Royette Tavernier

It was a question that grabbed her attention: “Have you ever experienced a major turning point in your life that changed how you thought about something or how you behaved?”

It was a question that set in motion a series of events that led Grand Bay resident Royette Tavernier to receive the presitigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2012.

She is one of two students from her school, Brock University, to receive the scholarship for her upcoming research “Turning Points: The Association Between Positive Meaning-Making and Psychological Well-Being Among Canadian Students.”

The research aims to determine whether students who created positive meanings from their turning points also experience greater psychological well-being and successes in their academic and social lives, according to her school’s newspaper The Brock News.

“This research will increase our understanding of how Canadian students cope with significant life events and will give counsellors important information about how they can help Canadians deal effectively with the stress of their life events,” Tavernier told the newspaper.

Always top of her class, Tarvanier has been been exhibiting leadership skills from an early age. She won several   debating competitions in Dominica after overcoming a stuttering problem. She did a teaching stint at the Pierre Charles Secondary School, was a member of the 4-H club and Brownies, hosted her own ‘summer school program’ at her parent’s home in Grand Bay, volunteered as the Director of the Summer Day Youth Camp at the Dominica State College, was a Youth Ambassador and won the Dominica Youth Award in 2004.

She won the ‘Miss Wob Dwiyet’ title in 1996 and has been active in many local cultural activities.

Tarvernier says she’s grateful for the scholarship. “It meant that somewhere out there, somebody shared my dream and believed in my potential and ability,” she told her school’s newspaper.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship was created to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and to establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning.

Each of the recipients receives $50,000 a year for three years, to help them as they pursue and complete their doctoral studies.