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Whistler meets world

As the graduating class of 2011 moves out into the world, they'll not quickly forget the town that shaped them



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While Arcalean examines all that happens benath the skin, classmate Brendan Grills will be surveying the open skies through a combined bachelor of science and commercial pilot's license program at the University of Waterloo.

"Nowadays a lot of airlines require their pilots to have a bachelor's degree in either science or business or an applicable degree so it's easier to get them both done at once than doing them separately," he said. "I've always loved to fly and my grandpa was a pilot during World War II and it seemed like something I didn't see myself getting sick of doing - I guess I'll find out."

To whet his appetite before school starts in the fall, Grills has a number of glider pilot classes lined up this summer, along with an introductory flight given to him as a birthday present from his parents. An avid skier who starred in the school musical, the 18-year-old laughs at the prospect of heading east when his father did the exact opposite at this juncture in his life.

"There's not much in the way of skiing in Onterrible and it's funny, the first thing my dad did when he graduated was leave Ontario," he said. "He got the hell out of dodge and came out west and I'm doing the exact opposite so I think he's wondering what I'm doing but I'll be back whenever I can."

Leaving the lush topography of Whistler for the undoubtedly much grayer mountaintops of Burnaby, graduate Ani Tchakarova doesn't plan on letting any moss grow on her heels. Armed with three scholarships - one $4,000 entrance scholarship from Simon Fraser University and two local endowments from the Gibbons Hospitality Group and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, the 18-year-old is already narrowing in on exchange programs available through the commerce department after she completes her first year.

"I didn't really know what I wanted to go into but commerce seemed to be the most broad major to take and seemed like you could get the best jobs with it," she said pragmatically. "Next year I want to do an exchange program so I can go study abroad in Thailand or Australia."