The last time she was at Lakeland College, Ruby-Rae Rogawski was fighting fires, driving tractors and vaccinating pigs.
It was 2008 and she was a 13-year-old competing in the YTV television series In Real Life. The Fort Langley, BC, resident was one of 18 youth from across Canada tackling real life jobs throughout North America. They fought fires and farmed at Lakeland College’s Vermilion campus, auto raced in Georgia, performed stunts in Hollywood, and served as adventure guides in British Columbia. Ruby-Rae shone in the competition, eventually earning the "In Real Life Champion" title.
This fall, Ruby-Rae returns to Lakeland College. This time she’s a full-time student in the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation program at the Vermilion campus.
“When we came to Lakeland College in 2008 for the show, I fell in love with the town and the college. We lived in residence for a week and the atmosphere was great. I had just finished Grade 8 and I hadn’t thought of any college options at that time, but I loved what I saw at Lakeland,” recalls Ruby-Rae.
Last year, while completing her Grade 12, she applied and was accepted to a university near her home and another college in Alberta. Neither felt right to her. “I looked at Lakeland College once again and decided to enrol,” says Ruby-Rae. “I can’t wait to start classes this fall.”
She’s also enrolled Sydney, her Border Collie, in the college’s Stockdog Club. But that’s not all she has planned. “I’m also going to join the Outdoor Recreation Club at Lakeland. It looks like fun,” says the 17-year-old, who still loves tackling new adventures.
As the winner of In Real Life, she received a $15,000 RESP. However, she won’t have to dip into those funds for a while given that she received a $3,500 Academic Excellence Scholarship from Lakeland College because of her Grade 11 average of 96.6 per cent.
To learn more about In Real Life, visit http://inreallife.ytv.com
Photo: Ruby-Rae (far right) with her reality show partner Ben Moran look over what they need to do to care for a piglet while taping the Farm Frenzy episodes at Lakeland College in Vermilion in 2008. Learn more about the challenges she conquered through an episode summary .