Zoe Clarke: Bright Futures Scholarship RecipientZoe Clarke:

Zoe Clarke received a Paper Excellence Canada Bright Futures Scholarship and took a moment to share her story with us.

Paper Excellence Canada Bright Futures Scholarship has allowed me to attend one of the best schools in Canada, pursuing a field I have loved since I was born. It has provided me with a gateway into a future I always dreamed of. Without this scholarship I would be forced to work a part time job during the school year in addition to my studies. The award has allowed me to focus solely on school eight months of the year and return home to work and save just four months of the year. I have a full load of science courses with accompanied labs. I feel extremely fortunate to focus solely on my studies. I believe my learning and grades are a direct result of this privilege.

Growing up in British Columbia, I have always had great respect and appreciation for our local forests. Forests provide one of the most important aspects of the incredible biodiversity we enjoy on the west coast. I believe that our first industry, similar to our marine and oceanic field, is more important than ever now in order to protect our rich ecosystems.

My family is intimately involved with a project in the coastal Douglas fir zone on Salt Spring Island. The project includes a wide range of foresters, arborists, ecologists, and botanists working together in order to decrease the risk of wildfire and improve forest health in our local watershed in the southern gulf islands. I appreciate that there are a number of complex issues involved in responsible resource extraction, ecosystem health and biodiversity enhancement, which is why I have chosen biology as my area of study.