The two Trinity Western University graduates who received the 2021 citizenship awards for outstanding leadership were born and raised in Williams Lake.
Monica Rawlek and Samuel Corbett were given the awards for playing a crucial role in the university community over the last four years, noted vice-president of student life Richard Taylor in a news release.
“They have been a strong presence as we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nominations come from the students in the graduating class for one female and one male student and then students in the graduating class and third year, as well as faculty and staff vote.
Rawlek, who has been working in the admissions department at Quest University Canada in Squamish since January, said she graduated this spring with a bachelor of arts with honours with a major in philosophy and minor in political science, as well as a certificate in leadership and applied public affairs. In the future she may pursue a master’s degree or law school.
“Williams Lake is a great community and I feel like it grounds you and prepares you to go out in the world,” Rawlek said. “People care for the lives of others around them. I’ve really appreciated all the support I’ve received.”
Growing up she attended Kwaleen Traditional School, Columneetza and Maranatha Christian School for Grade 11 and 12, where she was on student council as treasurer in Grade 11 and president in Grade 12. She was also a member of the junior city council.
“I am grateful to be from Williams Lake and I loved my time at Trinity Western and I’m excited to see where I end up in the next few years.”
Corbett graduated with a business degree and was recently hired full-time to do finances for a bakery in Abbotsford.
He was born in Williams Lake, attended Marie Sharpe French immersion, Columneetza and Williams Lake Secondary School.
“It was fun seeing Monica and I both nominated,” he said. “We had gone to school for almost 10 years together.”
When they received notification of the awards, Corbett messaged Rawlek and said, “who would have thought that in Grade 9 foods we would be here graduating university?”
After high school, he took a gap year, before attending TWU.
During their four years at university, Rawlek and Corbett were dorm leaders where they hosted events and attended two meetings a week.
“It was a busy job, but it’s kind of fun,” Corbett recalled, adding one year he was also in charge of a group of dorm leaders. “You have a team you work with.”
Eyeing the future he said he is not sure if he will return to university and for now is excited about putting his degree to work for himself.
“If I stay in finances I might pursue different certifications, but not right now. I need a break.”