Thursday, July 4th, 2019

DAN CEARNS The Standard

UXBRIDGE: Uxbridge Secondary School student Maya Burgess-Stansfield received some exciting news recently, she’s one of 16 students to be awarded the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize.
“The Vimy Foundation’s premiere educational program, the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, is a prestigious two-week-long learning experience during which exceptional youth, 15-17 years of age, study the interwoven First and Second World War history of Canada, Great Britain, and France,” read a post on the Vimy Foundation’s website. “Scheduled for August 2019 in Belgium and France, students will attend lectures, visit former battlefields, trenches and underground tunnels, as well as visit museums and cemeteries, and explore monuments such as the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Canadian, British, and French prize recipients will also participate in commemorative ceremonies and meet a few of the remaining veterans and members of the French Resistance.”
Ms. Burgess-Stansfield, who just completed Grade 11, told The Standard what it was like in late April when she found out she was chosen. “I was pretty excited. I couldn’t really believe it was happening, it kind of caught me by surprise.” She said she is looking forward to taking part in this program.
“I’m really excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m interested in meeting the new people, because I’ve never done a trip where it’s new people that I haven’t met before, so it’s going to be an interesting experience,” Ms. Burgess-Stansfield said.
The local student, who applied for the award in March, explained what the application process was like. “I had to write an essay, and I had to make a two minute video on why I want to go on the trip, and a little bit about me, and I had to write a 500 word paper on a work of art from the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art,” she said.
Teacher Tish MacDonald said she is proud of Ms. Burgess-Stansfield’s accomplishment.
“I was delighted to hear that Maya had been awarded the prestigious Beaverbrook Vimy prize. What an honour for her to represent [Uxbridge Secondary School] and the community of Uxbridge, having been selected from students from across Canada,” she said. “She will be an excellent representative of Uxbridge Secondary School as she participates in the Vimy Foundation’s two week Remembrance Tour.”
There is a commitment that comes along with participating in this program. “Alumni from the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize become ambassadors for the Vimy Foundation following their participation in the program, and continue working to share their new knowledge and perspective of the First and Second World Wars with their peers, schools, and communities. Their continued participation in Vimy Foundation activities is a great asset to the future of our organization,” read a portion of a page on the Vimy Foundation website.