Yvesgaëlle Dor has struck scholarship gold.
Not only will the grade 12 student at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (VCI) be the first member of her family to attend university this September, but she will also be doing it on a full, four-year scholarship at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.
Dor, who is the daughter of Marie Nicolas and Gabriel Dor, has been awarded a Beyond Tomorrow Scholar at UBC. The scholarships assist black Canadian students who are transitioning to UBC from secondary school who would not otherwise be able to attend without significant financial assistance. Applicants are required to maintain a 92 per cent average during their four years of secondary school. Dor’s average is 95 per cent. She will also be receiving the maximum scholarship amount of $20,000 per year for four years.
When she began completing university applications, Dor, like many students, was anxious about the cost of post-secondary education.
“Any kind of scholarship would really help me to go there,” she said of her application to UBC.
Dor plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science at UBC and then go to law school to study business law. She said her love of law started from watching television programs about lawyers and court cases.
Vancouver is a long way from Dor’s hometown of Hawkesbury.
“I’m a little nervous, I won’t lie,” she said about the big move to come later this summer.
With a sense of relief, she said her Mom has already offered to come and visit.
Dor was also accepted to the University of Toronto, Queens University in Kingston, and the University of Ottawa, but none offered the tremendous scholarship she has received from UBC.
VCI Principal Christie Walker is extremely proud of Dor.
“Her commitment to her academics is impressive, as is her contribution to the school community. She is an effective student leader, who has honed her skills throughout secondary school by serving the student body in a variety of capacities,” Walker said.
Currently, Dor is one of VCI’s LINK Leaders for grade nine students. She offers academic, social, and emotional support to students transitioning to secondary school, paying particular attention to VCI’s black students.
“My goal has been to help students. If they don’t want to go to a teacher, they can go to me,” she said.
Dor is the current leader of VCI’s Student Council and is a member of the Equity and Inclusion Student Voice Committee. She has helped coordinate a school-wide assembly on the negative impacts of using hate-based language and during Pride Month, and has led efforts to promote inclusion, belonging and safety for the entire school community.
“Yvesgaëlle confidently shares her voice on social justice and equity issues, including anti-black racism, that pertain to youth and the school community,” Walker said.
During her high school years, Dor has also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and works part-time at McDonald’s.