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Island Social Trends journalism scholarship launches in west shore

First-ever Island Social Trends Journalism Scholarship recipient is Royal Bay graduate Emma Sjerven.

Monday June 21, 2021 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated September 11, 2021]

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends


This graduation season in the west shore is the first time that a journalism scholarship has been provided from a local publication to a graduate at one of the high schools in the region.

This initiative has been taken by Island Social Trends, which operates out of Langford but writes to a south Vancouver Island readership on issues that are local, regional, province-wide, national and international. What pulls that all together is the mission to write about “stuff that matters” within a socioeconomic lens, in support of a knowledge-based society and economy.

Island Social Trends
The Island Social Trends news portal is available for open reading online. Digital subscribers receive additional content by email.

At Island Social Trends we also uphold the principles of clear communication, the editing standards of “Plain English”, and work to the standards of Canadian Press Style.

About the scholarship:

On Sunday June 19 during the Royal Bay Secondary School graduation celebration in Colwood, the first Island Social Trends Journalism Scholarship was awarded. This year’s recipient of the $500 award is Royal Bay Grade 12 graduate Emma Sjerven.

Congratulations to Ms Sjerven, from Island Social Trends publisher and editor Mary Brooke, and the team at Island Social Trends!

  • Applicants needed high grades and evidence of contribution to their school community (requirements of the school).
  • Applicants for this scholarship also needed to submit a 500-word essay on the importance and role of journalism in a modern democratic society, and how the applicant plans to pursue journalism as part of their career (requirement of Island Social Trends).

High schools in SD62:

There are four secondary schools in the Sooke School District 62 (SD62), located in Langford, Colwood and Sooke. Three main high schools are Belmont Secondary School (Langford), Royal Bay Secondary School (Colwood), and Edward Milne Community School (Sooke), as well as Westshore Centre for Learning and Training which operates several smaller campuses in the west shore. All four high schools had their own graduation ceremonies this year, adapted for public health restrictions during the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Mary Brooke, editor, West Shore Voice News
Mary P Brooke, Editor and Publisher, Island Social Trends.
  • Royal Bay Secondary was chosen for this year’s scholarship award due to their multi-year interest in including Island Social Trends in their career-day activities and their genuine interest in generating student interest in the opportunities that are available in journalism.
  • Apparently there is some examination of the social media aspects of publishing within some classes at Belmont Secondary School in Langford.
  • Several years ago Island Social Trends editor Mary Brooke (the publication was Sooke Voice News at that time) was invited as a guest speaker to a Grade 12 English class at Edward Milne Community School in Sooke.

Learning about journalism:

Other than some content about journalism in some English classes in SD62, there is presently no focus on curriculum content about journalism — whether the skills to write well for public consumption or the role of journalism within the wider mantra of critical thinking that the school district includes in its strategic plan.

Journalism is a form of inquiry on behalf of and within civic society, and as a product is found (through publishing) as part of the public record. The daily reports of journalists ultimately form and/or inform the body of work that is historical record.

Island Social Trends
Island Social Trends – insights into stuff that matters.

Summer writers:

Our 2021 summer writers at Island Social Trends were:

Jalen Codrington, Island Social Trends
Jalen Codrington continues in Fall 2021 as a regular Photojournalism contributor to Island Social Trends.
Molly Pearce, writer
Molly Pearce is a freelance writer, contributing to Island Social Trends.
  • Jalen C Codrington. He is a fourth-year student at the University of Victoria, focusing on Philosophy and English. He works as Copy Desk editor and active journalist. Jalen is our Canada Summer Jobs student at Island Social Trends; thank you to the federal government and local MP Alistair MacGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) for that support.
  • Molly Pearce. She is a third-year student at McGill University in Montreal (home on the island for the summer), focusing on English and Social Entrepreneurship. Molly is freelancing for Island Social Trends.

And in past summers: Students who have contributed to Island Social Trends (or the former West Shore Voice News) in past summers include Chelsea Kirkpatrick, Meaghan Power, and Kiley Verbowski.

Randall Garrison, re-elect

This page last updated: September 11, 2021