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.
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