Former Kelowna Secondary student named Rhodes Scholar

Local man a Rhodes Scholar

A former Kelowna student has earned one of the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world.

Jesse Lafontaine, a second-year medical student at the University of Alberta and graduate of Kelowna Secondary School, has won one of 11 Canadian Rhodes Scholarships.

He will attend Oxford University in England next year.

"Mr. Lafontaine's scholastic achievement and dedication to equitable health care for Indigenous people inspires our entire district, so we offer both our congratulations on this rare distinction and our gratitude," said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan School District superintendent.

"Our goal is to empower students to thrive as global citizens, and Jesse Lafontaine is a shining example of someone whose commitment and humanity will surely make a difference in our world."

Lafontaine, a Métis student, is one of 11 Canadians who earned the honour with 100 other scholars from around the world.

The former Kelowna student is a member of both the Métis Nation B.C. and Kelowna Métis Association. Both of Lafontaine's parents work in education, and his mother Kathryn is a teacher in Central Okanagan Public Schools.

"Jesse has always had very high expectations of himself and he is one of the most driven, goal-oriented people I know," said Kathryn Lafontaine. "We are thrilled for his success and can't wait to see where he takes this new opportunity."

Lafontaine was part of the Indigenous Leadership program at Kelowna Secondary.

"I am proud to be a graduate of Central Okanagan Public Schools. My education in Kelowna helped lay the foundation for success and inspired my passion for pursuing higher education," said Jesse Lafontaine.

"I am truly grateful for all the people who have been part of my team along the way, and I am excited for the next steps in my journey."

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