CHESTER, Vt. – The Lake Rescue Association is very pleased to announce the 2020 recipient of the Mary Rita Batesole Scholarship award. This is the second year of the $1,000 scholarship, which was started last year in memory of MR Batesole, longtime Lake Rescue resident and dedicated LRA board member, who left us in 2018. The scholarship supports a regional a graduating high school senior or a currently enrolled college or vocational student pursuing environmental education, broadly defined.
This year’s recipient is Olivia Bernier from Andover, a graduating senior from Green Mountain Union High School. Olivia will be attending St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. this coming fall and will be pursuing a degree in conservation biology. She looks forward to a career as an environmental educator.
The field of applicants this year was very strong, but Olivia’s commitment to environmental pursuits stood out. She was president of the school’s Environmental Club, in which she has participated for the past three years. Outside of school activities, Olivia has worked for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and the Hildene Youth Corps. Olivia says, “Putting my desires to conserve the environment into action felt liberating. I was doing work that mattered, work that had an actual impact on the health of our planet.”
In addition to stellar academic achievement and a demonstrated commitment to the environment, this multi-talented student is a violinist and volunteers in the summers with a children’s youth ensemble. She envisions a future that combines her passion for the natural world with educating children about conservation and environmental sustainability.