A Walnut Grove Secondary School student has achieved a first for his school.
Nicolas Ouellette has been selected as a national finalist for the prestigious Loran Scholar Award, marking the first time a student from WGSS has earned such a distinction.
Ouellette has been invited to attend the Loran national finals in Toronto in February 2016. National selections will be made Feb. 5 and 6.
Loran Scholar selection criteria are character, commitment to service in the community and leadership potential. After national interviews, 30 Loran Scholars will be chosen.
Ouellette said he’s honoured to have been selected as a finalist, especially because he’s the first from WGSS to make it this far.
“The scholarship interview experience is an excellent learning opportunity and I look forward to meeting with the other candidates from across the country,” Ouellette said. “I’ve really appreciated the support from the administration, teachers, and staff at my high school.”
The Grade 12 had a “big month” in November, his mom Glenda explained.
He was one of 30 students at the Lower Mainland regional finals on Nov. 28 at UBC and found out the next day he had been selected to go to the nationals.
Ouellette will be one of 75 candidates at the national level vying for 30 scholarships valued at up to $100,000 each to apply toward entry into a Canadian university.
“He is so honoured to attend and we are very proud of him,” Glenda said.
Ouellette and fellow WGSS student Alice Kim were both selected as regional finalists, becoming the first students ever from WGSS to be represented in the selection process.
A record 4,273 applications were made to the Loran Scholars Foundation and 80 finalists were chosen in the national selections.
In being chosen as one of the 80 finalists Ouellette is in the top 2 per cent of the candidate pool.
About the award
Awards are valued at $100,000 over four years, including an annual stipend and matching tuition waiver, access to summer internship funding, a week-long Outward Bound expedition, annual retreats and forums, as well as personal mentorship. Loran Scholars may attend any one of 25 partner universities. Visit the Loran Scholars Foundation for more information.
– Files from the Langley School District website (www.sd35.bc.ca).