It’s more than just a mark

Tyler Clarke
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The marks Alex Henry earned in high school were more than just marks -- they were a ticket to the future she’s envisioned. 

Boasting a 95 per cent average, the Prince Albert Collegiate Institute graduate earned her school’s governor’s general award and about $14,000 in scholarships and bursaries at this week’s graduation ceremony. 

It wasn’t easy.

“I had to balance work and basketball and try and come home sometimes to help my dad out and get my school work done at the same time, and re-do assignments as well,” she said.

That’s right -- “re-do assignments.”

Near the end of Grade 12 she found that her percentage had dropped to 94 per cent, effective paring down her scholarship level by about $1,000.

Thankfully, her teachers allowed her to re-do certain assignments until she reached the 95 per cent sweet spot.

“I pretty much did every assignment over once or twice or maybe three times just to get it up,” she explained -- hard work that ended up paying off.

Henry said that she knew all the way back in Grade 10 that she’d receive the governor’s general award -- a recognition she’s consistently worked toward.

Knowing that she’d have to pay her own way through university, student loans weren’t an option.

Her ultimate goal is to start an innovative health-related business -- the details of which she’s hesitant to share at this point in order to maintain her edge.

Lenders don’t look on student loans with positivity, she noted.

I had to balance work and basketball and try and come home sometimes to help my dad out and get my school work done at the same time, and re-do assignments. Alex Henry

Nor do they look on high school graduates without any business background with much fondness, she said in explaining her decision to enter the University of Saskatchewan in September to earn a four-year Bachelor’s of Commerce.

In addition to the $14,000 worth of scholarships she received this week and the $1,000 she’s saved from her part-time job at Boston Pizza and this upcoming summer’s worth of full-time earnings at Sturgeon Lake Regional Park, she’s well on her way to paying her own way through university.

Hard work pays off, she summarized -- hard work that will continue through four years of university and her innovative business’s start-up.

This, she said, was the subject of her valedictorian address at this week’s graduation ceremony.

“Through my high school years I always worked really hard and sometimes I felt like people didn’t think that it was that big of a deal,” she said.

“My message was to them, that no matter what you do in life, work hard anyway. Work hard to be the best person you can be, anyway, even if you don’t’ feel that people are appreciating or seeing it … Just do the best you possibly can in life.”

Organizations: University of Saskatchewan, Boston Pizza

Geographic location: Sturgeon Lake, Regional Park

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