LCCVI celebrated academic excellence naming five students as Nicol scholars.
Leah Davis-Lumley, Carson Love, Kiera Maw, Riane McEachern and Tristan Nemcek will receive the 2023 Helen Kavanagh Nicol Scholarships June 7. The
Nicol Scholarship is awarded to the top academic students who participate in community and school life by a panel of judges which includes local ministers, politicians and school representatives. It was set up by Harold Nicol who went to LCCVI in 1914, before entering the military to join the troops in the First World War when he was just 14. When he returned, he took a college business course and worked with Western Electric which later became AT&T in Chicago.
Nicol had amassed a fortune of over $2 million. Without a family, he decided to set up the scholarship fund for LCCVI in his mother’s name.
Each year, a panel of members of the Petrolia community, school and the Nicol Foundation pour over applications from the high school’s top students to determine who will receive the $10,000 US scholarships. This year four monetary awards were given out and one student Riane McEacheran – was named a Nicol Scholar without a bursary.
McEacheran will be attending Western University to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing. It’s a career she had not considered until recently.
“It’s a way to connect with people. I like to talk, I like to chitchat. And it’s a pretty intimate job. I spend all day, every day with people and that’s kind of what I feel fulfilled doing is talking to people connecting. For nurses, that’s what your job is – to connect with those patients and those families and make an impact on a life on a daily basis.”
McEacheran says she has “very minimal experience in the medical field; I’m kind of jumping all in with my degree. It’s something that I was really drawn to this last year in high school, because I really didn’t know what I wanted to do. … I was like, nothing was really sticking out to me until I was talking to a nurse about what her day-to-day looks like. And I was like, ‘I think that’s something I actually want to do.’ And I started to look into it and here we are.”
Kiera Maw will be also be moving to London, attending King’s University College at Western University for the child and youth studies program.
“I’ve always wanted to work with children, whether in social work or in school…I’m doing my co-op right now in a Grade One class so I’m kind of leaning towards teaching.”
Maw says she’s honoured by this award. “I’m really super proud and excited to be a Nicol scholar. You see the wall in our school and I’m just super honored to be recognized and be able to be a part of that community because it’s just a community filled with great leadership and great character.”
Tristan Nemcek, who recently received a full scholarship to Huron College at Western and is also part of the 2023 Nicol class, agrees.
“You look at the Nichol Legacy Wall and you see the names and you see what those people stand for in their life, it’s an honor to be a part of that. It shows your hard work paid off and it’s something that you work towards your entire high school to finally be recognized as Nicol scholar. It’s quite an honor.” Nemcek hopes to work in the front office of a professional sports team in the future.
Leah Davis-Lumley plans to attend Western University for political science en route to a law degree and hopefully practicing family law.
“I’ve learned a lot about advocacy and the need for change in society and it’s really drawn me to that field. I just want to end up at the end of the day, being able to help people in the community and make people’s lives better by advocating for them.”
Davis-Lumley adds it’s an honour to be named a Nicol scholar and the bursary will go a long way to help her realize her goals.
“It’s a really great resource and opportunity for me to be able to pursue my dreams. It’s helped a lot of people in the community and it will help me be able to come back one day and, hopefully, give back,” she says.
“A lot of the teachers here are actually, Nicol recipients. So, I hope that if things don’t work out for me in the field of law, that I will come back here and hopefully teach law, like Mr. (Joel) Campbell, who’s been a great mentor for me all throughout my high school.”
Carson Love will be attending the University of Windsor in September taking mechanical engineering programs, specifically the aerospace branch. Love hopes one day to work for NASA. “When I was younger I was always interested in space,” he says adding in high school he leaned into chemistry, physics and engineering.
And he too is proud to be a Nicol scholar. “It is definitely a great honour … It shows that all my hard work over the past few years paid off.”