Grace Tuglavina has big plans next year.
The 17-year-old high school student is off to Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador where she will be working towards a Bachelor of Science with the hopes of attending medical school to become an obstetrician one day.
Tuglavina’s road will be a little less stressful thanks to her being selected as one of RBC’s Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth recipients.
The RBC Future Launch Scholarship for Indigenous Youth awards 20 scholarships annually valued up to $10,000 each per year (up to 4 years) to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada demonstrating strong academic performance and community involvement.
“Getting the scholarship was a huge relief for me,” admitted Tuglavina, who identifies as Inuit. “It’s really an honor to be selected for such a prestigious scholarship and will make such a difference in my life.”
Tuglavina is a busy student-athlete, who also has a part-time job at the local supermarket near where she lives in North West River, Labrador. She also maintains a 4.0 GPA at school and is an active member on student council.
In her spare time, although there is not a lot of it, Tuglavina enjoys performing traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering.
Tuglavina is hopeful she can inspire other Inuit students to apply for the scholarship and have confidence they could be a recipient. The aspiring doctor was told about the RBC program by a fellow student but told not to get her hopes up of being selected.
“I want to inspire others to reach for the stars,” she said. “Often, since we’re so isolated, we don’t get the same opportunities, but this just proves that we can, and you just have to be willing to go for it.”
The young volleyball player will be the first member of her immediate family to attend university and says their support has been invaluable as she focused on her studies and extracurricular activities.
“My family has always supported me,” said Tuglavina. “They knew I was going to do something big when I got older, and this means a lot to them. Their support just means so much to me.”
Growing up Tuglavina always knew she wanted to practice medicine. Initially, she thought of becoming a surgeon, but a local gynecologist/obstetrician inspired her and now she’s set her sights on following in his footsteps.
North West River is a small community comprised of just over 500 residents, mostly Inuit, and Tuglavina says her success will be celebrated by all.
“Everyone in my community supports me both academically and in my sports,” she said. “I really hope to give back to them by returning here and being an obstetrician for them.”
To view the complete list of scholarship recipients, learn more or view full eligibility requirements, visit the RBC Future Launch Scholarships website.
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Tagged: Indigenous education