Jess takes 2017 scholarship

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A teenager who excelled in leadership, commitment and fundraising is this year’s recipient of a prestigious scholarship.

Jess Reid (18) received the Dennis Canavan Scholarship at a ceremony in Callendar House.

She was one of ten young people from schools across the district who had been nominated for the award.

Falkirk Council launched the scholarship 11 years ago to recognise an “individual who demonstrated a commitment to voluntary work, charity sponsorship, sports coaching or had made a contribution to international development”.

It was set up to mark the former politician’s 33 years of service both as a Labour MP and independent MSP for Falkirk West.

Speaking at Monday’s ceremony, Mr Canavan said: “I was very pleased when Falkirk Council took this initiative as I used to be a schoolteacher before I was relegated to a less honourable profession.

“There has also been considerable support from businesses and other organisations, as well as generous individuals who made donations. I would like to put on record my sincere thanks to the council for this initiative which has benefited so many young people.”

Jess, a former pupil of Braes High School, was nominated for her efforts, which included being an ambassador for the Holocaust Trust, mentor in violence prevention, literacy leader, Saltire ambassador, house captain and school vice-captain.

During her Duke of Edinburgh Award, she volunteered with a swimming club and raised £2000 for Strathcarron Hospice and Kidney Research.

Jess, from Wallacestone, intends to study English literature at Stirling University.

Runners-up were Helena Glass of Braes High and Jan Finlay, from Larbert and a former pupil of St Modan’s High, who each received £200.

Others who were nominated were Aliyah Ajmal and Chloe Harvey of Bo’ness Academy; Alice Bruce and Ryan Mather of Grangemouth High; Daniel Johnston of St Modan’s High; Lana Kemp of Falkirk High; and Ellis Mackie of Denny High.

They all received £50 and a copy of the former politician’s autobiography.