Venna PenneyVenna Penney

Venna Penney has wasted no time getting involved at Mount Allison.

Penney, who was awarded a Bell Achievement Award worth $9,000 per year for four years, is a member of Free the Children, Best Buddies, SMILE, Right to Play, Health Matters, Women in Science, Health Care Outreach, the Rose Campaign, and Model UN.

She also serves on her residence's House Council and on the Mount Allison Students' Union's Student Life Committee and has been elected president of her house for next year.

"I was really involved in high school as well," she says. "I was vice-president of our student council and I was on just about every committee. I enjoy leadership roles, but also making an impact."

Penney appreciates the numerous volunteer opportunities open for students at Mount Allison and in Sackville.

"I'm starting to volunteer at the hospital this term," she says. "There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the community and that is one of the things I like about Mount A."

Penney is planning to major in biochemistry with the long-term goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.

"Both of my grandparents passed away from neurological disorders and it would be nice to be able to do something about that," she says. "This has been my goal for a while."

Penney says she started looking at Mount Allison when her mother, who is a registered nurse, noted that a number of doctors she has worked with completed their undergraduate degree at Mount Allison and spoke highly of the experience and education they received.

"I think the unique thing about Mount A is you can take courses from every faculty, you are not limited to one thing," she says. "It really allows you to broaden your horizons, which is really good for people who are looking to apply to med school."

Penney was also looking for a small school.

"I come from a small town and I wanted a school with a community feeling rather than a large school where you are just a number," she says. "On Fall Open House day I stood in the breezeway — it is the perfect spot to see all of Sackville — and I just knew I was going to come here."

Meet other 2017-18 Bell Scholars