Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Minister Murray Coell presented 17 high school graduates with a Premier’s Excellence Award in recognition of their academic achievements, community service and involvement in extra-curricular activities.
Brittney O’Neill of Fort St. John was one of the award recipients. Each student received a commemorative medal and $15,000 to attend a public post-secondary institution in B.C. In December 2005, the government tripled the amount of the scholarships for the first time since the Premier’s Excellence Awards were established in 1986. To-date more than $2.3 million has been awarded to 343 students.
Brittney O’Neill graduated from North Peace secondary school in Fort St. John. She achieved the principal’s honour roll annually, achieving straight A’s on all report cards and receiving seven course-specific top
student awards in Grade 11. She was on the Work Ethic Honour Roll in Grade 7 through Grade 12 for her dedication, willingness and co-operation in classes and won the Bert Bowes Outstanding Student Award in Grade 10 for good work ethic, school involvement and high grades.
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Brittney was a member of the Stand Up Club (advocating tolerance in her school) and toured with the campaign My Strength is Not for Hurting to talk to elementary school children about stopping violence against women and girls. She participated in her school newspaper, as well as the Socratic Philosophy Club, her grad committee and the Seeds of Learning trip to El Salvador to build a school. Brittney studied piano for eight years and won first place in the Annual Peace Gallery North Fine Arts competition in 2007. She is enrolled at the University of Victoria and would like to become an ESL teacher overseas while working for humanitarian causes.