Buffalo Creek student wins scholarship

Tim Hortons employee sets her sights on surgery education

Tim Hortons employee Marie Schulze

Tim Hortons employee Marie Schulze

Buffalo Creek resident Marie Schulze, 18, has been awarded one of this year’s national Tim Hortons Scholarships.

In the essay she wrote with her online application for the scholarship, Schulz says she chose to highlight how to best nurture good working relationships and mutual understanding between different generations, both working at and eating at Tim Hortons.

“It’s exciting because first, I was the one to be chosen for it and I wrote this essay for it and, because I am not from here.

I am from Germany. I came two or three years ago, so still, my English is sometimes struggling a little bit.”

The Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) 2014 graduate says she was thrilled and surprised the essay turned out so well and it pleased the national judges.

Schulze adds she will use the $1,000 award for her expenses to attend the University of Victoria (UVic).

Tim Hortons of 100 Mile House owner Steve McPhail says Schulze’s level of hospitality and professionalism is beyond reproach.

“She’s wonderful. I actually just sat down with her and did a standard job evaluation for performance, and I couldn’t give her any feedback on any where to improve.

“She’s truly one-of-a-kind and just a great kid. It was my privilege to have her as one of my staff.”

McPhail notes the selection committee that chooses the scholarship recipients is completely independent of Tim Hortons.

Schulze’s application was not only given the highest grade of three local applications, it also met the requirements to rate in the top 25 across Canada to receive the national scholarship, he explains.

That does not happen every year, despite the fact an annual scholarship is given out locally.

“Each store owner has the option of doing their own in-store program. So, that’s funded by myself. So, if you don’t have a winner in the national one, you have your in-store one.

“Post-secondary education is so important to me, for these young kids who come to work for me, that I encourage them as my duty.”

Schulze notes she was a Tim Hortons employee between May 2013 and summer 2014, and hopes to return for future summer jobs.

“I loved working here – so that’s why I was so happy as well – because Steve [McPhail] is a great boss. And, I love everyone on the team.”

While grades are not included in the Tim Hortons scholarship application, Schulze did graduate with honours at PSO in May, earning her a Dogwood District Award, a 100 Mile Rotary Service Above Self Scholarship – and a UVic bursary for four years’ tuition.

At UVic this fall, she will work toward a bachelor of microbiology for three to four years, and then hopes to study medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Whether she is accepted into med school at UBC, or elsewhere, Schulze says she hopes to become a surgeon.

Adds McPhail: “She’s going to do it, too – you watch.”