Nfld. & Labrador

Port Hope Simpson student wins $80K scholarship

Kendra Burden says the scholarship will help her achieve her dream of being an astronomer.

'It’s crazy. It feels like a dream,' says Kendra Burden

Kendra Burden is the recipient of an $80,000 scholarship to Memorial University.

A Grade 12 student at Bayside Academy in Port Hope Simpson has been awarded a big scholarship to Memorial University.

Kendra Burden will receive an $80,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship, making her the first student from Bayside Academy to do so.

It's an award she says she's grateful to have won.

"It's crazy. It feels like a dream," Burden said. 

"I was planning on getting a job when I moved out and working.… I would have had to work a lot myself to help put myself through, therefore not being able to focus on my studies as much."

I couldn't be more happy about it.- Kendra Burden

But this scholarship changes all of that, Burden said.

"This means that I don't really need to have a job at all. I can afford all my rent, all my food, my tuition, my books," she said. 

"I mean, it's absolutely insane and I couldn't be more happy about it."

Kendra Burden, who also dogsleds, says winning the scholarship was a surprise. (Stanley Campbell Memorial Dog Sled Race 2019)

The news came as a surprise. While Burden was away on a trip in Quebec, her mother called to let her know that Memorial University needed to get ahold of her.

She said she thought something had gone wrong with her application.

"I called her back and she informed me over the phone and I was blown away. I had goosebumps. I started to cry, my mom started to cry.… It was crazy," Burden said.

She said she will use the scholarship money to pursue a physics degree this fall, and then plans to study astronomy in graduate school.

"I've just always been interested in space and the way the universe works," said Burden.

"There's so much left to discover, and I've always been interested in the whys and hows of the universe."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Labrador Morning