This year's Gordon Wiebe 'Make it a Reality' scholarship winner is an inspirational young woman.

On Tuesday, the Winkler Community Foundation presented, Alyssa Neufeld, a grade 12 student at Winkler's Northlands Parkway Collegiate with the $25,000 award.

Neufeld has lived on her own since the age of 17 - which followed the experience of going through a failed adoption.
At the age of 17, she chose to live on her own, rather than move to Winnipeg. The only room Child Family Services could offer Neufeld at the time was at a Winnipeg homeless shelter.

Despite not having a family to help her through the process, Neufeld has a lot of community cheerleaders, many of whom were on hand for Tuesday's presentation in her honor.
Thinking about her mom and making her happy continues to push Nefeuld. Her mother passed away at the end of her grade eight year.

"I didn't get to know her very much, but I know that she was one of the most selfless and dedicated people out there. So basically all my high school career, I pushed myself. It was hard, but I know that she would have wanted me to have a better life for myself. So I think just to make her happy. And continue, because she also did a lot of work with disabled and elderly people."

Neufeld said that being able to carry that on and be a legacy is important to her.

"Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose. For me, it was really difficult, because I had a hard home life. So, to be able to get involved in the community, it gave me purpose. It gave me a reason to wake up," said Neufeld. "Life happens. And, you never know when something is going to happen in your life that you're going to have to rely on the community, so why not give back to a community that gives back to you."

Alyssa Neufeld with members of the Winkler Community Foundation scholarship committee.Alyssa Neufeld with members of the Winkler Community Foundation scholarship committee.

"What can I say about Alyssa? She just wowed us," said WCF's Scholarship Chair, Barb Neufeld. "She is so self-aware. She is so resilient. She is hard-working. She is confident. She has overcome much adversity, and she is going to be a fantastic ambassador for our community."

As a former educator, Neufeld said it's very exciting to know our community can grant over $100,000 to students in Winkler and surrounding areas as well. She added, that if they can give a "leg up" to a young person who would find it difficult to attend university without this, then they're doing exactly what Gordon Wiebe wanted his money to do.