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Noteworthy neighbours

North Shore residents show global leadership

Five North Shore students will be headed back to school this September with generous Simon Fraser University scholarships.

Leah Bjornson, a Carson Graham secondary graduate, won the Simon Fraser Leadership Alumni Scholarship, worth $29,000. Michelle Benicka, also a Carson grad, joins Seycone's Gavia Lertzman-Lepofsky, Windsor's Stephanie Liu and Argyle's Matthew Quenneville in claiming the Gordon M. Shrum Scholarships, each worth $24,000.

All five will attend SFU in the fall. A six-member committee chose the winners after reviewing hundreds of nominations from across the country.

"We're delighted with the student response," said SFU registrar Kate Ross. "These new scholars bring strong academic ability, leadership experience and a dedication to service that will enrich the vibrant and diverse SFU community."

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A pair of North Vancouver girls, Maya Leoroyd and Claire Paterson, spent part of their summer in San Francisco, as part of a Children's International Summer Village. The two 11-year-olds spent 28 days exploring a multicultural, multilingual environment. Young people from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Norway, Spain, Thailand and the United States are assembled for the event, dubbed "Winds of Change."

"It is an amazing experience for an 11-year-old," said Leoroyd's father Pete, in a CISV release. "We are told that the kids often come back as changed people after such an immersive experience."

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North Vancouverite Sabine Jessen, national oceans manager for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, joined 70 students and 45 educators from around the world on an Arctic voyage. Through stops in Iceland, Greenland, Nunavik and Labrador, Jessen said she hoped the trip would raise awareness for the need for marine conservation in the Artic.

"Canada's Arctic is the most exciting and vulnerable ocean in the world right now. With the melting ice, many want to exploit the Arctic -- whether for oil and gas, shipping or commercial fishing," said Jessen, in a release.