Two upcoming University of Manitoba first-year students have each been awarded the inaugural Schulich Leaders Scholarships, a four-year award totaling $60,000.
Kimia Sheikholeslami, who recently graduated from École secondaire Kelvin High School, and Alexa McAdam, now an alumnus of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, are the lucky ones.
Every Canadian high school, secondary school and CEGEP (in Quebec) could each nominate one student to be eligible to receive the scholarship. In the end, only 40 students could win this significant award, which will pay for their undergraduate degree at one of the 20 designated universities in Canada.
This year there were 977 Schulich Leader Nominees across Canada. Of these students, 51 applied to the University of Manitoba, and only Sheikholeslami and McAdam were selected.
“This was definitely really big news for us,” Sheikholeslami said. “I want to go to medical school and this is pretty much the key to it.”
Sheikholeslami will study biochemistry in her undergrad because she is passionate about both chemistry and biology. With this scholarship she can afford to study at any school in Canada, so how did she end up choosing the U of M?
“I chose to go to the U of M,” she said, “because I’ve heard so many good things about the teachers and there’s a lot of variety. And a lot of Rhodes Scholars are coming out of the U of M and that’s a pretty big deal.”
The Schulich Leader Scholarships annual program recognizes students across Canada who demonstrate excellence in academics and/or community leadership and who plan to study one of the STEM subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics, during their undergraduate years of study at university.
“It was an honour to be part of the inaugural year of the Schulich Leader Scholarships program,” said Jane Lastra, Director of Financial Aid and Awards at the University of Manitoba.
“The generosity of Mr. Schulich will ensure that our recipients are able to focus fully on their academics and not worry about financial barriers to their post-secondary education. Being able to enhance the student experience in this way will surely create future innovators, trailblazers, conquerors, visionaries, rebels and pioneers.”
Schulich Leader Scholarships were created by Canadian business leader and philanthropist Seymour Schulich. In addition to the Canadian program, which is managed by UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, a similar Schulich Leader Scholarships program is being carried out in Israel. This historic $100 million scholarship initiative was implemented to secure the future economic competitiveness of Canada and Israel and is designed to ensure that future Canadian and Israeli leaders are among the next pioneers of global scientific research and innovation. In 2012 there will be 40 Canadian and 10 Israeli Schulich Leaders. For more information, please visit www.schulichleaders.com.
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