Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School student Brianna Thomas has a lot to be proud of as she embarks on her post-secondary career. The recent graduate is the recipient of two prestigious scholarships: the James Hillier Foundation scholarship, worth up to $20,000 and awarded to Brantford or Brant County students pursuing science; and a Schulich scholarship from the University of Waterloo, valued at $80,000, and awarded to only 100 students from across Canada annually.
“We’re delighted that a talented Grand Erie student like Brianna is being recognized for her hard work and academic achievements,” said JoAnna Roberto, Director of Education. “She has a bright and promising future ahead of her and we know she will make us all proud. We wish her every success as she begins her studies at the University of Waterloo.”
The work she’s completed this year has been at a level well beyond her years, including examining the human impact on the biodiversity of Cootes Paradise – findings which were shared with the Lynden Horticultural Society – and a partnership with the Grand River Grand River Conservation Authority to implement an interactive game meant to educate Grade 4 students about invasive species.
“Brianna is an exemplary student whose enthusiasm for learning fuels detailed investigation in the sciences,” said BCI teacher Brenda Csordas, who taught Thomas Grade 12 chemistry and biology in the Laurier program. “She has a systematic and logical approach to problem solving, an admirable work ethic, and has truly mastered the ability to conduct self-directed research.”
In addition to excelling in academics, she has a creative side, and is accomplished in graphic design and animation. She’s used those formats to help communicate and present her academic findings, taking complex, complicated topics and making them easy to understanding and entertaining to take in. She’s also taken on impressive leadership opportunities as a member of the Link Crew, mentoring students just beginning secondary school, and is an active volunteer in her community.
“Anyone at BCI could speak to Brianna’s kind, hardworking, and helpful character, and there is no one who will deny that she deserves all of her success,” said her friend and fellow graduate Shannon Millette. “She is definitely one of Grand Erie’s and BCI’s shining stars.”
Thomas will be attending the University of Waterloo’s Physical Sciences co-op program, majoring in Life Physics, this fall.