VIDEO: Four Langley students selected for intense summer learning

R.E. Mountain and Walnut Grove Secondaries are sending students to university for the month of July.

Members of SHAD’s class of 2016. (Christian Bender Photography)

Four Langley students have been identified as exceptional high school students and been selected to take part in a month of learning at Canadian universities this summer.

Two Grade 11 students from Walnut Grove Secondary, Hayley Lee and Annie Chang, along with R.E. Mountain Secondary students Danny Lee (Grade 11) and Kim Daekun (Grade 10) are spending the month of July at 13 different universities from coast to coast through a program called SHAD.

They join more than 800 high school students taking part in this program which claims to be one of the country’s “top incubators for youth innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Since 1980, the Canadian charity has seen 16,000 of the country’s “brightest” youth compete for and be granted positions in the program. SHAD fellows include 32 Rhodes Scholars, 80 Loran Scholars, 43 Schulich Leaders, and many “leading innovators and entrepreneurs” including Michele Romanow, a serial entrepreneur and television personality with CBC’s Dragons Den.

The local students will live in residence at their designated universities, Hayley Lee going to the University of New Brunswick, Annie Chang going to the University of Waterloo, Danny Lee attending Carleton University, and Kim Daekun spending the month at the University of Saskatchewan.

The students are immersed in an intense program focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and apply what they learn in the STEAM disciplines to real-life public policy and entreprenial challenges.

They attend lectures and workshops presented by faculty at the university, with experiential learning a big part of the initiative.

At the beginning, the students are presented with a theme or social problem, and they have to devise an original product or service that addresses this real world, complex issue. In the process, they are taught how to build a business plan, marketing plan, and working prototype and come away with an entrepreneurial mindset.

For the third year in a row, SHAD had a record number of applications and a waiting list for coveted positions in the program. The students are selected for SHAD after an intense competition, which includes examining students’ extracurricular activities and the work they are doing in their communities and beyond to make a difference. Any obstacles the students may have had to overcome along the way are also considered.

SHAD 2017 students are in for the summer of their lives, said SHAD president and CEO Tim Jackson.

“Past students rave about the program and how it transforms them,” Jackson said. “That’s why we’re trying to ensure SHAD is known and available to every eligible student across the country.”