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About the Bursary

Each year the Muskoka Lakes Association offers one Bursary to students from Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (BMLSS), Gravenhurst High School, Saint Dominic Catholic Secondary School, Parry Sound High School and Rosseau Lake College. 

The Bursary is in the amount of $5,000.00 and awarded to one student who demonstrates financial need to continue to their post-secondary education.

All applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the MLA Bursary Committee. Any information provided on your application form is kept confidential to the Committee members and will not be shared outside of Committee discussions.

Applicant interviews will be scheduled on a Saturday in May, so that the Committee members can meet the selected applicants in person before making final decisions.

Students at these schools are expected to be living within the membership catchment area of the Muskoka Lakes Association.

The Muskoka Lakes Associations mission is to promote the responsible use, enjoyment and conservation of the unique Muskoka environment. 

Our efforts are concentrated in four areas:

- We protect and promote water quality

- We advocate for responsible government and fair taxation

- We promote responsible land use

- We lead on important Muskoka issues year round

Applications available in the guidance department at each school.

2024 MLA Bursary Winners! 

Aidan Fitzmaurice
Jocelyn Aldom

Two outstanding Muskoka students awarded the Muskoka Lakes Association's annual bursary 

The Muskoka Lakes Association is pleased to announce Jocelyn Aldom and Aiden Fitzmaurice as winners of its annual post-secondary education bursary.

"Jocelyn and Aiden are dedicated young leaders with strong track records of achievement and engagement in their schools and communities. They embody many of the MLA’s values including leadership, integrity and collaboration and so we’re very proud to support their next educational steps. The MLA typically grants only one bursary per year, but it was impossible to choose between these two extraordinary young people so the MLA Board unanimously approved two bursaries this year. The MLA wishes both recipients the best of luck as they head off to university in the fall” said Susan Eplett, President of the Muskoka Lakes Association.

In the student recipients’ own words:

“Solving problems energizes me and a career in math or engineering will let me use my leadership skills, my love of solving problems, and my appreciation for collaboration. I look forward to returning to Muskoka to give of my time and talents to protect and nurture the land that I have grown up on and to responsibly design and reinvent structures.” Jocelyn

“Having two recipients this year is a large contribution as it means the MLA is investing in the future generations, and stewards to Muskoka. I would like to extend my gratitude to the entire MLA team for their unwavering support, especially you and the others involved in the administering of this bursary program. I would also like to thank the team for supporting me with my journey, and future endeavours.” Aiden

The annual $5000 Bursary to a Muskoka student is part of the MLA’s commitment to strengthen and support the greater Muskoka Lakes community – key to its mission to preserve and enhance Muskoka for all generations.  The selection committee seeks students who reflect the MLA’s values, demonstrate a financial need for their post-secondary education, and expect to return to, or continue to influence, the communities of Muskoka. 

The MLA advocates for responsible stewardship and enjoyment of the unique environment of the Muskoka Lakes. The 2000-member volunteer organization represents anyone who works, lives on or enjoys the lakes. 

For more information or to become a member please contact the MLA’s Port Carling office at 1-705-765-5723 or

2023 MLA Bursary Winner!

Congratulations to this year’s MLA Bursary recipient, Tulell Kerr-Benoit. Tulell attends Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School and has a 93 per cent average. With her avid interest in math and science, the completion of her Grade 12 program will include a French immersion certificate and a high achievement award. Tulell will be attending the University of Waterloo in the Nano-Technology Engineering program in September.

The bursary interview team was very impressed with Tulell’s wide range of school and volunteer activities. She enjoys volleyball, is an assistant dance teacher, dances ballet, volunteers at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and collaborated in a team robotics activity. Her participation in the Robotics Club enabled her to understand coding and mechanical skills, problem-solving and trouble-shooting. She made sure her team worked inclusively and that everyone’s voice was heard.

Tulell’s references describe her as thoughtful, motivated and a responsible leader. Her energy and enthusiasm assist with her drive to excel in everything to which she applies herself. Her connection to and interest in robotics nano-technology in robotics was astounding with regard to the MLA’s water quality program. She anticipates that the future use of micro-robots could improve filtration methods, not just in Muskoka but everywhere. She explained that she wants to be part of making nano-technology a less invasive approach to many different areas, from medicine to mechanical engineering.

Tulell plans to pursue her post-secondary career independently, no matter what it takes, and has a plan to achieve it. She has worked since she was 14 and hopes to enrol in a co-op program to assist her through the next years. She thanks the Muskoka Lakes Association and its members for this bursary. We wish her well in her future educational endeavours.

Congratulations Tulell!

2022 MLA Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association is proud to have awarded the 2022 Bursary to Chrystal Schnur. Chrystal is a resident of Parry Sound, graduating from Grade 12, Parry Sound High School, with an 80% average. Top marks being achieved in Communications Technology: TV, video, and movie production. 

Chrystal has been accepted to Durham College's Film Production program. This program unifies her future education and her passion for giving a voice to important issues, allowing education of pivotal topics such as protecting our environment, and supporting the conquering of personal adversity. Chrystal knows that her higher education paves the way for life-long learning and success.

Success in her mind will "show people the truth, and not to fabricate any situation. She is inspired to help others who struggle." Chrystal herself has courageously dealt with personal adversity with a commendable outlook and envisions imparting that to others. 

Chrystal's extracurricular activities include participation in Arts festivals and school plays. This includes her volunteer hours assisting the Festival of Sound, music cruise and Earth Day! Chrystal's creative ideas have contributed to promoting Parry Sound Biosphere. She knows implicitly the delicate balance of our environment and vows to continue to fight for water and land health through higher education. 

Consideration of the Bursary winner include reference letters, that contained extensive support to Chrystal's strong character and integrity. One school counselor was brought to tears with the knowledge Chrystal had won the Bursary, allowing her to pursue post graduate studies. The MLA Bursary will significantly support her attending college this fall in their opinion. 

The MLA is proud to support Chrystal's future giving voice to her perspective through the camera. Chrystal is creative and talented with a face of strength and determination. The MLA is proud to award her this Bursary and wishes her well in the future that she envisions. 

Congratulations Chrystal!

2021 MLA Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has awarded its 9th annual MLA Bursary to Hayden Foley, a Grade 12 student who is graduating from Gravenhurst High School. 

Hayden is an honours student and an enthusiastic member of the school's FIRST Robotics Team of more than 30 members that participates in the annual international competition to build robots to solve an engineering challenge, develop community partnerships and promote STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) locally. His fundraising for the team included more than 50 cold calls on local businesses. He is also active in his church. 

In the fall he will begin the Engineering program at the University of Guelph. 

Hayden has been saving for his post-secondary education through part time work since Grade 9. During the pandemic, he was designated an essential worker. Informing him that he had won the bursary left Hayden uncharacteristically speech; he is very grateful to the MLA for this award. 

Congratulations Hayden!

2020 MLA Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) Bursary recipient for 2020 is Makayla Smith-Lagrandeur. Makayla is a local resident, growing up on the Wahta Mohawks Territory in Bala. Makayla is an honor student from Gravenhurst High School, she successfully completed her grade 12. Makayla was also involved in Community and Volunteer Associations. She was a student delegate for the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, a delegate for Youth Leadership and attended a conference for the Iroquois and Allied Indians in London in 2018.

Makayla will be attending the Law Clerk program at Georgian College in Barrie this fall. She looks forward to continuing her vision of becoming a Family lawyer one day in order to help people in her community. Makayla has many positive attributes. She is a mature, responsible, and caring friend and she has helped her mom at home raise her two younger brothers.

Makayla’s application to the MLA was exceptionally well written, organized, and thoughtful. 

Congratulations Makayla! 

2019 MLA Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has awarded its 7th Annual MLA Bursary to Laken Hobson of Bracebridge Muskoka Lakes Secondary School in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Laken is involved in many extra-curricular activities and has multiple certifications. Laken has been on the school’s swim team since grade 9 and is a certified National lifeguard, Red cross lifeguard as well as a water safety instructor. Laken often finds herself volunteering to support her local community; Leadership Council, Rotary Youth Leadership awards camp, Special Olympics Ontario swim coach, Women’s advocacy group child care and many more.

Academically, Laken accomplished an outstanding achievement of receiving Honour roll four years in a row. She’s also been nominated for the Lieutenant Governor’s Volunteer award and the All-Round Student award.

Laken has accepted her offer to York University, Glendon Campus for International Studies.

Congratulations Laken!

MLA 2017 Student Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has awarded its 5th Annual MLA Bursary to Robyn McIntyre of St. Dominic Catholic Secondary School in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Robyn has been involved in many aspects of school life, including sitting on the Student Council since grade 10 and a member of the St. Dominic Peer Support group. She is actively involved in the school’s athletic teams, soccer, volleyball and badminton and an honour roll student for 4 years. She has also volunteered in many charitable initiatives, including the Salvation Army Christmas Food Drives, teen homeless nights and 4 years with an Anti-Bullying Awareness group. This year Robyn was a member of the St. Dominic’s Tanzania Team, where she travelled to Tanzania in May to help in the construction of a school for underprivileged students.

Robyn has accepted admission to the University of Waterloo co-op Bachelor of Planning program where she begins pursuing her degree this fall. Eventually, Robyn hopes to return to Muskoka and use her Planning degree.

Congratulations Robyn!

MLA 2016 Student Bursary Winner!

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has awarded the 2016 MLA Bursary to Laiken Pratt of Gravenhurst High School in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

Laiken will be attending Sir Sanford Fleming College in the fall in the Ecosystem Management Technology program.  Laiken loves the outdoors and wanted to make a difference working to maintain and protect the health of the environment using sustainable environmental practices and would like to pursue a career that allows her to actively participate in environmental change from within the system.

Congratulations Laiken!

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