Submitted by the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the recipients of its third annual scholarships, awarded to four members of the Class of 2020 who are graduating from island high schools.
Congratulations to Tyler Sovelove (Lopez Island High School); Camryn Thompson (Orcas Island High School); Josephine Crosby (Friday Harbor High School); and Gavin Mason (Friday Harbor High School). A committee of Visitors Bureau staff selected them from an impressive group of applicants from across San Juan County.
The Visitors Bureau’s intention in awarding the scholarships is to recognize students for contributing to our Islands’ visitor economy—especially during summer—helping to make experiences fun and memorable for our visitors from around the world, and who plan to pursue studies in sustainable tourism, business, communications, or hospitality.
Here is how this year’s graduates are taking their island experiences and using them to direct their future plans, in their own words:
Sovelove: “I learned how to cook, clean, and work hard, but one of the most important things I learned was about running a business in a tourism-based economy. We [Ursa Minor], like most businesses in the San Juans, rely heavily on the influx of tourists in the summer, and I learned a lot about how to create an image that attracts those tourists. I don’t know if I want to work in government, media, or something entirely different, but I know that spreading a positive message helps spread good and positivity around the world. I know this is a field in which I can do some good in the world.”
Thompson: “Working three different jobs around the island has given me the opportunity to work with the public as well as tourists. I’ve really enjoyed helping them make their experiences on the island memorable. I’ve realized that being an entrepreneur was something that I’ve wanted to do from a very young age. Owning my own business will use my creativity and provide others with jobs in my community.”
Crosby: “In life, you are never certain, but I want to see if business or communications is something I excel at! I love animals, and try my very best to be with animals in need or help wherever I can. [Volunteering at Island Haven Animal Sanctuary] really inspired me to one day do something that is impactful on the earth.”
Mason: “I have learned that you need to work hard to get through things and that a lot of the time you are going to start on the bottom and it will take time to work your way to the top. I hope to open some sort of business, whether in construction or something like a sports store – I want to go in either direction.”
We wish these students the best of luck in their future endeavors, wherever the path may lead.