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Airdrie engineering student receives helping hand from 4-H scholarship

Beckie is a 2020 graduate of St. Martin de Porres High School, and also received a $100,000 Schulich Leaders Award in her final year of high school.
Airdrie native Kailey Beckie received the Raintree scholarship from 4-H Alberta.

4-H Alberta has released its 2021 post-secondary scholarship recipients, and the list includes an engineering student from Airdrie. 

Kailey Beckie, a 19-year-old mechanical engineering student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), was one of six recipients from the Calgary region to receive a 4-H Alberta scholarship this year. Beckie is a 2020 graduate of St. Martin de Porres High School, and received a $100,000 Schulich Leaders Award in her final year of high school.

The second-year university student said she was excited to learn she had received Alberta 4-H's $500 Raintree scholarship, in addition to the 2021 Calgary Region Scholarship of the same amount. She added she spent about eight years as a member of the Golden Rod 4-H Multi Club through the Airdrie and District Agriculture Society.

"4-H really emphasizes public speaking, leadership skills, and community service," she said. "To get involved with that at a young age was super great. Moving forward, it was a big resume-builder because you could take on volunteering positions. I was club president, club vice-president, and then in my last year, I was district vice-president. They just give you a lot of exposure.”

In addition to her commitment to 4-H, Beckie's other extracurricular endeavours growing up included creating a student gardening club at St. Martin de Porres High School, being a member of the Calgary Fiddlers Association, and competing for the St. Martin de Porres Kodiaks in both basketball and cross-country running.

Every year, 4-H Alberta offers close to $300,000 in scholarship funding through its 250-plus scholarships that 4-H Alberta’s youth can apply for in support of their post-secondary endeavours, according to a press release from the organization. In 2021, the release states, 226 scholarships were awarded and distributed to eligible youth from across the province. 

Beckie said she learned a lot during her years with 4-H, as the club had her complete annual projects related to skills such as horseback riding, quilting, and working with small engines. 

“[It's great] or any age of kid, especially if you’re looking for a resume-builder, a skill-builder, or anything,” she said. “I’m super grateful for the program, as they’ve given me a lot.”

After graduating from St. Martin de Porres in 2020, Beckie moved to Kelowna, B.C. to attend the UBCO's school of engineering. Once her first year was complete, she opted to specialize in the mechanical engineering stream, adding she feels it is the most broad field of engineering.

“There’s also an option at UBCO – I don’t know if I’ll go after it or not yet – to specialize from mechanical into biomedical, which is a really interesting field,” she said. “I just want to keep my options open. I think it’s super broad and there’s the possibility to move into bio-med.”

Now a second-year resident of sunny Okanagan, Beckie said she is excited about the future, and is happy to be studying at her new school – even though much of her degree to date has been completed in an online setting.

“The UBCO campus is great; it’s not big, but because we’re affiliated with UBC Vancouver, you’re still offered all the opportunities that a big university has,” she said. “Kelowna has been amazing and I’ve really loved the small campus. The weather is fantastic.”

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