Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund Selects Three Recipients for 2022
September 15, 2022 — Calgary, AB — The Calgary Foundation is very pleased to announce the following scholarships have been awarded from the Shannon Burwash Memorial Fund in 2022. There are two different categories of scholarships, one going to first or second-year students (two $1,000 awards) and the other going to students advancing past their second year of studies (one $2,000 award). Qualified students from across Canada applied for the three available scholarships this past June.
$1,000 Awarded to Jalen Thurgood, BC
$1,000 Awarded to Aliera Chernoff, AB
$2,000 Awarded to Ashley Nixon, ON
“Once again we were extremely impressed with the scholarship applicants this year,” said Dr. Wayne Burwash. “This is the eighth year that The Calgary Foundation has awarded the scholarships in memory of Shannon and they have awarded a total of $31,000. The scholarships are open to students from across Canada and are awarded to deserving students who are focused on getting a post-secondary education, and being involved in the horse industry in their future This year the recipients are from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
Besides her family, the two most important things in Shannon’s life were horses and education. She loved horses and had a very, very strong feeling that all young people should get some sort of post-secondary education. Therefore, we think these awards are not only a very fitting tribute to her but hopefully would serve as an incentive for young people to get a horsey/agricultural type education which would lay the foundation for them to become leaders in the horse industry.”
ASHLEY NIXON - $2,000 Leadership Award
ASHLEY NIXON is entering her second year in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Prior to this, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Biology, and a Master’s degree in Animal Science at the University of Guelph. Leading up to her acceptance into veterinary school, she worked for several years in the equine veterinary industry at the OVC Large Animal Hospital and in private practice.
Outside of academic requirements, Ashley has worked on developing her understanding of veterinary medicine by attending symposiums, forums, and round tables. Ashley has also volunteered at events run by VetPD, Future Vets Club, College Royal, and has been involved in various OVC Clubs. Most notably, Ashley has been on the executive committee for the OVC Equine Club, where she has helped organize and run club events. In her first year of veterinary school, she helped organize the Equine Practitioner’s Forum, which allowed veterinary students to meet various equine practitioners from across Canada and the United States. More recently, Ashley was elected as OVC Equine Club’s Vice President/Junior AAEP Representative for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Aliera Chernoff - $1,000 Encouragement Award
ALIERA CHERNOFF grew up in Alberta as a 4-H member where she was introduced to the sport of reining. She was recently selected to attend the Youth World Reining Cup in Brazil and tells us that “It was the most amazing experience, I was able to meet amazing people involved in the sport, and made friendships from across the world.”
Chernoff has been volunteering at Reining events for the past 2 years, and was a Western Canada Delegate for the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and has acted as the youth liaison for Reining Alberta’s South Branch. Chernoff says “horses have taught me so much and have made me into the leader I am today and I hope to carry that on and continue to help other youth who are just getting into horses. I am currently attending Old’s College to pursue a diploma in Agriculture Management and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness. Which I will use in the future to run my own business in the agricultural field.” Her hope is to always have horses in her life.
Jalen Thurgood - $1,000 Encouragement Award
JALEN THURGOOD is in her second year of her undergrad at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) where she is obtaining prerequisites for application to the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Thurgood grew up on a small farm in Salmon Arm, BC. where both parents practiced large animal veterinary medicine. Haven ridden horses all her life she has been competing competitively with Icelandic horses since the age of eleven, thanks to her grandparents keen involvement with the breed. She is the youngest certified Class 1 Sports Judge in the world and was the first Canadian to participate in the International Icelandic Horse Youth Cup and the North American Icelandic Horse Youth Cup; she states “I love my sport and in the future, I hope to use my knowledge as an equine veterinarian to educate and help fellow equestrians succeed in their discipline.”
Thurgood has been an active member of 4-H for ten years, and has participated at several community fundraising events. Currently she is a 4-H BC Ambassador for the Kamloops-Okanagan Region; her role as an ambassador is to promote the 4-H program within the region and within the province, volunteer at 4-H events, and to act as a resource to members, leaders, and the public, she tells us “I love 4-H and am always looking for ways to give back to the program. Recently, I joined the executive team for the UBCO Pre-Vet Club as treasurer.”