The 17-year-old from Herring Neck is one of 20 high school students across the country awarded the Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank Scholarship for Community Leadership. The scholarships are awarded to students in their last year of high school who have demonstrated leadership in improving their community.
Each scholarship provides students with up to $10,000 per year towards tuition to a maximum of four years and $7,500 a year towards living expenses to a maximum of four years.
The scholarship will also provide some meaningful summer employment for Rice, who will attend MUN in the fall to work towards his Bachelor of Commerce degree.
“With my commerce (degree) I can then go into something like accounting or marketing,” Rice told the Pilot. “So I’m hoping while I’m working with the bank I can see what I like, what I don’t like and go from there.”
Rice says his first year of employment will be spent as a customer service representative at a TD branch of his choosing on the island. Year two and three will provide a change to work out of TD’s corporate office in Halifax for a summer. Rice’s final summer of employment will give him an oppourtunity to work with a non-profit agency associated with the bank.
In order to qualify for the scholarship Rice had to write an essay detailing his involvement in a local community organization — he estimates the effort at 750 words.
The essay detailed his involvement in the 2014 Herring Neck Come Home Year festivities. Rice organized a dory race that attracted over 400 people and says the Herring Neck Dory Festival is now an annual event.
“It is all community based and about community leadership,” said Rice. “They wanted to know what you had done in your community.”
Speaking with Rice it is clear his community still plays an important role in his life. In fact, the details of how the high school student first discovered the competition is a tale of kinship itself.
“Dwight Ball told me about it,” said Rice. “He told me I reminded him of a friend of his from Glovertown or Gambo that won the scholarship. So I went home and I Googled it and I’m glad I did.”
The chance meeting occurred at the Twillingate Fish, Fun, and Folk Festival a couple of years ago. Just a local kid, at a local event, discussing his community with the man who would soon lead the province, the correlation is hard to overlook.
Rice says he did most of the legwork involved in the application process himself. The school had to provide his transcripts and a letter of recommendation in order to qualify, and the rest is history.
“I felt like I had a good chance of making a good run at it,” said Rice. “I never once said that I was going to get it ‘cause I didn’t want to jinx it.”