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Scholarship for indigenous youth will help Corner Brook teen meet her goals

Erin Kendall
Erin Kendall - Contributed

While a lot of students probably took the two-day professional development break from school last Thursday and Friday to have some fun, Erin Kendall had other plans.

The Level 3 student at Corner Brook Regional High was going to get started on applying to some universities.

The 17-year-old already knows that she wants to study business and a $5,000 scholarship from AFOA Canada will help her in attaining that goal.

Kendall is one of three young people from Canada to receive the 13th Annual Nutrien Indigenous Youth Financial Management Award.

Hers is the only name from Newfoundland and Labrador on a list of award recipients from 2007 to now.

As a recipient of the award, Kendall attended AFOA Canada’s 19th National Conference from Oct. 1-4 in Ottawa.

AFOA Canada is a not-for-profit association that was founded in 1999 to help Indigenous people better manage and govern their communities and organizations through a focus on enhancing finance and management practices and skills.

It has become the centre for excellence and innovation in Indigenous finance, management and leadership.

A member of the Qalipu First Nation Band, Kendall learned of the scholarship through the band office.

She applied because both her parents, Lynn and Allan Kendall, are in business.

“And it’s something I was interested in.”

Part of the application process involved writing an essay that Kendall had to read to delegates at the conference.

“And we were told the day of that there were 997 of them.”

That was something that left her feeling a bit nervous.

Her essay talked about Qalipu.

“How my band is a young band and we’re landless. So, we don’t have a reserve, but we are very active.”

She said through events like pow wows and St. Anne’s Day it celebrates the heritage of the Mi’kmaq people.

She also spoke of how technology will affect the future and why she wanted to go into business.

The fact her parents are both in business, she said has been “a huge influence.”

Her parents are currently in the process of developing a chalet development on the outskirts of the city at the site of the old Family Adventure Park.

Kendall will sit with them and ask questions about the development.

“I’m genuinely interested in what’s going on.”

Because what’s happening there could play a role in her future.

“That’s heavily guiding my choices,” said the girl who is interested in one day running a business.

“If I do business and enjoy then that business that my parents are starting can be mine.”

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