Generally, schooling and post-secondary education in Canada often focus on academic excellence. While there are plenty of scholarship programs to help meritorious students earn a college education, others might feel left out when it comes to scholarships. However, the government of Alberta has a contingency for academically average students in the form of the Alberta Citizenship Award.
Offered by the Alberta government each academic year, the award is divided into three categories, which are Premier’s Citizenship Award, Alberta Centennial Award, and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Award. The purpose of this program is to incentivize students who are outstanding in terms of community service and overall voluntary achievements. It showcases that good intentions and social endeavours are far more important than high grades. So let’s dive into the entire process behind applying for this award.
As mentioned above, your achievements on a societal level are the major criteria here. However, the eligibility clauses vary a little between the three awards. With that out of the way, here are the various vital points of selection.
Here, you will discover how the students are selected for this program. Once again, the selection process varies slightly between the three awards.
For Premier’s Citizenship Award
Students are required to fill out a form and submit it to their high school authorities. The representative of the school in question will pick out a student who they deem worthy of the award. Finally, the principal of the school has to fill out the School Principal Section of the form and submit the completed application to Alberta Tourism and Culture before the deadline, which is June 1st.
Alberta Centennial Award and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Award
The panel which finalizes recipients of Premier’s Citizenship Award also decides who should receive these two awards. While there is additional paperwork in terms of application, the qualification is solely at the discretion of the selection panel members. Those who receive these two awards are ultimately picked out from the group of students who receive the Premier’s Citizenship Award.
Just like the eligibility criteria and the selection process, the application procedure varies between the Premier Citizenship Award, the Alberta Centennial Award, and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Award.
Applying for Premier Citizenship Award
Students need to fill out a form and submit it to their respective high schools, as mentioned above. However, only one student will be selected from the entire school, and it will be this student whose application will be sent over to Alberta Culture and Tourism. The principal also needs to complete their section in the form before submitting it for review.
Applying for Alberta Centennial Award and Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Award
Other than the above form, the high school must also submit two letters of reference along with their application. The first letter must be from someone who knows the applicant for at least a year through their community activities, voluntary work or exceptional leadership skills. Next, the applicant must prepare a Record of Accomplishments Chart, which will be backed by the second reference letter. This one must be written by someone who can explain in detail the applicant’s accomplishments stated in the chart. Finally, to ensure that the record of accomplishments isn’t embellished or exaggerated, it is recommended that the student should sit with either the principal or a counsellor and work towards this end. It must also be noted that these reference letters must not exceed two pages.
Now, it’s time to talk about the prize. Depending on the award, the benefits may or not be monetary.
For the Premier Citizenship Award, the recipients will get a Letter of Commendation, which will be highly valuable during their post-secondary educational experience.
For the Alberta Centennial Award, a total of twenty-five awards are distributed each academic year. Each recipient will receive a sum of $ 2,005.
For the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medal Award, only eight, highly deserving candidates will receive an amount of $ 5000 each from the Alberta government.
Understandably, this is a highly sought-after award, and only a few receive it each year. If you are either not eligible or feel the odds are too steep, there are plenty of other avenues to choose from such as Alberta Full-time Grant, Alberta Part-Time Grant, Alberta Disability Grant, and Alberta Student Loan, all of which also fall under Alberta Student Aid Programs.