By Alejandra Pulido Guzmán – Lethbridge Herald on December 24, 2021.
A woman from southern Alberta became the recipient of a very prestigious scholarship.
A native of Crowsnest Pass, Kate Bondick has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study in London at the Oxford Internet Institute, where she will pursue a master’s degree in relation to how technology relates to international human rights.
But this is only the latest of her major achievements in a series of scholarships she has taken around the world.
“I won a scholarship from the Alberta government when I was 16, so at the end of grade 11, I go to Hong Kong for the school called United World College,” Bondick said.
Pundyk described Li Po Chun United World College as a boarding school trying to be similar to the United Nations, with representatives from every country, and Pundyk was the Canadian sent in 2014.
She said she came across that first scholarship thanks to her older sister.
“My older sister happened to be a graduate of Crowsnest Pass Consolidated High School and was looking for scholarships for college,” Bondick said.
She explained that her sister was browsing through potential scholarships and there was one really big scholarship, but it turns out it was a high school scholarship so I sent it to her.
“It worked, it was a lot like the breaks, long runs were placed and they were working really well so I was very lucky,” Bondick said.
After Li Po Chun United World College, Pundyk attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts on another scholarship, completing the first two years of an interdisciplinary major in Political Science and Technology.
“And then I ended up dropping out or dropping out of college, sort of for a little while, and I worked in Rachel Notley’s office,” Bondick said.
She explained that working in her office was an opportunity to learn more about where she came from.
“To help a little in my part to give back, for you know that everything in my story goes back to the great public schools of Crowsnest Pass country,” said Bondick.
She said there aren’t great country schools all over the place, so she’s really grateful to Alberta for it, and she wanted to be part of ensuring it continues to be great.
After losing the NDP government in 2019, Bondick decided to apply to Yale University where she continued her studies in political science and technology.
Now that she’s finished her degree at Yale, she’s moved to San Francisco to be with her partner and take some time off before heading to London in September.
“This is of course a huge recognition for me, but I think more importantly it is a huge acknowledgment of the amazing education anyone can get on a Crowsnest Pass, and so I hope it has more to do with it being a collective success story rather than a collective success story,” Bondick said.
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