Chris Donovan photo/Telegraph Journal

Saint John High grad wins $40,000 scholarship

by Chris Donovan - Saturday, July 9, 2016

This article is courtesy of Telegraph Journal

Eighteen-year-old Saint John High grad Fletcher ‍Ritcey did not only go to school in the south end, he lives and breaths the south end.

The recent grad was awarded the Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship valued at $40,000 to attend the University of New Brunswick in Saint John to study business.

"I got an email on Monday saying I had received the scholarship and started yelling. My mom thought there

was something wrong, but when I told her she started jumping up and down," said ‍Ritcey.

The scholarship is one of three Beaver-brook Scholars Awards given every year to a New Brunswick high school grad who displays high academic ability, financial need and contribution to their communities.

"I've always thought that as a citizen of my community,and of the world,I am obligated to help as many people as I can within my means," said ‍Ritcey who volunteered extensively in the south end during his time in high school.

‍Ritcey said his interest in giving back to his community began just before he began at Saint John High School when the principal approached him at a district heritage fair and asked him if he would be interested in attending a Kiwanis International Key Leader event.

"The speakers really inspired me to do something for my community,"he said.

As soon as ‍Ritcey started at Saint John High, he joined the Key Club, a club that works on anti-poverty initiatives in the city, and by the time he reached his Grade 12 year, he was president of the club.

"Saint John High is located in an at-risk neighbourhood, and as Greyhounds, we are all a part of the south end community."

The club runs a coat drive every year in November,where donated coats are given to students who required them and, any remaining coats are donated to Romero House. ‍Ritcey also participated in school supply drives for schools throughout the south end, a sock drive for Safe Harbour and more.

"I grew up on Duke Street," said ‍Ritcey."I've lived in the south end my whole life and I just want to do whatever I can to help the people that I've been around my whole life."

‍Ritcey said growing up around poverty has made him a more compassionate person.

"I think I'm a particularly caring person and I think I will always have a desire to help those who need it,"he said.

‍Ritcey‍'‍s ultimate goal is to stay in Saint John for the rest of his life.

"I'd love to stay in this community and be a part of its revitalization and help to get Saint John on the right track,"said ‍Ritcey.

‍Ritcey said he has always loved the city and some of his biggest idols are Saint John social entrepreneurs such as former Saint John High teacher Barry Ogden and Keith Brideau of Historica Developments.

"I love seeing the success that people have in Saint John and I want to be a part of that,"he said.

Social justice is not ‍Ritcey‍'‍s only love, he has been heavily involved in community hockey, and said his dream job is to work in an administrative or public relations position for the Saint John Sea Dogs. ‍Ritcey‍'‍s volunteerism has not gone unnoticed in his community as he was recently recognized with a Teen Who Cares Award from the Saint John Teen Resource Centre.