Although she is just celebrating her 23rd birthday next month, Kristen Lambke, Kwantlen student and scholarship winner, has already changed career directions.
Lambke won four scholarships totalling $5,250 at Kwantlenâ€™s 20th Annual Scholarship and Awards ceremony for her work in the Environmental Protection Program.
Lambke applied for Kwantlen scholarships in general but did not expect the awards she won, which included the Doctor Barry Leech memorial scholarship, the Eclipse Environmental Leader scholarship and scholarships from B.C. Hydro and the HSBC Bank of Canada.
She said she was excited and that it was nice to have her hard work at school rewarded.
It may have been scholarships that helped Lambke join the Environmental Protection program in the first place.
Before joining the program, Lambke was a drafter designing industrial buildings, a job, she said, that involved taking care of the needs of the clients in the industry rather than the protecting the environment or using sustainable practices.
â€œI wanted to have a career where I could, you know, protect the environment rather than destroy it, so I switched over.â€
She had scholarships from the architectural Ddrafting program at the University of the Fraser Valley, something she said pushed her to go back to school.
â€œIt was something just like, okay, I gotta do this.â€
Pam Macdonald, who instructed Lambke in her two first-year introduction to biology classes and a second-year ecology course, said Lambke was a strong but quiet student from the beginning, whose work, from small quizzes to long papers, was nearly perfect.
â€œIâ€™ve had a lot of good students over the years and I think she is right at the top of those,â€ said Macdonald.
Although Lambkeâ€™s work was consistently good throughout the program, she did improve in other ways.
â€œI think that she gained a greater sense of self-confidence and recognition of what her potential is over her time here,â€ said Macdonald.
Macdonald described Lambke as calm, cheerful and modest, qualities, she said, that are shared by Lambkeâ€™s boyfriend, Jason Beattie, who Macdonald also instructs.
Lambke and Beattie met at their Langley high school, and began dating shortly after.
Although her disappointed parents werenâ€™t invited to the award ceremony, Beattie, who also won a scholarship, was able to attend with Lambke.
â€œHe was happy for me, a little jealous because he wants to get lots of scholarships, too. Heâ€™s a really good student as well, but heâ€™s happy.â€
Lambke is currently in her second work practicum, with the B.C. Ministry of Environment, doing incident inspections and samplings
She said she plans on finishing her degree, something she said Macdonald has pushed her to do, and has applied at UBC and UNBC. She will use the money from the scholarships to pay for tuition.
â€œI think sheâ€™ll go a long way in her education, I hope, and in whatever career she chooses,â€ said Macdonald.
Lambke said she is not sure if sheâ€™s figured out what she wants to do for a career, but
said she would like to incorporate her background of construction and design with her new knowledge of the environment to work towards sustainable building and development.
If Lambke could instantaneously change anything about the environment, she said it would be to change peopleâ€™s minds about it so they would respect it more.
â€œIt takes a lot to change minds, but it will happen eventually.â€