Meet Emily, 2017 Acanac Scholarship Winner
College and University is a special time for students.
The journey includes many opportunities for growth, acquiring knowledge and learning new skills, as well as creating memories that can last a lifetime. The reality for many students, though, is that attending post secondary school can also be very expensive – that’s where Acanac wanted to help.
In line with our mission of making things easy and saving money for Canadians, Acanac launched our very first scholarship contest over the summer of 2017. We asked students across Ontario and Quebec to let us know how High Speed Internet has impacted their field of study by either writing a short essay or sharing a video with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages for a chance to win $1,000.
After reviewing hundreds of contest entries, our selection committee narrowed it down to 6 semifinalists and then chose our winner: Emily Humber-Verge, a Journalism student from Carleton University in Ottawa.
We caught up with Emily after she learned about her big win to discuss her essay.
Our Chat With Emily
Acanac: Hi Emily. Congratulations on winning the Acanac scholarship contest and thanks for taking the time to talk with us. We received hundreds of entries this summer, how does it feel to be our first winner?
Emily: I’m still in awe a little bit, I’m not going to lie. I’ve applied for quite a few scholarships- that’s how I’m funding my education. It’s pretty special knowing that there will be less financial stress that I have to worry about.
Acanac: Absolutely. We asked participants to tell us how High Speed Internet had impacted their field of study. The selection committee loved your submission- tell us about your piece and how High Speed Internet has impacted the field of Journalism.
Emily: Like I said in my piece, High Speed Internet hasn’t just impacted Journalism, it’s blown it to smithereens.
It’s really changed the way we do journalism- the way people consume content and has even changed the role of journalism in society. The information journalists used to provide to people is now readily available online, so they can get it themselves. For example, you can know what Donald Trump thinks of something by reading his Twitter feed, but you may not be aware of the context or whether it’s factual. That’s the role of a journalist now- to sift through all that information. We didn’t have that before.
Acanac: That’s interesting. Not only is the information available to everyone, but there is also so much of it out there- sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s fact and what’s not. As a budding journalist, tell us about how your program is preparing you for working through all the distortion.
Emily: I hear it thrown around a lot now that anyone can be a reporter. Anybody with a smartphone can post something on social media and have it be “news”- which is true, but not everyone who has a smartphone and can Tweet a picture is held to the same standard that journalists are. Information just moves a lot faster so for journalists it’s all about trying to manage that information overload on social media and presenting it in a way that’s ethical.
Acanac: How is your program preparing you for the potential dichotomy between ethical journalism and corporate pressure to get clicks?
Emily: It’s definitely a conversation. What I enjoy about the program at Carleton is that we’re talking quite frankly about the pressures in journalism right now. I think corporate pressure has always been an issue in journalism but even more so now because some of the major sources of income are pretty much gone- which was another huge impact High Speed Internet had on journalism.
Acanac: With all the options out there, what made you decide to be a journalist?
Emily: I’ll be honest, one of the defining reasons was that I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do because there’s so much to do and so much to learn about in this world- I couldn’t pick one thing I wanted to focus my life on. With journalism, you kind of get to do a little bit of everything. The other thing is that people can influence the world in a lot of different ways, but we all have our own talents and we should use those talents to impact the world in our own way. I happen to be good at writing and communicating- I just always have been. So really, I find that I’m obligated to use that talent to the best of my abilities to help people.
Acanac: The Acanac story is all about helping our customers by removing the barriers in the way of enjoying all the great things about the Internet. As a student and journalist, what do you look for in a High Speed Internet service provider?
Emily: I’m a millennial so I’m all about ethical companies and getting away from corporate ownership of the world. Because I grew up in small town, I’ve unfortunately never had reliable High Speed Internet in my life- so having it now is like a novelty to me and really great.
Acanac: Emily, we’re so thrilled to be in the position to help a student like yourself through this contest, how do you intend on using the $1,000?
Emily: The short answer is that I’m going to pay part of my tuition with it and avoid some of the interest that I’m currently paying. Very excited about that.
We would like to thank everyone who entered the Acanac Scholarship contest and who continue to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we can keep the conversation going. We were so impressed with the quality of the entries and the diverse perspectives from so many interesting fields of study. The tremendous response we received left us with a sense of pride that we were able to do our part in supporting Emily’s journey. Until the next contest, the goal remains the same: Reminding those across Ontario and Quebec of the simple pleasures of Acanac High Speed Internet and Home Phone services.
Since we’ve received so many great entries from other talented students who participated, we’ve decided to provide them with a platform to share their experience with our community. We invite you to stay tuned over the next several weeks as we share some of these via our Facebook or Twitter pages.