ATHLETES HAVE TO WORK TWICE AS HARD TO KEEP OUR GRADES UP AND TO NOT GET FINANCIAL RECOGNITION LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, IT’S A LITTLE BIT OF A KICK IN THE CHIN.
KELOWNA – As if she isn’t busy enough, Olympics bound freestyle skier and Kelowna born Kelsey Serwa is raising money for athletes who don’t qualify for scholastic bursaries. It’s a situation she understands first hand.
“I started thinking about the idea a few years ago,” she says. “When I graduated in 2007, even though I had straight A’s, I was exempt from receiving and applying for any bursaries just because I wasn’t a full time student.”
Serwa was a student at KSS during her senior year, but because of her busy training schedule, was only enrolled in three classes. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA through correspondence programs, but even that wasn’t enough to qualify her for scholarships and bursaries available to other students.
“Basically they didn’t consider me a full time student so I wasn’t allowed to apply,” she says. “I thought that was a little bit bogus. Athletes have to work twice as hard to keep our grades up and to not get financial recognition like everyone else, it’s a little bit of a kick in the chin.”
Serwa hopes to raise $100,000 through five specialty loose-leaf tea blends she created.
“The more money we raise, the more students we can help,” she says.
So far, her efforts have raised a little over $3500, but she says that interest in the program is encouraging. Several Kelowna schools, including KLO Middle, have come on board with the fundraiser.
Cathie Pavlik is a KLO teacher who says the idea has a lot of potential.
“Kelsey is a previous student and a wonderful role model so we wanted to support her,” she says. “It’s a great cause and the tea has her name on it so it’s kind of a cool keepsake as well.”
The tea is available at the KLO Middle School store as well as at this website.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250) 718-0428 or tweet @AdamProskiw