A few years after graduating from high school, Maddie Snelgrove decided it was time to return to school but still didn’t have her career path planned out. Two years later, the local woman not only has two years post-secondary education under her belt from Selkirk College, she has a dream she’s ready to make happen.
This fall, the Rossland Secondary School graduate will attend Carleton University’s undergraduate program in Architecture specializing in Urbanism. The program is unique in Canada and Snelgrove has secured an entrance scholarship valued up to $12,000 for academic excellence achieved while studying at Selkirk College.
“This scholarship is the cherry on top of getting into Carleton,” says Snelgrove.
Maddie Snelgrove, pictured second from left, earned a $12,000 entrance scholarship taking her from Selkirk College School of University Arts & Sciences to the Urbanism program at Carleton University, a unique undergraduate program in Architecture.
After completing high school in 2011, Snelgrove spent some time traveling throughout Europe and England, working close to home in Rossland, and volunteering with the Katimavik Program in Winnipeg and Labrador. Then she decided to return to school.
At first, the local didn’t consider Selkirk College. She wanted to seek out something new instead of trying the post-secondary institute in her own backyard. But Almeda Glenn Miller—a close family friend and English instructor at Selkirk College—helped her pick out her first semester classes in the School of University Arts & Sciences (UAS).
“Over the next couple years, she [Miller] always had one toe into everything I did. Ok, maybe more than one toe,” says Snelgrove. “She's been one of my biggest supporters throughout the entire college experience. She, along with many other influential instructors that I've had at Selkirk, helped me figure out what it was I wanted out of life and what I wanted to do as a career.”
Maddie Snelgrove was a guest speaker at a high school counsellor conference held last Fall at the Castlegar Campus. She was on a panel of students who were speaking about their experience at Selkirk College.
The Rossland resident also discovered Selkirk College wasn’t just an extension of high school despite being a local school. She chose to live in Kekuli Residence on the Castlegar Campus for one year, alongside students from around the world, to enrich her college experience.
“I wanted to experience more than just the academic side of college, and I ended up meeting some of the greatest people and having an amazing year,” says Snelgrove.
Allison Lutz, Selkirk College Geography instructor, admires her student’s dedication to her education and campus life.
“Maddie completely immersed herself in the Selkirk College experience. She participated in everything,” says Lutz. “Maddie took several Geography courses with me and I’m thrilled she’s pursuing a degree in Urbanism. Maddie was a delight in the classroom. She felt comfortable contributing ideas, asking questions and challenging the status quo. Maddie thinks deeply about how people and places interact. She is just the person we want planning and building our urban landscapes.”
It wasn’t always academically easy for Snelgrove. She wanted to be an architect since the age of five, drawing dream homes and entire worlds. But she didn't think it was possible because of her high school math grades.
“I tried hard but often didn't see the grades reflect it,” she says. “Selkirk College, however, was a huge leap for me in terms of my academic success.”
To get accepted to Carleton, Snelgrove also needed Grade 12 Physics. But she didn’t even have Grade 11 Physics. So, she took both courses on top of her Selkirk College classes in Geography, Anthropology, Creative Writing and English.
English instructor Miller watched her student and friend thrive in the Selkirk College environment.
“I watched this young woman learn how to be with her ideas. She excelled and we all benefited from her growing self-confidence,” Miller says. “Maddie knows how to share her intelligence in a classroom and encourage others to do the same. I don't think in a larger setting Maddie would have been ready to be so brave. She is now, though.”
Maddie Snelgrove was chosen as the UAS representative to address fellow students and faculty at the annual UAS Awards which was held in The Pit on the Castlegar Campus this past Spring.
While attending Selkirk College, Snelgrove covered her education costs on her own, managing to save funds set aside by her parents for Carleton.
“University is much more expensive and no matter what, I won’t be able to pay for it all myself,” she says.
The scholarship she secured is a great reward and relief as she continues her education.
“As long as I keep my grades up every year, Carleton will pay for $3,000 of my schooling each year,” she says. “The scholarship is awarding me for academic excellence, and I know I've worked very, very hard to be able to achieve something like that.”
Snelgrove will continue to study in subjects she is passionate about—environmental issues, geography, architecture, design and problem solving—as she works her way toward a career creating healthy and happy urban and rural areas as part of a motivated and innovative team. She would like to achieve her Master’s Degree, preferably internationally.
As she moves onto the big city in Eastern Canada—Carelton is located in Ottawa—Snelgrove advises students to take advantage of the funds available through scholarships and bursaries, even contests. The student won $500 from Selkirk College for a video she put together about living in Kekuli Residence.
“Do anything you can to ensure that you have money to spend and take care of yourself with. There's nothing more stressful then realizing you don't have enough money to pay for groceries,” she says.