Guernsey Press

Brock scholarship recipient has sights on future with UN

International politics is the driving motivation for this year’s Brock scholarship recipient.

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Maddy Russell is on her way from Les Varendes to Ontario, Canada. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33256764)

Brock University in Ontario awards one full academic scholarship to a student within the Bailiwick of Guernsey every year.

The scholarship is awarded in honour of the university’s namesake, Sir Isaac Brock, who commanded British and Canadian soldiers defending Niagara from American invasion in 1812.

Les Varendes sixth form student Maddy Russell, 18, has the long-term aim of working for the United Nations.

‘I’m trying to keep my options open, what I like about Brock is all of the courses that they offer,’ she said.

She said that she had been looking at universities in the UK, before her history teacher recommended she consider Brock.

‘I did lots of research and had conversations with my parents when I considered applying. The application is not like the personal statement you write for British unis,’ she said.

‘It’s much longer and more personalised. I was able to talk about my other aspirations and clubs and sports I want to be involved in – much more fun to write.’

The interview process took place at Sir Charles Frossard House and, she said, reflected the differences seen in the personal statement.

‘They’re not just looking at you as an academic, but you as a person.’

She said that when she received the call from the university panel, she froze.

‘I was at home by myself in the kitchen. When I picked up the landline I froze – our dogs had no idea what was happening.’

She said she spent the weekend considering the opportunity, adding that it was hard to keep quiet on the offer.

‘I was definitely shocked, I don’t think it has actually hit me yet. My family are really excited.’

Her grandfather, Bruce Russell, was commissioned to make the mace for the university’s convocation ceremony in 2010.

‘He was also the other way that I knew about Brock University. He got really excited when I said about it. He taught me the history about it and why the university is named what it is.’

Maddy said that while she expected that she would miss her family, it was a classic university experience.

‘Everyone around me will be dealing with the same thing, so I won’t be alone.’

IB coordinator and sixth form manager Paul Montague said that he knew Maddy would make the most of the experience.

‘I’m really proud, there was a big competition this year with a lot of tough opposition, it was a really stringent interview process.

‘Her love of global politics and how she really throws herself into things assures me that she won’t be fazed by it.

‘It’s such a fascinating part of the world. I’m slightly envious, I wish I was going,’ he said.