Student Success

Essay on renewable energy generates scholarship

University of Lethbridge student Alison Frank couldn’t be more pleased to be one of five recipients of a 2016 Aboriginal Clean Energy Scholarship (ACES) worth $2,500 from BluEarth Renewables Inc.

BluEarth Renewables is a Calgary-based company focused on commercial-scale renewable energy development.

“I am grateful to BluEarth for awarding me this scholarship and providing this support,” says Frank. “It relieves some financial stress and helps me focus on my studies.”

Frank is currently in her final semester of a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Native American Studies. She also is involved with the U of L First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mentorship Program. She plans to apply to the Faculty of Education following the completion of her BA and eventually hopes to teach elementary-aged school children.

“In the essay I wrote when I applied for the scholarship, I wanted to highlight the importance of teaching children at a young age about renewable energy,” says Frank. “I’m learning here at the University that we need to start paying more attention to Mother Earth and that we have a responsibility to make sure future generations have a safe place to live in. In my essay, I stressed the importance of relaying that information to younger children.

“When I got word back from them that I had won the scholarship, they mentioned it was a unique essay and that they enjoyed it. Usually they don’t have many applicants from the educational field, so they thought that was really great.”

A class she took last semester discussed the concept of place and what it means, and Frank says she immediately thought of her home.

“My family has an agriculture background. We live in a really beautiful area; Chief Mountain is not far from my home,” she says. “Being from Blackfoot territory, I have this appreciation for the land, so learning where my place is made me think about how I impact the land and the environment around me. We have windmills close by and a few people on my reserve are investing in solar energy. I realized having an appreciation for the land and wanting to maintain a positive environment for the next generation are important to me.”