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This year’s Rhodes scholar heads off to Oxford

Rhodes scholar Kenza Wilks with proud father Glen Wilks, left, and Ernest Peets, Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport (Photograph supplied)

Bermuda’s Rhodes scholar traditionally gets a sendoff in the US before they begin their studies.

But the pandemic meant a home ceremony for Kenza Wilks, 22, who headed yesterday for Rhodes House at the University of Oxford.

Christie Hunter-Arscott, the secretary of the Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship, told a gathering on Tuesday night the annual grant was not an award but “an honour and a responsibility”.

She thanked Mr Wilks’ parents Carmel Baxter-Wilks and Glen Wilks, along with “his parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and the Bermudian community”.

Ms Hunter-Arscott said: “I encouraged Kenza to make the most of these conversations and connections at Oxford, because it if often outside of the classroom where the most impactful learning takes place.”

Mr Wilks said his subject, modern Chinese studies, with a focus on mastering the language, would help explore ways the country’s growing strength could benefit Bermuda.

He added time back home on vacation will be used to draw up next year’s summer debating camp for students through his company, CodeBlue Consulting.

He added: “I’m excited to head out – I’ve met quite a few Rhodes Scholars in Bermuda who have told me all about how incredible the experience was for them.

“I look forward to making strong friendships over the next two years.”

Applications are now open for next year’s Rhodes Scholarship.

The scholarship committee said it wanted students with proven intellectual and academic attainment and exceptional character, leadership and achievement in extracurricular activities – as well as a commitment to public service.

Applicants should have completed, or be about to complete, an undergraduate degree and should not have reached their 24th birthday by October 1 – although exceptions to the age requirement can be made for students who did not complete their first degree straight from school.

The scholarship covers university and college fees, plus a stipend for living expenses for two, and possibly three, years of study at the University of Oxford.

For more information, e-mail christie@christiehunterarscott.com

Applications close on October 15.

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Published September 03, 2021 at 7:52 am (Updated September 03, 2021 at 7:32 am)

This year’s Rhodes scholar heads off to Oxford

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