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Student construction proposal scores scholarship

Two Nanaimo District Secondary School students are helped toward their post secondary pursuits with cash from Coastal Community Credit Union.

Chelsea Chase and Trevor Grewal each received $2,000 in credit union scholarship money for submitting plans for projects they're passionate about that could help make a difference in their community.

Only eight of the scholarships are given out across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands each year and just two of the ideas proposed are selected to be implemented.

This year Chase and Andrea Mitchell of Port McNeill got the nod to carry out their proposals for which the credit union provided a budget of $1,000 to fund each project plus a $500 scholarship bonus to each of the students for completing their projects.

Through family connections, Chase got in touch with Ralph Motzek, manager of the John Howard Society's Vancouver Island Therapeutic Community, a residential housing and substance abuse treatment program for men transitioning from the correctional system to independent living.

Talking with her grandfather, who works for the John Howard Society, and her stepfather, a carpenter, Chase came up with an idea to build a covered patio for the residents to socialize and barbecue meals together.

"And then we would get some picnic tables, paint those, and with the money that we saved overall, we could have a victory barbecue after," Chase said. "I kind of wanted closure and have a chance to have everyone together and thank [them for their time] and effort. We had quite a few men who were in the house itself who were helping. It was so awesome because we had a tin roof and all of the guys said they like the sound of the rain on a tin roof."

With the fine summer weather, Chase said she has heard front he centre that the covered patio is getting a lot of use.

Coastal Community Credit Union has awarded scholarship money to Grade 12 students who will attend post secondary schools since it started the program in 2005.

For more information about the scholarship program, please visit the Coastal Community Credit Union website at www.cccu.ca.

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