A Grade 12 student at Isfeld Secondary in Courtenay has won a $5,000 scholarship from a charitable organization that recognizes high school students who have overcome adversity, and who are seeking a university education.
James Fazeli-Sinaki is one of 170 students across Canada who have been awarded ‘need-based scholarships’ by the Horatio Alger Association of Canada.
Horatio Alger Jr. was a popular 19th-century American author whose books recount a ‘can-do spirit.’ The association strives to promote the values in his stories, and to honour those who have achieved success by adhering to them.
“I’m really excited to have been awarded this scholarship,” said James, 17, who is in the French Immersion Program at Isfeld. He is a straight-A student.
“My mom (Liz Harris) has raised me by herself since I was three, and is off work right now with a brain injury.”
After graduating from high school, James plans to enrol in the bachelor of commerce program at the UBC Sauder School of Business.
“I’m really grateful for this awesome award, helping me pay for my education,” he said.
James has volunteered time at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Courtenay. He was selected as a Rotary Youth Exchange Ambassador to travel to Italy last year, but the trip was cancelled due to COVID.
He also reports on Isfeld’s TV show, MITV, on YouTube. In his spare time, he plays electric guitar, and enjoys scuba diving.