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P.E.I. high school grad receives lucrative engineering scholarship

Mitchell Collins, a Bluefield High School graduate, has received an engineering scholarship valued at $50,000. Collins says he has a strong interest in pursuing a career in renewable energy.
Mitchell Collins, a Bluefield High School graduate, has received an engineering scholarship valued at $50,000. Collins says he has a strong interest in pursuing a career in renewable energy. - Jim Day

Mitchell Collins couldn’t believe the news when he received the call from the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia.

He’d just found out he won the Peter Kohler Scholarship which will support his education in engineering over the next four years.

“I actually missed the call, but saw the number on the phone and thought, ‘Oh my god, this can’t be true’, ’’ he said.

“I went back to check the website and I knew they only contact you if you’ve won.”

Collins, who graduated Monday evening from Bluefield High School in Hampshire, begins his studies at the University of Prince Edward Island this fall.

He says engineering is something he’s had an interest in from a young age, so it was an easy career choice for him.

“I know how much engineers have impacted the world, and I’ve always liked math and science,” he said.

The Peter Kohler Scholarship will help him achieve his dream by taking the financial pressure away from an already demanding program, which will see him taking six classes each semester.

“Already it’s relieving a lot of stress,’’ said Collins. “I honestly didn’t know if I’d even be able to go into engineering without it.’’

That’s exactly what Peter Kohler, a pioneer in the window and door industry in Canada, hoped for when he established the sizable scholarship with the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia to create a significant impact on the lives of engineering students in Atlantic Canada.

“Engineering is a very demanding discipline,’’ said Kohler.

“I created this scholarship to reduce the burden and financial worries for students committed to pursuing this profession.’’

Collins said he plans to specialize in electrical or mechanical engineering and has a strong interest in renewable energy, which UPEI’s program will help foster. Just like the engineers he admires, he hopes to make a positive impact on the world through his future profession.

Jeff Carragher, who taught Collins physics at Bluefield, says the student is a very worthy recipient of the award.

“He’s a very, very strong academic student,’’ says Carragher.

“He has a really strong work ethic. His problem-solving skills really shone through this year. He takes a problem and really tackles it quietly.’’

Carragher adds Collins applies a quiet confidence to everything he does.

“He has always been extremely pleasant in class – a leader amongst his peers,’’ he says.

Scholarship snapshot

Here are some details on the Peter Kohler Scholarship awarded to Bluefield High School graduate Mitchell Collins:

  • Provides $50,000 over four years to support his post-secondary education in engineering.
  • Collins was selected based on character, financial need and academic standing.
  • To be eligible, applicants must be from Atlantic Canada and enrolled full time in an engineering program at an Atlantic Canadian university.
  • Renowned engineer Peter Kohler, a pioneer in the window and door industry in Canada, established the scholarship to create a significant impact on the lives of local engineering students.

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