A $1,000 BC Transplant scholarship holds extra meaning to Jayden Emslie.
The Correlieu Secondary School graduate won one of the first-ever BC Transplant scholarships for her efforts to raise awareness for organ donation after learning her grandmother, Debbie, required a kidney transplant.
After receiving encouragement from an art teacher, Emslie designed a poster earlier this year that was displayed around the school.
In bold blue lettering “Live Life. Pass It On.” is displayed on the poster reminding individuals one donor can save up to eight lives. A QR code for people to easily register as organ donor complements the sign in the upper left and lower right corners.
Emslie’s efforts also gained support on a local community Facebook page, leading her to approach local businesses to display the poster in their windows.
Over two dozen locations around Quesnel would display Emslie’s poster, earning praise from Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes.
“More than anything, I’m proud of my community for being so involved in it,” Emslie said.
“It was really interesting to see how many people supported it and how many people didn’t know that they had to register in the first place. Initially, I thought it was just going to be a small little thing that’s posted on Facebook and everybody says, oh okay that’s nice, and then moves on.”
While a GoFundMe campaign was launched to assist Emslie’s grandmother and family with expenses, Emslie said she felt compelled to do more.
“I didn’t realize it would have taken off as much as it did, so I’m really glad that it got the recognition it needed,” she said.
Emslie’s grandmother received a kidney transplant in Vancouver earlier this month.
Emslie hopes to continue spreading awareness for organ donation registration and is planning to pursue post-secondary studies at UBC where she will enter Media Studies.
“I’m really excited to do that too, especially since I got the scholarship because of my grandma, and she loved writing when she was younger.”