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Sisler students receive film school scholarships

March 29, 2021

Several Sisler High School students will study animation and game design at Vancouver Film School this fall. 

In a virtual announcement on Feb. 23, Sisler’s CREATE department revealed that 15 students from its post-grad program received full scholarships to VFS to pursue studies in Classical Animation, Game Design and Animation Concept Art. 

VFS will cover 40 percent of each scholarship, with the rest covered by The Walter and Maria Schroeder Foundation, which since 2019, has provided approximately $500,000 in scholarships and $900,000 in equipment to the CREATE program.

“Thanks to the incredible generosity of The Schroeder Foundation and VFS, these talented students have a bright future ahead of them,” said Jamie Leduc, CREATE department head.

The 15 Sisler CREATE students receiving scholarships are Jireh Laririt, Meadow Chaput, Mae Lestones, Kaylise Rose, Andrew Dilag, Dairyl Mabunga, Jemimah Suba, Josh Estillore, Justin Choy, Noah Ascano, Rance Dee, Allen Miranda, Nya Langit, Ethan Reyes, and Gab Reyes.

Reyes, 18, will study Animation Concept Art at VFS.

“It sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s practically a dream come true. This is something I’ve been wanting since I was a freshman in high school,” said Reyes after the announcement.

“Other than improving my skills, I’m really excited about networking with students and people in the industry, as well as just meeting new people and making new friends.”

Suba, 18, is going into Classical Animation at VFS. 

“It’s something I’ve been inspired by ever since I was young,” Suba said. “As a kid I watched anime and thought, ‘That’s epic! I want to do something like that.’ I want to create things that move and shows that will inspire younger kids the same way I was inspired.”

Without financial assistance, Suba said she doesn’t know if she’d be able to pursue her dream. 

“I live in a single-parent home. Having this scholarship takes so much weight financially off the shoulders of me and my mother,” Suba said.

In the past five years, a total of 70 Sisler CREATE students have received scholarships to study at VFS, with this year’s group the largest yet. 

“Honestly, my job becomes easier and more valuable by having Sisler students in it,” said Colin Giles, Head of Animation and Visual Effects at VFS, during the announcement.

“Not only is the artistic talent amazing, but one of the most valuable things I see is when Sisler students are in our program, they are influencing everyone around them in a positive way. We’ve had Sisler class representatives, as well as teaching assistants. And of course the success of them in the industry afterwards speaks highly of the CREATE program.”

Carson Smith, director of community outreach at Nickelodeon, attended the virtual announcement. Nickelodeon Community Efforts recently partnered with the CREATE program to prepare students for potential careers in story development, content creation, animation and art.

“We’ve been running mentorship programs for about a decade now in Burbank and all over Los Angeles and I’ve never seen a group of students as prepared, as passionate, and as fully invested as CREATE students,” Smith said during the announcement.

“You guys are all in, all the time. Obviously that’s a testament to the students and the program there. It’s really wonderful to watch this level of enthusiasm and dedication.”

The CREATE post-grad program is a free, eight credit hour program that provides students experiential training in the creative industries, with a focus on career and post-secondary pathways.

Winnipeg School Division graduates under the age of 21 are invited to apply for the 2021-2022 CREATE post-grad program. Go to for more information.

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