A Grade 12 graduate in Cape Breton has learned that a little volunteerism goes a long way.

Brianna Desveaux is one of just 15 Canadian students out of 8,000 applicants to win an RBC scholarship and a trip to Kenya.

The 18-year-old volunteers at about a dozen different organizations, including the SPCA.

Desveaux, from New Victoria, said she just received the call from her local RBC telling her that she won a $10,000 scholarship.

“She congratulated me on winning the money. I was freaking out at this point,” said Desveaux. “She was like, ‘Actually there is another part of this. You also won a trip to Kenya.’ At this point I was just hysterically crying.”  

Six of the scholarship winners also receive an overseas trip.

Desveaux says volunteering for the international charity Free The Children is a dream come true.


Brianna Desveaux volunteers at a dozen organizations including the SPCA. (CBC)

“Some you build schools, some you make wells, work with children, help them carry the water. A lot of them are walking miles and miles everyday carrying water back to their communities back to their families.”

Desveaux's parents say volunteering is very important to their community.

“We are from a small town so we know the importance of giving back,” said Kim Desveaux, Brianna's mother. “Celebrating the successes we had and maybe help those that maybe haven't been so lucky. So she's been always taught to give back.”

“I think it's really helped me grow as a person. It's made me more mature, sympathetic it really helps, volunteering really builds you as a person,” she said.

Desveaux plans to study chemistry at Cape Breton University in the fall.