From a pool of more than 5,200 applicants, only 90 young people were selected as finalists in the 2024 Loran scholarships – and one is from Maple Ridge.
Each year, the Loran Scholars Foundation awards students who show a breadth of interests, commitment to community service, leadership, and drive to work towards long-term goals, reads its website.
Emmy Wang, Grade 12 from Thomas Haney Secondary, said it took a few moments to process the exciting news.
“I had been so caught up in doing interview after interview and keeping up with school at the same time. I was at school cutting posters for council when I got the call,” she recalled.
The application process was long and thorough, involving written essays, teacher references, phone and video interviews, but Wang said it gradually felt less like an interview and more like friends getting together from across the country. She spent many hours talking with other students from around B.C. who were passionate about their fields of study, and they are still in touch.
Wang is largely involved with the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council, through which she advocates for the needs of youth in her area to the provincial government.
For example, at the November conference she had the opportunity to speak with B.C. Premier David Eby.
“[I spoke] about the shortcomings of sex education and mental health education in the B.C. curriculum, something that I have been very passionate about,” Wang said.
She’s also the under-secretary-general of general assemblies on the secretariat for Vancouver Model United Nations, where she oversees its academic processes.
“It makes me really happy when beginner delegates in these general assemblies come back from a conference inspired and passionate for more. I think Model UN is a great introduction to being involved with current affairs, both in your community and around the world,” Wang shared.
In her local community, Wang is part of her school’s student council and helped it restart when pandemic-related restrictions lifted in schools.
“I think the biggest highlight for me is not what I have done in council, but what other students have done. I am so happy to see more and more groups getting involved in the school community and working together to create events for the school,” she said.
After high school, Wang wants to study public health policy and develop a background in sciences to one day work in government.
“I have never been able to choose between the social and health sciences because I’m so interested in both,” she commented.
She said there are shortcomings in physical and mental health policies provincially and federally that she hopes to advocate for.
Each finalist received a $6,000 scholarship towards any Canadian university.
Of the 90 finalists, 36 will be selected to receive a Loran Award, which includes financial support in the form of a tuition waiver and annual stipend, as well as access to programs and one-on-one mentoring to further develop their skills and knowledge.
Those selected will find out later this month at the Loran’s National Interviews in Toronto from Feb. 23 to 25.
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