Southridge student Serena Bonneville is the recipient of the Standing Tall Award from Coast Capital Savings.
Bonneville was recognized for her dedication to graduating high school, fulfilling her role as Head Girl at Southridge and pursuing a degree in business, despite being diagnosed with leukemia in 2013.
The South Surrey teen, who created the blog Breeding Optimism detailing her journey to recovery, has been accepted to the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.
She is among 25 B.C. students to receive the $5,000 award.
“Since my diagnosis, I have rejected the opinion that I could no longer do something because of cancer, whether it was academics, sports or anything else,” Bonneville says in a news release. “Finding strength to persevere is tough, especially when given unjust circumstances, and I hope that the strength that I’ve found will inspire others to find their strength, resilience and optimism…”
This year also marks the first year a student will be awarded the Beth Hutchinson Standing Tall Award, honouring the 2012 Standing Tall Award recipient who lost her battle with cancer on Oct. 25, 2013 at the age of 20.
The recipient of that award is Maple Ridge’s Emily King.