,000 for her plans to study Health Sciences Queen’s University in Kingston in September.

With support from English Teacher Sarah Dagg, St-Denis submitted her scholarship application to Queen’s University in the fall of 2022. The application consisted of two separate essays written by St-Denis and a letter of recommendation, written by Dagg.

The Chernoff Family Award was established by the Chernoff Family which includes Queen’s alumni Mr. Michael N. Chernoff, B.Sc. (Eng.) 1959, Mrs. Dorine (Dennison) Chernoff, B.A., Manitoba, Ms. Catherine Chernoff, B. of Architecture, Texas, and Mr. M. Bruce Chernoff, B.Sc. (Eng.) 1987.

The awards recognize and are in memory of Nick and Maud Chernoff, Michael’s parents, who homesteaded on the Saskatchewan prairie and although acquiring very little education themselves, recognized the importance and value of a higher education and dedicated their lives to seeing their children through Canadian universities. The awards also recognize Charlie N. Chernoff, B.Sc. (Eng.) Saskatchewan, Michael’s brother, who over the years provided valuable assistance in furthering Michael’s career in the earth sciences.

These awards have been established to attract and encourage students from all parts of Canada to come to Queen’s. The program is especially intended to support qualified Canadian students who otherwise would be unable to study at Queen’s. It is awarded annually to full-time students entering the first year of any program at Queen’s University.

To be eligible the recipient must have superior academic ability maintaining a 90+ per cent average, demonstrating creative and original thinking, proven leadership qualities and financial need. Preference is given to students from rural and remote areas of Canada. St-Denis has excelled at meeting these criteria by maintaining a 97 per cent average throughout her four years at VCI.

As a school and community leader, St-Denis is part of the school’s Link Crew to help students transition to high school, has participated on countless varsity sports teams, was a member of the prom committee and has completed well over the required 40 hours of community service for graduation. St-Denis is passionate about health and wellness, and her goal is to become a family physician and return to her home community to practice.