Claudia Burchat says just try.

Burchat, a student at Madawaska Valley District High School (MVDHS), was recently awarded a prestigious scholarship by the Horatio Alger Association of Canada.

The Canadian Scholar award is given out to students who have been able to overcome adversity and who have displayed integrity and perseverance. Burchat didn’t have it easy growing up. She says she was affected by domestic violence and had to overcome multiple deaths in her family.

Horatio Alger Jr., was the author of 128 books in the 19th and early 20th century. His books were said to spread the can-do spirit. He would write about positivism and how anyone can achieve their dreams no matter what kind of lemons were thrown your way. Claudia, a well-spoken and optimistic individual has that Alger vibe. She advises people who are going through adversity to push through. “You may not think that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel but if you lean on the support of family and friends (and teachers) then you can eventually find your way out, you just need to let out that cry for help, then you can overcome it” she says.

She applied for the scholarship in October with the help of MVDHS’s guidance counselor Mrs. Sweeney and got the response on January 25th. Burchat says she was surprised to have been picked and advises other students in her position to take the chance. She states that she thought things like this didn’t happen to people in Barry’s Bay and re-iterates to just try.

Burchat will be receiving $5000 which she plans on using for books and tech devices when she starts at Trent University studying in the biomedical program.