BURIN, NL — It was a cup of tea Kelsey Ross of Burin is not likely to forget anytime soon.
“I had just finished up on my supper,” the Grade 10 student said. “I had been waiting all day to see if I would get a call or not.
“I was just about to get up and make a cup of tea when I got the phone call. . . (they) told me I’d been selected for the program.”
Kelsey is one of 16 students selected for the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize in which participants will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive educational program in England, Belgium and France as they learn about the interwoven history of our countries during the First and Second World Wars. The program runs from Aug. 9-23.
Kelsey was excited to receive the call that she had been selected.
“When I first applied for it I didn’t actually think I was going to get in, I just thought I’d do it and it would be a fun thing to try — if I did get it that would be amazing,” she said. “So, when I did get in it was kind of awesome.”
Kelsey explained that it was a lengthy application process to be selected, noting that she was required to write two essays and a letter.
“The first essay was on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in World War I and how our knowledge of how the disorder works has progressed over time,” she said. “The other one was about a piece of art in the Beaverbrook collection, and the letter was just explaining why I wanted to go and what I would bring to the program.”
Kelsey was also required to provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher.
Kelsey said she has always been fascinated with the subject of history, particularly the First and Second World Wars.
“They were such big events and they have far reaching consequences that affect us to this day,” she explained. “So, when my dad found out about the program, he told me about it and I was immediately interested.
“I love history… a chance to go to the sites of famous battles (during) the First and Second World War was kind of a big deal.”
Kelsey is looking forward to the opportunity to visit museums during her trip, travelling to a new continent and learning more about its history.
Kelsey has been reading blogs posted about trips in previous years to get an idea of what to expect.
“I think we’re going to go do lectures at Oxford University, go to museums, tour battlefields and monuments,” she said excitedly.
Kelsey is busy preparing for the trip.
“Seeing how I think we are going to be spending the vast majority of the trip in France, I am certainly going to pick up a French-English dictionary and work on my French.”