Today’s post comes from Bev Cook, Chairperson of the Friends of Presqu’ile at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.
Every year, Ontario Parks hires hundreds of students to help run parks over the summer.
From maintenance to front gate staff to Natural Heritage Education, our students work hard to keep a smile on our visitors’ faces.
This year, the Friends of Presqu’ile launched an annual bursary program to recognize the efforts of the fine young people who work as summer student employees at Presqu’ile.
We received many examples of extraordinary dedication and stellar customer service from the nominations. We are so very proud of our winners for their awesome work!
The Friends invited student employees to apply for our new $1,000 Career Bursary. This bursary was open to students following a course of study at the post-secondary level which may lead to a career in the parks system.
Congratulations go to Alyson (Aly) Morris, one of our student Park Wardens. Aly is starting her second year in Biological Sciences at Liberty University in Virginia. Aly has a definite career plan in mind – she will bring her research and conservation skills into play as a Park Biologist, and hopefully one day as a Park Superintendent.
Aly has demonstrated solid academic achievements, and has excellent leadership skills, a strong work ethic, and is a team player willing to lend a hand wherever needed. Well done, Aly!
The second bursary program awarded four $500.00 bursaries to deserving students in each of the four park staff areas.
Students could be nominated by the public, their peers, or a supervisor for demonstrating skills and actions to improve the park experience.
We received many nominations for each department, making the job a difficult one for the awards committee.
Kristen Wierda is our winner for the Park Store. This remarkable young woman has completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Science, and started her doctoral studies in Pharmacy in the fall.
According to her supervisor, Kristen is a great leader and role model for new staff. Her dedication to getting the job done right is highly valued by all.
Thank you for all of your hard work, Kristen!
Mara Van Meer of the Nature Centre staff received two nominations from members of the public. They noted her enthusiasm and patience dealing with young visitors. She manages to make learning fun!
Mara is off to Sir Sanford Fleming College to study Ecosystems Management.
Front gate employee, Sinead Gibson, also caught the eye of a member of the public. They were so impressed with her warm welcome back greetings, and efficient check-in services.
Sinead has been called one of the park’s best employee investments! According to one supervisor, she has also managed to handle difficult situations with aplomb.
Sinead will begin her studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Guelph this fall.
Quinley Nichols of the maintenance department is heading off to Ryerson for her second year of studies in Bio-mechanical Engineering.
Her supervisors were very impressed with her selflessness, and her willingness to help anyone who needed it. Quinley happily took on any task, eager to learn everything about the department.
The Friends of Presqu’ile Park wish all of the bursary winners a very successful year.
We look forward to welcoming our amazing students back next season!
Are you interested in working at a provincial park?
Apply for one of our awesome student jobs today!