By Jenn McGarrigle
Jaime Howden is graduating from Vancouver Island University’s Hairdressing Program this Friday with a little silver to add to her kit.
The 19-year-old will receive the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal during a convocation ceremony on June 24 at the Port Theatre. Each year, one VIU student in a certificate program is chosen for this award, which recognizes academic excellence and positive contributions to the university and community.
What makes this award special is that Howden is one of VIU’s Youth in Care Tuition Waiver Program students. The program supports eligible students who have grown up in B.C.’s youth in care system by waiving tuition fees for the student’s first certificate, diploma or degree program. The program allowed Howden to focus on excelling in the classroom.
Howden moved out of her parents’ house when she was 16 and into B.C.’s foster care system and then on her own at age 18.
Howden said that being independent at a young age has made her more appreciative of any opportunities that come her way.
Jenn McGarrigle is a writer with VIU’s communications department.