University College Isle of Man (UCM) student Melanie Ridgway is the winner of the 2017 Ella Olesen Scholarship.
Melanie will follow a long line of local students in spending nine months at the University of Idaho in the USA.
The scholarship is named after a former registrar of the university who died in 1985.
Her Manx ancestry – her mother Margaret Teare was born in Ballaugh and emigrated to America in 1890 – led her to gift the scholarship in 1971. It is awarded annually to a female degree student who has been supported through her studies by the Department of Education and Children (DEC).
Forming the interview panel for this year’s scholarship were Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, and Yvette Mellor, Director of Strategy and Corporate Services.
They interviewed seven applicants, selecting Melanie to travel to Idaho next August.
Former Ballakermeen High School student Melanie, 22, is studying for a BA honours in business studies at UCM and graduates next summer. In her spare time, she works at her family’s gas services business, enjoys exploring the Island and travelling further afield, including to music festivals, and is learning to ride a motorbike.
‘This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to further my studies, meet new people from different backgrounds, overcome challenges and gain further opportunities.’
The Minister said:
‘The scholarship is a superb opportunity for a local graduate to live and work in another country and experience its life and culture while continuing to study.
‘While in Idaho, our scholars promote the Isle of Man to others from all over the world at events and gatherings and prove great ambassadors for the Island.
‘Past and present scholars have a strong supportive network and, although living and working all over the world, meet up when they are home to exchange stories.
‘I wish Melanie well as our latest “Ella Olesen girl”.’
The current Ella Olesen scholar is Hollie Jaques, of Ramsey, who is studying in Idaho until May 2017.