Filled with gratitude, 2020 Pacific Rim Foundation Scholarship recipient Trinity Clark rejoices with her parents Calvin and Kim and grandma Emerald Shepherd in front of the school last week. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet graduate earns $40,000 Pacific Rim Foundation scholarship for post-secondary education

“I like working with everyone and building bonds through the community.”

Ucluelet Secondary School Class of 2020 graduate Trinity Mayeko Clark is the twelfth recipient of the annual $40,000 Pacific Rim Foundation Dick Close Scholarship.

Clark, a straight “A” student and devoted community volunteer, plans to use funds to cover tuition costs for an undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria, Faculty of Social Sciences.

“First of all, thank you to my parents of course for giving me all the support. Thank you to all you guys for being here and being witnesses to me receiving this more than generous award. And thank you for the support of everybody who got me here,” said Clark, choking back tears, after Pacific Rim Foundation president Gary Marks bestowed her with the magnanimous gift during the July 14 Ucluelet council meeting.

Marks praised Clark for being a hard working young woman who “exemplifies the very principle of volunteerism in our community”.

“In both big and small ways, she has found the means to help where she can and give willingly of her time and efforts,” he said.

The Dick Close scholarship program was established with the express purpose of assisting a graduating USS student whose personal goals and public contributions were informed by a larger sense of community.

“Central to the scholarship was the idea that the recipient would be a person who invested in making the world a better place through a life lived with purpose. Dick believed in lifelong learning and he believed in young people. This scholarship would celebrate the idea of service to others,” said Marks.

Clark’s volunteerism and contributions to the community are many. She led a seniors tech support group and mentored Grade 8 students. She donated her time as a visitor information counselor during the Edge-to-Edge Marathon Races and Ukee Days celebrations. Clark provided helping hands to the Ucluelet Elementary School breakfast initiative and she was also the club president of the local Junior Achievers company program.

“I like working with everyone and building bonds through the community,” Clark told the Westerly News.

With both parents being born in Tofino, the distinguished USS grad is deeply rooted to the West Coast. Her father Calvin Clark, a crab fisherman, is half Ahousaht First Nations (from the Campbell Family) and her mother Kim Clark, UES school secretary, is Japanese Canadian.

“My grandma [Emerald Shepherd] was born in a Japanese internment camp in East Lillooet and came to Ucluelet when she was around eight, her parents lived here before the War. My great grandpa was the first Japanese person to come back to the Coast after internment,” Clark said.

Kim said her daughter has had many fabulous mentors over the years through work and community events.

“We are fortunate to live in a very small community. Our kids really bond with our adults and are so fortunate that they really take the time to get to know our kids and become huge figures in their life,” she said.

Clark has expressed an interest in pursuing a career in the health profession as a radiographer. She said she hopes to return to the West Coast once her studies are complete.

“Congratulations Trinity. You’re one of a kind, as we know. We wish you and give you all of our support and love. The West Coast loves you,” concluded Marks via Zoom Video during the July 14 council meeting.

Past Dick Close Scholarship recipients include Riley Banks, Ellie Law, Tyler Krueger and Chenoah Shine.

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READ: Young Ucluelet local earns Indigenous Language Revitalization Diploma

READ: Japanese Canadian recounts life in B.C. internment camp

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