Shea-Lynn McGaw “Be Strong, Never Give Up” Awards

The Shea-Lynn McGaw “Be Strong, Never Give Up” scholarship will be presented annually to a volleyball player who demonstrates a “never give up” mindset. Someone who brings a positive energy to the court and perseveres even in the face of challenges. The recipient may not be the most skilled athlete on the team but personifies this spirit, both on and off the court.

Applicants may apply personally or be nominated. The scholarship must be used toward the cost of post-secondary tuition, or other associated costs, within two years of high school graduation.

To be considered for the scholarship, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The applicant/nominee must be a student-athlete in their graduation year at Bellerose Composite High School, Paul Kane High School or St. Albert Catholic High School and plays on a high-school or club volleyball team.
  2. The applicant/nominee must demonstrate a “Be Strong, Never Give Up” attitude. The following traits are examples one may draw from to illustrate this.
    • Displays strength of character.
    • Exemplifies integrity and persistence in meeting challenges and goals.
    • Shows dedication to their volleyball team.
    • Encourages teammates and friends.
  3. The following must be submitted:
    • A short essay (three-page maximum) or video message (five minute maximum) speaking to how they meet the above criteria in paragraph 1 and 2, with supporting examples.
    • At least one reference from a coach, assistant coach and/or a teacher at the student’s current high school.


Shea-Lynn McGaw

Shea-Lynn was a student at Bellerose Composite High School who approached life in a fun-loving way, but also with a fierce sense of determination. She loved playing volleyball, not just because it fed her competitive spirit, but because she loved sharing the court with her fellow teammates. Notably, while volleyball was her latest passion, Shea-Lynn was also an active participant in numerous other St. Albert community sports throughout her life – swimming, soccer, cheer, track and field, and rugby to name a few. Team driven activities were always her favourite.

The energy she brought to any situation, both on and off the court, allowed her to experience many achievements in life and to become an accomplished student-athlete. Commitment and perseverance were important to her. Whether it be a commitment to a team, her friends, a job, or her academic studies, she took great pride in seeing the benefits of her hard work pay off. This led her to consistently receive honour-level recognition in school, to reach milestones before others, and to tackle life and sports with a smile.

As a young girl, Shea-Lynn found herself drawn to the Jasmine princess moto “Be strong, never give up.” She was actually overheard reciting it to herself when obstacles presented in her early years. With this saying in mind, she moved forward in life applying this way of being to all that she did – whether it be her own resolve with academics, participation in sports, or how she nurtured and encouraged those around her.

While she may not have always made the top team or been the most skilled player on the court, she carried a strong sense of determination to rise to any challenge that presented. She brought an unwavering work ethic to everything that she did, a desire to do her best and contribute to her teams, and a desire to improve every time she practiced or played. She supported her teammates and they supported her back – it was inspirational to witness.

The joy that Shea-Lynn brought to her family, friends, classmates, coaches, and fellow athletes was her biggest testament to life. She injected an infectious amount of light, optimism, and fun into the world with her bright smile, warm heart, and deep caring for those around her – often resulting in her need to bake goodies and deliver them around to her friends just to see them smile. She valued her relationships; made people feel welcome and/or at ease through her sense of humour, compassion, and understanding; looked out for those that she thought needed words of support; encouraged good choices; and modeled a positive fun-loving spirit and a zest for life. Her spirit was kind yet adventurous, and she always sparkled with energy and determination…and sometimes a wee bit of mischievousness.

Sitting back and waiting for success to come to her was not an option, nor was giving up. Shea-Lynn always sought what she wanted and approached it with determination. She wanted to be significant and accomplish great things. The following quote was found in one of her journals, “I will not be another flower, picked for my beauty and left to die. I will be wild, difficult to find, and impossible to forget.” This is indicative of how she lived her life and the footprint she left on many hearts.

The Shea-Lynn “Be Strong, Never Give Up” scholarship will be given to someone who demonstrates a similar drive and spirit that Shea-Lynn lived by.